Thanksgiving wines--what to serve with turkey?
Not sure if this topic has been broached yet, but it's only two weeks away now. What do you serve on with your Thanksgiving meal? Reisling,beajolais noveau, gerwurtreminer, pinot noir, or something else?
My personal favorite is a dry or off-dry Pinot Gris. Those from Alsace, Alto Adige, or Anderson Valley are best. I usually have a bottle or two of Beaujolais Nouveau to share with the family as well, as the high fruit and low alcohol, oak, and tannin prevent it from clashing with much of anything. Plus it's just a fun thing to drink at that time of year.
One thought that has been espoused, over the years, in alt.food.wine (news group), is that Thanksgiving is a tradition in the US, and the wine selection should mirror that origin. That said, I usually have a German Riesling (usually a Spätlese, or a Kabinett), an Alsacean Gewürztraminer, a CA (US) Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel. Also, a nice Brut Rosé sparkler (Iron Horse's Brute Rosé goes nicely) can accompany most of the first courses.
The preparation of the turkey is probably important as to the wine for the main. We've done traditonal, "Cajun" fried, a Zinfandel marinaded and an ancho chili rubbed turkey. With lighter seasonings, a PN (OR/WA/CA with more earth, less fruit) will work well. With more spice, a CA "fruit-forward" PN is nice. As the spice level rises, I move quickly to a fruit-forward Zin.
With pecan pie, I always have some Porto Barros 20yr Tawny on hand, as it has wonderful pecan notes. Cockburn's 20yr Tawny is another good one, but the Porto Barros is tops, in my book.
I usually have a few bottles of the BJ Nouveau, as it is "the season." This is often the "welcome" wine, but I've often had it around the table with the meal. It also goes nicely for lunch the next day, or two, with the leftovers.
Most of all, encourage the family and/or friends to have a wonderful time. Few wines will cover all bases. The possible exception might be the Brute Rosé, but many folk shy away from serving a sparker throughout the meal.
Last year I served a Navarro (Anderson Valley) Pinot Gris along with a young Pinot Noir (don't remember who the producer was-could've been Navarro, not 100% sure).
But the Pinot Gris was a big hit, and I plan to do the same this year. Luckily, I'm a member of Navarro's pre-release club and that was in last week's shipment so I'm good to go as far as the white is concerned. Not sure which red I will bring....perhaps a Bogle Petite Sirah, it's very fruity and would go well with not only the turkey but many of the sides too.