Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

Thanksgiving Pairing Guide

Does anyone else feel like this Thanksgiving really snuck up on us?  Especially living in New York City, where Super-Storm Sandy has been the first thing on all of our minds for the past few weeks.  However, this morning, it all became a reality as my wife wanted to discuss what I’m doing for Thanksgiving.

 

Of course I’m making a turkey with all the trimmings.  She really didn’t need to ask.  But what I really started to think about is what wines I’d be serving with Thanksgiving.  The reality is that a Thanksgiving dinner can be a little difficult to pair with, because there are so many diverse flavors on the table.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes (some sweeter than dessert), mashed potatoes, corn—the list goes on and on.

 

Luckily, I’ve had a lot of experience pairing wine at Thanksgiving, and trust me; I’ve been let down plenty of times.  However, we learn from our failures, and the list below is my list of wines that are sure to succeed.  Each one should be versatile enough to handle an array of traditional and unique side dishes, and of course, will pair perfectly with turkey.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast (2009)
Comments: The nose was highly expressive with a bouquet that showed sweet cherries, pine nettles and dark soil notes. On the palate it was silky smooth yet juicy, with pure dark cherry fruit, hints of herbs, and a crack of pepper. The finish followed suit, as it’s red fruit and earthy profile slowly melted away from the palate. (91 points)
Average price: $31.80 from 1 store
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2 Macari Chardonnay Early Wine (2012)
Comments: The nose was lively with a bouquet of green apple, melon, stony minerals and a spritz of citrus. On the palate, a wave of semi-sweet citrus fruits turned to green apple acidity with a slight fizz that spread across the senses. The finish was pure, clean yet showed citrusy green melon and left the mouth watering. (89 points)
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3 Ridge Zinfandel Lytton Springs (2009)
Comments: The nose showed red wild berries, a dusting of cinnamon sugar, hints of minerals and herbs, and a whiff of dark baker’s chocolate. On the palate, it was beautifully balanced and elegant with a firm start and juicy finish. Ripe red and blue fruits went from sweet to tart as it flowed across the palate. The finish was long and spicy. (92 points)
Average price: $33.99 from 114 stores
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4 St. Michelle Merlot Cold Creek United States Washington Columbia Valley Red (2007)
Comments: On the nose, I found plum and blueberry with sweet spices and an underlying dark soil and chalk note that kept it rooted in the earth. On the palate, it was full-bodied with velvety textures, showing excellent balance with a mix of cherry and cranberry, herbs and bitter dark chocolate. The finish showed plums, green pepper and saline minerals with a slight tug of tannin reminding me of its fine structure. (92 points)
Previously available for $27.99
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5 Éric Texier Roussanne Côtes du Rhône Brézème (2010)
Comments: The nose showed blackberry with savory spices, reminding me of mustard seed and pepper followed by mineral laden black stone. On the palate, it was light-to-medium bodied with zesty acidity, black fruits, grill char, herbs and orange peel. The finish was dry with cheek puckering tannin, showing tart black fruits and pepper notes. (88 points)
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6 Kluser Blauburgunder Rotwein Schweiz Baselland Nussbaumer (2009)
Comments: The nose shows intense floral notes with spicy, sweet tropical fruits. On the palate, a hint of residual sweetness remains but is well balanced by a mix of balanced acidity and a plush, velvety mouthfeel. The flavors are of dried apricot, white stone fruits, and saline minerals. The sweetness turns pleasantly bitter on the long finish with white stone fruits. (92 points)
Average price: $19.64 from 1 store
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7 Layer Cake South Australia Shiraz (2010)
Comments: The nose showed blackberry jam on toast, vanilla, sweet spices and a hint of pine. On the palate, it was soft with vibrant acidity, ripe wild berries, cola and pepper assaulting the senses, which turned to sour blackberry on the finish.
Average price: $13.99 from 113 stores
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