Pairing a wine with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be a challenge. A big red won't work. The tannins will overwhelm most foods on your table. A usual white, like a chardonnay, usually doesn't have the strength to stand up with the oils in a turkey or pair with the variety of foods on the table -- from cranberries to stuffing to sweet potatoes. What do you want?
You want something that won't break the bank. You generally don't want anything too complex, as such a wine will usually be wasted as everyone gorges and then prepares for a long afternoon nap. So, where to go?
I've picked a few examples of varietals that tend to go well with a Thanksgiving (or other big cooking holiday of your choice) meal. This, of course, is not an exhaustive list, Vine readers should share their holiday wine faves in the comments for everyone to read.
Also, if you're hosting the meal, I recommend storing a small flask of Maker's Mark inconspicuously in the kitchen. For use in the sweet potatoes, of course…
Ca' del Solo 2005 Big House Pink -- Rosés are an excellent choice when you're entertaining for a number of folks. That is, once you get past the fear of pink. Rosés, as I've mentioned before, are extremely flexible, food friendly wines. A rosé generally has a little more body than a white, so it can go with heartier stuffings -- but the acidity that it brings to the table will cut through sauces and sweeter foods nicely.
Covey Run 2005
Camelot 2005 Pinot Noir -- Pinot noir is a traditional Thanksgiving wine -- generally because it's a lighter, food friendly red that people can quaff without too much consideration. For a big meal, most folks will, again, generally be fine with a "mainline" pinot. (Personal note -- after the
Il Faggeto 2005 Prosecco
By the way -- for the other traditional Thanksgiving dessert, pecan pie, there's only one proper pairing. Single-barrel
Until next time…save me the drumstick.