Posted: Nov 23, 2017
Choosing Thanksgiving wine is a minefield of trying to pair with many flavours of the dinner table and attempting to please all the family. Ray Isle gives us his top tips for finding the perfect bottles.
Writing about Thanksgiving wine pairings is, for wine writers, almost as much as yearly ritual as Thanksgiving itself.
And like Thanksgiving, there are traditions involved. For example:
Most Thanksgiving dinners involve a mass of different foods heaped together on a plate: roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and the list goes on. One bite may be turkey (white meat? dark? with gravy? without?); the next a brussel sprout (roasted? steamed? buttered?); then yams with marshmallows on top (in our house, at least; see above tradition)
Worrying about pairing a specific wine with all that seems a bit far-fetched.
Instead, I’d suggest that Thanksgiving wine choices are really more about pairing wines with people. To put it another way, a holiday dinner isn’t the time to try to convince your father-in-law that an orange-hued, skin-fermented Ribolla Gialla is a better idea with the roast bird than the affordable red Bordeaux, which he’s had at every Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Better to give him a wine that will make him happy, and keep the family peace. What kind of Thanksgiving guest are you? To that end, I’d suggest slotting your Thanksgiving guests into one of three categories:*
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