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Choosing Perfect Wines for Thanksgiving

When I did a search on the internet for pairing wine with Thanksgiving Dinner, I found virtually every wine from virtually every region suggested by the so-called "gurus" and "experts". In fact, one guy suggested a wine with every dish -- a wine for the stuffing, one for the turkey, one for the cranberry sauce, etc. etc.

The problem with all this “perfect wine” talk is that each cook prepares their Turkey using different spices, herbs, sauces, wines, and other "secret" ingredients. Also, Americans tend to serve their Thanksgiving Dinner with a host of dishes that have a wide range of textures and flavors.

My only specific suggestion would be to begin the afternoon festivities with a Champagne or sparkling wine. These wines always seem to set a happy and celebratory mood as well as giving us a zesty and refreshing beverage that compliments many appetizers.

Since turkey is a rather neutral dish one can go for either a white wine, like a unoaked chardonnay, or you can switch to a light red wine like a lovely Beaujolais or Pinot Noir. You might even open a few bottles of the Beaujolais Nouveau that will arrive on Nov. 17 in time for Thanksgiving.

Quick Tips:

Help connect dishes to the specific wine by tasting a small amount of the wine as you are finishing a sauce or side dish so the recipe can be "tweaked” to maximum effect. If the wine seems too tannic or bitter for the dish, a sprinkling of citrus zest or nuts can be added.

When using wine in a sauce or marinade use a decent-quality wine and if possible use the same varietal as will be matched with the dish. The wine for cooking need not be the same exact wine, if you wish to drink a "better" or different wine with the dinner.

"Try These from Our Wine List for Thanksgiving”

"Matching Wine & Complementary Ingredients for Thanksgiving"

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