The Smorgasbord Approach to Wine

    I once read that the typical American consumes (inhales?) as many calories in two days -specifically, Thanksgiving Day and Super Bowl Sunday – as he or she would in a typical week.

     That’s amazing. And it’s not likely to change anytime soon, as those are two of the most important dates on the calendar for getting together with family and friends. We can make excuses the rest of the year, but come Turkey Day, in particular, the only place to be is “home.” And home is where we tend to stay at the table longer.

     Every year about this time, we start getting questions from club members about which type of wine one should serve with the Thanksgiving feast. It’s one of those queries that is almost impossible to answer.

     Think about the food that’s found on the “typical” table that day: salty (and possibly sweet as well) ham… rather bland turkey… earthy Brussels sprouts… sweet yams… tart cranberries. Is there a single wine that matches nicely with every one of those dishes? In a word: no.

     In the past, we’ve recommended trying a range of wines to fit the occasion. For instance, if one wanted to uncork one white wine and one red wine, we’d typically suggest Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir. Another fairly safe choice to add to the mix would be a nice dry Rose.

     But the truth is that any number of wine varieties would be right at home as part of the big feast. These include the “usual suspects” such as Chardonnay and Merlot, as well as more “exotic” varieties like Riesling from Germany or Torrontes from Argentina.

     The approach we now take at the Johnson home? Each guest gets to select a bottle – any bottle – from the stash, and we simply pass ’em around. If it’s a smorgasbord of food, why not make it a smorgasbord of wine as well?

     Remember, you’ll have a couple months to recover before Super Bowl Sunday.



Posted in Editor's Journal
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