When it comes to wine pairing for that special Thanksgiving meal, everyone goes searching for the perfect wine to pair with turkey. It got to be a white, right? Is it Chardonnay, Viognier, or maybe Sauvignon Blanc? In reality, that beautiful turkey sitting at the middle of the table of your holiday feast is a bit of, well, a red herring! Let me explain myself a bit.
If you look around that holiday table, I think you will find some dishes that will change your mind about the kind of wine(s) you might want to have on-hand. For instance, how about that stuffing all herbed up with sage, rosemary or thyme and possibly even with some sausage mixed in? Probably not a great match for the white wine you picked to go with the turkey. Cranberries as well, can offer some challenge since they are tart and have a flavor intensity that requires some thought when it comes to pairing with a wine. Those glazed carrots would take us in a totally different direction.
I don’t mean to make things even more complex, but let’s add another variable to the mix; your guests’ taste in wine. Remember, your Aunt Sue only drinks white wines and Uncle Mike only drinks reds. It’s just as important to consider matching the wines you serve to your guests’ taste is as it is to match them with the food you are serving.
So, at this point, you’re probably mumbling to yourself about life being too complex, and thinking about switching to beer for your holiday meal, but hang in there, I am about to make life real easy for you.
Because of the broad selection of dishes on the table, Thanksgiving presents the perfect opportunity to present a selection of wines that key in on a range of dishes and then allow your guests choose for themselves. Also, because this dinner is typically served family style, in other words not served in separate courses, there is less of need for specific pairings. Of course, you want the wines you serve to generally match the selections you have chosen for your meal, and to be of a quality level that reflects the care you put into a great meal, but now you can relax let your guest choose the wines of their liking based on their taste and what they put on their plates.
OK, I have made my point about how to pair wines with this special meal, but you are probably still wondering about specific wines. Well, I just might have a few JUSTIN wines that would be great a variety of dishes that might be on your table on Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving Trio is comprised three of our best food pairing wines; JUSTIN 2011 Chardonnay, 2010 JUSTIFICATION and the very limited 2010 Reserve Malbec, or now that we have cleared up the Thanksgiving pairing question, you can choose your own favorites from our portfolio of great wines like ISOSCELES or Reserve Cabernet for your meal.
The quality of these wines speaks to the care you took in preparing your holiday meal and the variety of styles will please even the most particular wine connoisseur in your group.
Jim Gerakaris, CSW