Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle gives his recommendations on wine pairings for Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving. How do you find a wine that's gonna pair with every single thing on the table and make every single member of your family happy, even your weird uncle, Bob, who loathes everything? We have the answer for you. Thanksgiving always starts with hors d'oeuvres. With people standing around, you haven't seen each other for a while, you want something to snack at the start fo a meal and you got to have something to drink with it because Thanksgiving with water just isn't Thanksgiving. So crackers, chips, [UNKNOWN], sausage, you name it, sparkling wine is the answer. This will go with anything that you put out for people to snack on before you sit down to the main course. Speaking of which, so what wine do you pair with thanksgiving dinner? A lot of people worry about this. A lot of friends are coming over, a lot of family, you wanna pick a wine that's great. The truth is, you're not pairing wine with turkey, you're not pairing wine with green beans. You're pairing a wine With turkey, and mashed potatoes, and gravy, and carrots, and cranberry sauce, and stuffing, and biscuits. And so what you really want is a wine that goes with everything. I'm gonna suggest that for a white wine you pick Chardonnay from a cool climate. Crisp, fairly Sonoma County in this case, Hanzell Sebella is one instance. This is a beautiful chardonnay. You've got the zing and citrus acidity that would go well and cut through the richness of gravy, for instance. But at the same time, you've got that kind of light lemony note that would go great with cranberry sauce. Second. You need a red. For me the all purpose, all time, pairs with everything red wine is Pinot Noir. This Imagery Pinot Noir from [UNKNOWN] is classic. It'll go great with turkey. Turkey's not very heavy. You're not looking for a wine to go with short ribs or a big steak so you want a medium muddied red. Pinot Noir fits that. It'll cut through gravy, and stuffing, and butter, and all that. Thanksgiving's a big meal with a lot of people at it, you don't wanna indulge your freak flag moment in terms of wine. You don't wanna pick the natural wine that's cloudy and smells like it came out of someone's shoe, that you happen to love. You wanna pick and all purpose crowd pleaser wine. And Chardonnay, Pinot both fall into that category. They make everybody happy. The other thing is always have a red and a white Some people are gonna drink white straight through the meal. Some people are gonna drink red straight through the meal. It's not the time to tell them what to do. It's the time to indulge everybody's kinda of own thing. One more tip for Thanksgiving dinner and wine. About a bottle per person is a good amount of wine. You don't want to have too little. Definitely. And the truth is if you buy too much the holidays are here. You can stick the extra bottles on a shelf in the basement. You can do whatever with them. You're gonna use them before the end of the year. Then there's the third thing you have to remember about wine and Thanksgiving which is don't forget dessert. Dessert is vital. You got to think about dessert. Does everyone want a dessert wine with their dessert? Probably not. Some people are going to be full, but it's a really nice thing to have on hand Thanksgiving dessert is pumpkin pie. It's pecan pie. Maybe it's chocolate cream pie, mince meat pie, you know? You name it. Everything is on the table. So get a wine, like a ten-year-old Tawny Port that goes with a whole range of things. Tawny Ports have a little bit of caramelized, almost like toffee flavor. They'll go fantastically well with pumpkin pie, terrific with pecan pie, and really with any kind of dessert you have. so, It's a really good cheers and happy things giving