A friend asked me for some wine recommendations for Thanks giving, a white and a red. She also suggested that I write a post on the subject so here goes. Thanks Dona.
Every year there are lots of columns suggesting wines to go with Thanksgiving. Rather than just giving some suggestions, I thought it would be useful to talk about what I look for in a wine to go with Thanksgiving. The meal can be a challenge. Usually there is a mix of savory flavors, fruits, sweetness, and green vegetables. A complex wine is likely to clash with something. Also, it’s a big meal and people tend to drink a fair amount. I big wine would overwhelm many dishes.
My solution is to look for lighter but still flavorful wines that have a good amount of acidity to keep them refreshing.
White wines can be harder to match than reds. They are more easily overwhelmed. I like Gewürztraminers from Alsace and Germany. They are very flavorful but tend to have a good acid balance. Dry Rieslings can get overwhelmed but the off-dry ones can work. I haven’t tried it yet but I have been thinking that a Tocai Friulano would work well also.
Reds can be much easier. For me they used to be very easy; I would recommend a nice cru Beaujolais. Morgan and Fleurie are my favorite. It was kind of hard to find a bad one. There are still lots of nice ones around but they are not the almost sure thing they used to be. Too many now are high in alcohol and lack the acidity that I find balances all the fruit. I try to find ones that are around 13% alcohol or less.
My replacement is to go for Barbera’s from either Asti or Alba. If you are looking for something a bit bigger, a Cote du Rhone can work well provided the alcohol content isn’t much above 13%. For Pinot Noir fans, I like Mercury and St. Aubin as well as many of the wines from the Pacific Northwest. As with the whites I am going to add an idea I haven’t tried yet. A Chinon or other Cabernet Franc based wine could work well too. Hmm, maybe this year.