The 12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day #5

We know how challenging it can be to find the “perfect” wine for the Thanksgiving feast.

With so many eclectic flavors on the table, it can be like trying to select just one wine to accompany a meal at a smorgasbord.

There are numerous worthy strategies, ranging from simply pouring your favorite wine (regardless of color or sweetness level) to opening up a number of different bottles and letting the diners figure it out for themselves.

If you’re leaning toward the latter approach, try to make sure that one of the wines pairs well with whatever you’ve selected as the main course – be it turkey, ham, roast beef or a pork crown roast.

Turkey is the most “wine-friendly” of those options, as it pairs nicely with either white or red Burgundy – i.e., Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Another solid white choice would be an off-dry Riesling, while another red option would be a fruit-forward Zinfandel.

Ham is more challenging, and not solely because it’s quite salty; at holiday time, it may also come with a honey glaze. Whether just salty or salty and sweet, a glass of Beaujolais – including the Nouveau version that becomes available just before Thanksgiving – works well. Another option is Viognier, which typically provides a nice counterpoint to the smokiness of the ham.

If you’re slicing roast beef for guests, Cabernet Sauvignon would be an obvious choice, but you may want to opt for Merlot since it would pair better with a wider array of side dishes. Pinot Noir also is a tasty option.

A pork crown roast adds a “wow” factor to the table, and also demands a little more attention when selecting a wine partner. As with turkey, white and red options are available – Gewurztraminer, and either varietal bottlings or almost any blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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