Not everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving or roast beef on Christmas, but the theme of winter seasonal vegetables and roasted foods are common. So what are the best wines for the holidays? Over the next month, we will be posting several blog entries that will focus on the food pairing methodology that leads to the best pairings. You’ll be able to choose your holiday wine like a pro!
Today, we'll talk about Thanksgiving wine. There are basically 4 fundamental components that go into a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
- Protein usually Turkey
- Dry spices including cinnamon and clove
- Roasted dishes anything that’s prepared in the oven
- Winter Fruits & Vegetables including potato, onion, cranberry, squash and brussel sprouts
When you add all four elements together, you start to realize each food eliminates several wines. For instance, a white wine
won’t pair with roasted foods as well as say, a Rosé wine
or a Red wine
. Additionally, turkey pretty much eliminates a full-bodied red wine because of its more subtle flavor. If you want a wine that pairs well with exotic spices or baking spices, it’s great to seek out wines with similar tasting nuances. For example, many Barbera
wines have nuances of nutmeg, vanilla and anise.
Keep your eyes peeled for the following wines, perfect with a classic Thanksgiving dinner:
- Barbera Will do very well with meals that include meats other than turkey such as roast beef, venison and roasted pork.
- Gamay Will pair perfectly with turkey, chicken or other lighter proteins. An ideal wine with cream and cheese-based dishes. Look for Cru Beaujolais
- Zinfandel or Primitivo Will pair perfectly with turkey and spiced cranberry sauce or other dishes with dry spices.
- Lambrusco Will pair awesome with turkey. Slightly sweet Lambrusco will hold up to sweet side dishes such as yams or the saccharine American classic: sweet potato marshmallow casserole
- Pinot Noir Will pair perfectly with turkey, chicken or other lighter proteins. An ideal wine with cream and cheese-based dishes.
- Châteauneuf du Pape Will pair nicely with turkey and ham. Will work wonderfully with roasted root vegetables.