Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Guide
Wines to drink with turkey and other Thanksgiving foods
For as long as I can recall, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. Not only for its homage to the value I find most important in life, gratitude. But also, for its simplistic authenticity. There are no presents to purchase, wrap, and hope meet expectations. There are no flashy lights or endless loops of overplayed holiday soundtracks. Thanksgiving is quiet and unassuming, cozy and warm. Its family and friends, food and laughter. Furthermore, it’s predictable menu grants us the creative liberty to find something new in our wine selection for the occasion. Below is a great Thanksgiving wine pairing guide to honor all Thanksgivings foods.
Food: Biscuits and Jam
Wine Pairing: Bubbles but not the Champagne kind, Cava
In my house, Thanksgiving begins sharply at 4am when the turkey goes into the smoker. Then after steaming cups of coffee and tea, the real celebration commences. Macy’s parade in the background, a flurry of preparation begins. One of my favorite Thanksgiving breakfasts consists of homemade biscuits (try this receipt if you are pressed for time) with berry compote and fresh mascarpone. Combine 2-3 cups of your favorite berry with a teaspoon per cup of honey or brown sugar.
I prefer a combination of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Select your favorite flakey biscuit recipe or pre-made variety and bake to the directions. Layer hot biscuits with fresh mascarpone and berry compote.
To enjoy these homemade biscuits we recommend you serve them with a glass of Casteller Cava Rose for a refreshing start to the day. Imported by Ole & Obrigado, Casteller Rosado is made from Trepat, a grape indigenous to Penedès. The bright acidity and soft tannins make it ideal for Rosado production, giving Casteller Rose gentle, well integrated structure and mouth watering red fruit flavors on the palate.
The effervescence of the bubbles mixed with a hint of sour adds the perfect partnership with the sweetness of the berry compote. Not interested in a breakfast that upstages the main meal, this pairing also makes a delightful dessert. Drizzle the biscuits with honey or add a layer of Nutella for a bit of extra sweetness.
Thanksgiving Side Dish Wine Pairings:
Wine: Pinot Noir
Food for the body is not enough, there must be food for the soul. Growing up in Florida with strong southern and Cajun family roots, the casserole was king. Sweet potato, squash, and green bean casseroles lined our table, each filled with equal parts love and butter.
After decades of ingredient, herb and spice modifications, only the decadence of these items remained consistent. Casseroles provide a much needed make ahead convenience and the leftovers reheat to perfection. Find great casserole recipes in any southern cookbook. No southern cooking experience required, just heart.
Whether or not casseroles are a part of your family dining, dishes of richness pair perfectly with the 2013 Allamand Pinot Noir. The layers of ripe wild berries and cherries coupled with the medium-bodied flavor offers a great balance with rich foods. Soft tannins and balanced acidity with a fruity and spicy finish bring out the depth of flavors rich food and pairs beautifully. To keep with the wholesomeness of Thanksgiving it helps that this red wine is grown with no herbicides or pesticides.
Wine with Turkey
Furthermore, turkey is almost always had in conjunction with the plethora of thanksgiving side dishes. We recommend you stick to a great Pinot Noir like the one suggested above. However, if you want to showcase something different and nicely break up the Thanksgiving meal you can kindly offer your guests a transition wine to pair with their turkey.
Turkey’s white meat and brown meat combination call for something unique, not too strong but grants the turkey room to shine yet something that compliments it often dry nature. The 100% Grenache grape in the Ludovicus Terra Alta from Spain does just that. This wine with turkey food pairing is delicious. You will not only be sharing this wine with your family but you are bringing a family owned winery right into your home for this special holiday occasion.
Thanksgiving Leftover Wine Pairings
Food: Roasted Corn Dip
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
With the turkey, stuffing and casseroles depleted, the dishes washed, and obligatory naps and walks taken, it is time for football, a movie, or games. Despite the resounding claim there is no room for additional food, my roasted corn dip never goes unfinished. A modification from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, I substitute the regular mayo with a vegan avocado spread and the jalapeño’s for hatch green chilies to give it a more Colorado/New Mexico flair. And so, we recommend you pair this Thanksgiving sidedish with a red wine from Argentina, Luminis Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet Sauv.
The spice of the chilies, sweetness of the early bells and smokiness of the corn are complemented by the array of berries, red fruits, spice, smokiness and earth on both the nose and palate. A delicious, yet lesser known grape varietal, from Argentina’s wine country, the Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastically beautiful, medium-bodied, fruit-forward wine with gentle tannins, and deep crimson colors. Sit back, sip and cheer to your heart's content.
On the off chance there is leftover corn dip, it makes a great second day topper for roasted chicken breast or mix with rice and black beans for a vegetarian southwest bowl.
Thanksgiving Meals Always Pair with Wine and Gratitude
Wine: Glühwein Recipe
Showing gratitude is one of the most simple yet powerful things humans can do for one another.
When the sun has set over the fall horizon and the day of gratitude comes to a close, consider a warm Glühwein to end the night. Combine orange slices, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise with a bottle of red wine and slowly warm on low until heated through. As a dry red with blackberry and cassis aromas, EL Capricho Aguara Special Reserve Tannat comes with a lot of oak, which means vanilla, maple and mocha aromas. With a spicy finish of prominent oak, the spices and low heat will enhance the flavors and provide a soothing and quiet end to a joyous day of food and fun.
However it is you and yours celebrates Thanksgiving day, be sure it is done in gratitude. Raise a glass and cheer, for even in 2020, there is much to be thankful for.
For more information on these bottles or others in the Humanity Wine Co. subscription and store go to www.humanitywineco.com.