The great thing about Thanksgiving is that it truly is an all American holiday. A celebration with the Pilgrims, the first immigrants and Native Americans who taught the Pilgrims how to survive the cold New World winters. According to historians their dinner was different than what we eat today, and they probably drank beer brewed with the abundant pumpkins that are harvested in the fall, but the idea of friends and families still carries on to this day.
Sure beer and apple cider are still served today at Thanksgiving, but so are a variety of wines that pair with the myriad of foods that take up most of the table. Choosing a wine theme is a fun way to pair wines. Since the Pilgrims were European along with many of the immigrants that came over through the generations, an Old World Wine theme is fun to do.
First the sparkling wines have to whet the appetite of things to come. Bisol Prosecco, perhaps the best Prosecco made needs to help start the meal. Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose, NV in a pretty pink battle will add some nice color to the feast.
Crisp Italian white wines work great with the great dishes, especially the root vegetables that need something jazzy to drink with them. Attems, Cicinis, Sauvignon Blanc, Colio, Italy, 2013 with its light touch of oak aging for some extra body will go nicely with the turkey’s breast. For all of the vegetables, tangy Villa Gemma, Bianco, IGT, Colline Teatine, Abruzzo, Italy, 2013.
For non-turkey eaters, ham is also a popular Thanksgiving menu item. While white wines can also go nicely with pork, red wines add their muscle and make you forget about the chill in the air outside. Viña Zaco, Rioja, Spain 2014 with softer tannins and up front fruit will go great with both ham and turkey. For the gravy add a little Tormaresca, Neprica, Puglia, Italy, 2011 when whisking the gravy for added flavor and of course put the rest of the bottle on the table. The north of Italy should also be represented so also put some Avignonesi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, DOCG, 2012. Since we have two Italian wines we should also add a second wine, this dinner table is getting fun. Bodegas Cepa 21, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2011brings its stronger tannins and lush fruit and with its addition Spain’s two biggest wine regions Rioja and Ribera del Duero are well represented.
France isn’t left off of this festive table. Domaine du Tariquet, Primier Grives, Bas-Armagnac, Gascony, France 2014 is a unique wine. Its sweetness will go with the season pies served at dessert.
Have fun this Thanksgiving, especially when pairing wines to go with the various foods of the day.