I honestly know very little about wine. I take pride in the fact I can pronounce the majority of the varietals correctly. but as far as describing the flavor or how well they pair with an item of food ..you’re asking the wrong girl. I know when I take a sip of wine if I like, or if I don’t. and that’s the extent of my knowledge.
we all have our favorites. I tend to gravitate towards dry reds + whites, and love a good red blend. but what you like isn’t always the best selection for an entire crowd of people joining you for a holiday feast, such as thanksgiving.
so I called in the expert.
who just so happens to be my brother. he’s a sommelier, in denver, CO. [a trained + knowledgeable wine expert]. meaning he went to school for wine, which is a school I can definitely get behind.
except it sounds so hard. I asked for his expertise in pairing wines with thanksgiving dinner & he kindly obliged.
for thanksgiving, you’re probably going to have a smorgasbord of side dishes that all revolve around turkey. we’re talking potatoes, veggies, casseroles, stuffing, and bread. then of course all of the pies + desserts to follow.
to keep all of the relatives happy, I’ll suggest two whites & two reds for dinner.
• red # 1: pinot noir // pinot noir is extremely versatile when it comes to food pairings. it’s balanced acidity, soft tannins, earthiness, and fresh fruit flavors will accompany your turkey dinner to perfection. try pinot noirs from oregon or california.
• red # 2: syrah [aka shiras in australia] // this wine will be for the bigger, bolder red wine drinkers in the family. syrah tends to be a more full-bodied red wine though with earthy notes, blue + black berries, chocolate, espresso, and black pepper flavors. it should be a great option for someone who wants a heavier red for their thanksgiving feast. try syrahs from california or shiraz from australia.
• white # 1: Reisling // this is the most food friendly white wine that I’m aware of. it’s versatility is perfect for a meal like thanksgiving. it’ll pair with just about everything. reislings come in all sweetness levels from bone dry to sweet as hell. try to find a reisling closer to the dry side of the spectrum for dinner & save the super sweet for dessert. try reislings from alsace, france. mosel, germany. or washington state.
• white # 2: chardonnay // this wine is generally categorized towards the more full bodied side of white wines. the reason is that chardonnay wines are typically aged first in oak barrels. chardonnay by itself produces aromas of apple, pear, melon, and citrus but the oak adds a nutty buttery element to the wine. this addition of oak should bring the proper richness to balance a heavy meal like thanksgiving dinner. try chardonnay from california or burgundy, france.
my brother is a genius. and if we didn’t have a wine expert in the family, I would totally memorize some of these descriptions & bust them out at dinner.
now that you’ve got the most important thanksgiving shopping list written down, it’s time to head your nearest wine store. I am a large fan of trader joe’s wine selection, but surprisingly our local grocery store has a great selection as well.