Wines to Serve with Thanksgiving Dinner
Matching a single wine that compliments the multitude of flavors that make up a Thanksgiving menu can be challenging. A good solution is to offer a red and white wine so that your guests may choose the one they prefer. But there is such a thing as wine synergy, which means that when the certain foods and wines are paired, both taste better. Just as we seem to always combine certain foods that enhance one another and improve the overall taste. For example, serving shrimp with cocktail sauce or sprinkling Parmesan cheese over pasta, the combination of flavors actually make the dish complete. Applying this idea to wine and food pairing, will give you new, more exciting flavors, textures, and aromas. So here are a few recommendations.
Red wine goes very well with a Thanksgiving menu. You may not want to serve Cabernet because it is generally too tart and high in tannins to match well with turkey, but you can serve a lighter red wine. In fact, red wine is generally the classic choice for Thanksgiving because its light berry flavors
contrast well with the hardiness of the traditional meal.
Pinot Noir is a favorite because it pairs well with turkey. Pinot Noir has very little tannin so it will not overwhelm the taste of the meal. Serve Pinot Noir very lightly chilled. Putting the Pinot Noir in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving it will bring out the fruit and will take away the 'bite' that alcohol can give when served at room temperature.
Beaujolais Nouveau and turkey an ideal pair for holiday meal. France releases its light, fruity Beaujolais Nouveau wine on the third Thursday of each November, just a week before Thanksgiving. Connoisseurs may pooh-pooh the wine's light flavor and texture, but those characteristics compliment roast turkey and other Thanksgiving favorites without overpowering their flavors.
For a dry white wine, many people like Chardonnay with turkey. The oakiness and intensity of some Chardonnays may not make it the best choice for the Thanksgiving feast. Consider white wines that are more refreshing, tangy, and fruity. Chenin Blanc is spicy and slightly with a high acidity and Sauvignon Blanc is light and crisp, also with a high acidity.
If you like white wine with a little sweetness, such as White Zinfandel or many of the German wines, try a Vouvray. This is a widely available and reasonably priced wine from the Loire River region in France. Vouvray will have a nice fruit taste with just a whisper of sweetness.
With Thanksgiving dessert favorites like pumpkin and apple pies, eating them with wine is easier than you might think. Well-chilled late harvest Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, and Semillon, as well as Ice Wine, are great accompaniments to these desserts.
Moscato d' Asti, a semi-sparkling (frizzante) wine from the Piedmont region if Italy, is an exceptional dessert wine and versatile enough to also have as an aperitif. Moscato d'Asti is sweet, low in alcohol, and very aromatic. It is a nice accompaniment to a cheese course as well as chocolate desserts, cannoli, and gelato. Don't confuse this wine with Asti Spumante which has a more pronounced texture and flavor.
Vin Santo also goes very well with the pumpkin spice flavors and its acidity balances the richness and creamy texture of the pie. Vin Santo has a nutty character and is not overly sweet, so the flavor doesn't compete with the pie.
The Correct Temperature to Serve Wine
Serve sparkling wines well chilled , about 42 - 45 degrees F (6 -7 degrees C) as an aperitif, with the first course or throughout the meal. Chill white wine to 45 -50 degrees F (7 -10 degrees C) and serve red and dessert wines at a cool room temperature.
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Turkey, side dishes, pasta and more
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