November and Thanksgiving signal our launch into the holiday season. So many festivities to plan and look forward to, and, as a host, pleasing your guests is at the top of the list. Deciding what wines to serve with your feast can be a nail-biting event. Here are some helpful tips to ease your planning and allow you to focus on family and fun.
Turkey as a stand-alone is a simple meat to pair with wine. It’s not spicy or exotic, and can follow the basics of white meat = white wine, dark meat = red wine. However, we all know turkey is only the conduit to the entire feast. It’s the sauces (aka, gravy), stuffing, and plethora of sweet and savory sides our culture has come to love that creates the challenge. Seriously, does anyone have a definitive answer on what to pair with sausage dressing next to sweet potatoes with marshmallows??
Whether you are preparing the feast or have been asked to supply the wine, remember these guidelines:
• Who are your guests? Think about them and what they usually enjoy. Pair to the people, more than the food. Thanksgiving is about tradition and familiarity, food and family. Have a white and a red wine available, allowing your guests to select based on which way their palate leans.
• Keep it simple, lighter and fruity to take on the battle between sweet and savory. Consider those with a bit more residual sugar (Rieslings, Rhone blends). Wines with high acidity and low tannins will couple nicely with turkey, ham or brisket accompanied by fruit sauces, glazes and herbs.
• Look for wines lower in alcohol content. Zinfandel has great fruitiness for Thanksgiving, but many of our American Zins have alcohol contents over 14 percent. Serve turkey tryptophan plus high alcohol and you may put all your guests to sleep – or created 2015’s family feud.
Here are some specific considerations in stock now for your 2015 holiday:
• Broken Earth Limited Release Albarino – not too sweet, not too dry, with notes of peach & apple
• Broken Earth Vineyard Select Riesling – off-dry pleaser is a perfect meal partner
• Diablo Rosado – 80/20 blend of Syrah/Viognier offers up red berries and light spice
• Broken Earth Vineyard Select Pinot Noir – per- fectly balanced for turkey or ham
• Broken Earth Grenache – intense red fruit and easy tannins
• Pull CdR – a Rhone blend of big fruit & earthiness, and just enough spice to satisfy big red lovers
Any of our wine consultants can help you zero in on exactly what’s right for you. Above all, have a glass of your favorite first, and be thankful for the blessings of the holiday.