Folks like us live for excuses to gather around a table, pop bottles, tell jokes, share cheap laughs, and enjoy home cooking that took all day to prepare. But every year, until we're all piled into one house, we seem to forget about the awkward political conversations, strange family dynamics, nosy personal conversations with Aunt Suzy, and off-color jokes from Uncle Bob. And that's where wine comes in. Have enough of it. And maybe stash a reserve bottle in the coat closet just in case.
Thanksgiving Dinner Wines
It's not about Turkey wines, it's about Thanksgiving wines. C'mon. We're all more interested in stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, etc than we are with boring-ass turkey. Unless I cooked the bird, of course 😉. Wine and food pairings are more about sauces then they are about the food itself. So what wines do you need on your table for Thanksgiving dinner?
- Who doesn't like being greeted with a glass of sparkling, refreshing goodness upon walking into a party?
- Sparkling wine is the versatile catch all of food pairing thanks to it's high acidity and palate-cleansing effervescence. My family basically eats a whole dinner's worth of snacks and hors d'oeuvres before we actually sit down for dinner. Charcuterie boards, stuffed mushrooms, chips, dips, cheeses, crackers. Name it we got it. Bubbles and apps? Yes please! Sparkling wines will also work with the dinner itself, so it's def worth having around.
- If you're gangster enough to deep fry your turkey, YOU NEED BUBBLES ON YOUR DINNER TABLE.
- The grape goes excellently with roasted birds. Period. Maybe I'm biased, because Chenin is one of my favorite white varieties, but hey, I like to think I have decent taste.
- It's versatile. It naturally has high acidity that keeps your mouth party wanting more food. It's got that beeswaxy mouthfeel I love that goes well with juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy mac & cheese, etc.
Gamay and/or Pinot Noir (they're cousins after all)
- Stick to French (or cool climates like Oregon) if you can, so you get the nice earthy notes that complement the homeyness of Thanksgiving dinner.
- They have the red fruit notes to coincide with cranberry sauce.
- They're light-bodied, so they won't overpower the lean white meat that is Turkey.
- They both have nice acidity to cut through the smorgasbord of flavor profiles on the Thanksgiving dinner table. The acidity will cleanse your palate as your fork jumps from marshmallow-laced sweet potatoes to a bite of savory stuffing smothered in salty gravy.
- They're both earthy enough to complement those holiday warming spice flavors on the table.
Thanks for reading!
-Charlie Oleary, Founder, Rampant Wine Co.