So one of our readers “Troy”, wrote a comment on my Torrontes article, asking if there was a chance I could write a little pairing article about Thanksgiving dinner. Since that time has arrived (for Canada), I’ve done just that.
Turkey’s a funny little meat to pair with. Even those of us (*ahem* me), that cook perfect juicy turkey’s still end up with the slightly dry consistency that IS Turkey. So the key here is to pair something with low acidity. Tannins are the sensation that your mouth has when drinking what we consider a very “dry” wine; the higher the tannins, the more your mouth feels like it’s been sucking on a teabag. Considering the level of dryness in a turkey as is, you want to pair something with relatively LOW acidity, something that wets your mouth.
Depending on your level of sweetness you can do a couple of different things. If you don’t mind something with a little honey to it, a Gewurztraminer is delicious with Turkey. As you most likely have some sweet cranberry sauce, pairing with a wine with a touch of sweetness will be no detriment to your dining experience. The Sage winery of BC actually puts out a kick ass Gewurztraminer that is infused with Sage, as in the spice. It’s totally different and not for everyone, and at a price point of the upper 20′s only available at specialty wine stores it might be taking a risk but those that love it, LOVE IT.. For something a little more classic, the German Valckenberg, Alsacian Pfaffenheim, and a variety of BC (Cedar Creek, Gray Monk, See Ya Later) can all be used. For a dryer white experience go with a Chardonnay, and don’t tell me your not a Chardonnay drinker. Most people who don’t like Chardonnay don’t like OAKED Chardonnay. For those that do like big buttery oaked Chard’s, BC’s Thornhaven and Noble Ridge (specialty stores), will do the trick. The more expensive and unoaked Joie from BC is drool worthy melony grapefruit deliciousness. And for those on a budget, Jacob’s Creek from Australia or Cono Sur products from Chile will do the trick. If you don’t know if it’s oaked or unoaked, read the back.
Red’s tricky but not impossible, and there of those of us that just refuse to drink white through some sort of bias (it’s the holiday’s and that’s possibly your Mother In Law so don’t argue). Go with something light. Turkey is white meat and it and everything else being served with it will get lost on something bold and ballsy. Pinot Noir is the key. Maurel Vedeau’s budget worthy and easy to find Pinot from France is juicy enough, as is the specialty store worthy Thornhaven Pinot (the new vintage is just beautiful). Gamay is also delicious and most people don’t know that Beaujolais from France is made from Gamay Noir grape which is similar to Pinot Noir but with more spice to it. Do yourself a favour and pick up the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. These bright strawberries and spice are a crowd pleaser. If someone doesn’t like lighter bodied reds, tell ‘em to bring their own wine!
Lastly…*ahem*….ROSE ROSE ROSE!!!! Rose is the PERFECT wet juicy pairing with turkey. Nothing beats it. BC’s rose’s are just so amazing that I’m gonna BC the hell outta you right now. Dirty’s Laundry’s Hush Rose makes me want to evacuate when i think about how delicious it would be with turkey, as would be Dunham & Froese’s heavier baked apricot bomb Rose, or the infamous Joie. Make sure the Rose isn’t too dry again (French one’s tend to be, new world ones tend to be more off-dry which is what you want). For those on a budget and closer to the liquor store, BC’s earthier and rhubarb laden Quail’s Gate Rose will do the trick. Just to get outta the country, a delicious Bird In Hand’s Sparkling Pinot Noir from Australia is not only beautiful to look at with it’s slightly violet, light pink hue, but foamy and smooth and delicious with everything on your plate this holiday weekend.
That’s a wrap kids. Always come see me if you need help and happy hunting everyone! I know I’m very thankful this weekend….to have wine.