Our Thanksgiving Menu and The Best Wines to Pair with Your Meal

I'm so excited about our Thanksgiving Meal this year.  We are keeping it very simple since we are a small group.  I'm trying a few new recipes, but staying with some of our family favorites. (As I look at this menu, I only have two recipes shared here.  I will definitely try to remedy this soon.  You can find the Roasted Rosemary Cashews and the Sparkling Apple Cider Pomegranate Cocktail in my recipe index.)

I'm also pairing a few different wines with our meal.  I'm definitely not an expert at this, but I absolutely love researching and pairing the flavors of our meal with a few delicious wines.

So here are the big questions that I ask myself when making wine and meal pairings... 

Which wines do I go with due to the variety of tastes, textures, flavors, and aromas that uniquely present themselves on Thanksgiving Day? 

Should I choose one wine to carry me from appetizers through desserts?

Or should I opt for several different wines to accent the different components of the meal and cater to a variety of palate preferences? 

The choice is entirely up to you. But if you are unsure, here are some tried-and-true pairings to get your Thanksgiving wine themes started.

First, try a sparkling wine.  This is such an easy choice and a sparkling wine brings both elegance and  a phenomenal food-pairing versatility to your Thanksgiving. A typical sparkling wine carries a decent dose of acidity, which helps the pairing potential.  It also adds quite a festive flair to the table.  A good choice with a relatively inexpensive price point is Mumm Napa Brut Prestige.  It's made up of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris which gives it a nice acidity and crispness.  Think sparkling with salty or when the food is rich and creamy.

If you are not into sparkling wines a few other safe choices for Thanksgiving wines are
Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel for red wine lovers and Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer for those who prefer white wines.

With white wines, the pairing priority is to find a wine with well-balanced acidity.  I recommend the Archery Summit 2016 Pinot Gris.  The reason that I chose this wine is because it is aged in stainless steel which will make it light and crisp.  Pefect for our fruit and mixed green salads.   A Pinot Gris is capable of handling garlic and onions, herbs and rich, flavorful, high-fat dishes.

If you prefer adifferent white wine, consider a dry Riesling like Chateau St. Michelle 2016 Dry Riesling.  For a grown up version of Moscato, try a Gewurztraminer with medium acidity like Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France.  I usually always prefer Gewüztraminer from Alsace which are less sweet than those from Oregon and Washington.

With red wine the goal is to find a wine with fairly tame tannins that help support the flavors of different foods.  I chose Beaux Frères 2016 Pinot Noir Harmonie.  It's a unique blend of several different Pinot Noir grapes and is light, smooth, and very balanced tannins.  It's a perfect Pinot Noir choice.

 If you are looking for a Syrah try the Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Syrah and I absolutely love the 2015 Bear Flag Zinfandel.  The main thing to remeber when choosing a red wine for Thanksgiving is to not overpower the food.  You probably would not choose a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Stay with wines that offer generous fruit and balanced acidity.

What are you pairing with your Thanksgiving meal?




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