This is the big Turkey Day 'week' of the year. That being said, I'm now ready to cook, bake, eat, drink and be merry.
This week we will be having the all-American roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, cranberries, and lots of green veggies. That's what the crowd wants so that's what they will be served.
This happens to be one of my favorite meals to make. Though this year I'm only a supporting player since we are doing a pot luck. This is a great to way to share and be thankful -- share the cooking without the pressure. It's the way to go.
If you are having a traditional turkey dinner wine pairing can sometimes be tricky since there are many competing flavors in this meal.
There's sweet and tart cranberry, vegetables that may or may not have lots of herbal flavors, creamy-style gravy and of course the turkey which is probably the easiest to pair.
The white wine choices for this menu may not be our favorites but you will be surprised how well they pair with all the different flavors. I know it can be difficult to serve a new wine (believe me, I know) but when you realize how delicious the food and wine are together you will be even happier at the end of the day.
Dry Riesling is one of the better white wine choices for Thanksgiving. It has a slight sweetness to it and a crisp acidity making for a winning combination to compliment the competing flavors.
A dry Riesling can also be the perfect white wine for those who just do not like very crisp, dry white wines but rather prefer a sweet wine (or those who prefer a white zinfandel).
You can also choose Sauvignon Blanc which has lively acidity and herbal characteristics that pair well with the vegetables. Or choose a Gewurtztraminer which will pair nicely if you have some dishes with a spiciness in them.
Of course you can always go with a crisp Chardonnay.
For red wines the traditional Beaujolais Nouveau which is released on the third Thursday in November is a young and fruity wine that has the acidity needed to compliment the turkey dinner.
Another red wine suggestion is Pinot Noir which is very food friendly. It has an earthy characteristic that will pair well with dishes having the same earthiness.
When serving a large meal for any occasion it is always a good choice to have both a white and a red wine. It's nice to give each guest the option to decide which wine they would prefer.
When setting the table add additional glasses so the guests can taste both wines and decide which they prefer.
To give you one more suggestion you can also chose a sparkling rosé wine. This too, like the Pinot Noir, is a very food friendly wine. It's a dry wine with crisp acidity and will certainly make your dinner feel like a celebration.
A SWEET ENDING
Dessert, let's not forget one of the stars of the day. A Moscato d'Asti is a sweet dessert wine with a light fizziness to it. It's lower in alcohol and it should be served well chilled.
Other dessert wine choices are Port or Tawny Port wines, Banuyls, and French Sauternes or Tokaji (Tokai) from Hungary. For something more affordable and sweet choose a Spumante.