’Tis the Season for Big Meals and Great Wine

thanksgiving_1Historians have made solid cases that the “first Thanksgiving” meal involving the Pilgrims and Native Americans never happened.

They say the story was concocted and included in history books to “create a sense of common heritage” for the children of immigrants who were coming to America from all over the world.

It seems that the tradition of having turkey on the Thanksgiving table is much less “entrenched” than we’ve been led to believe. Still, America raises a lot of turkeys, with most of the production centered in the South, where there is a rich tradition of tobacco farming.

The No. 1 enemy of the tobacco plant is the hornworm, and turkeys love to munch on hornworms as much as we humans love to munch on, well, turkeys. According to farmers, 50 turkeys can protect 100,000 tobacco plants.

Once his hornworm duties are completed, however, a turkey faces an unpleasant fate: the roasting pan. And it’s not just Thanksgiving when a turkey needs to be watching his back. Between 1970 and 2004, the average American’s annual consumption of turkey jumped from 8.1 to 17.4 pounds. (In a bit of “good news” for turkeys, annual consumption had slipped slightly to 16 pounds by 2012.)

Whether that “first Thanksgiving” really happened or not, the next Thanksgiving can be extremely enjoyable when you add wine to the mix. But which wine?

One theory says that folks should simply drink what they like. After all, there are lots of flavors involved in a Thanksgiving meal, with no single flavor standing out as an obvious choice for pairing with wine.

Honestly, that’s not a bad way of approaching food-and-wine pairing — not just on Thanksgiving, but with any meal throughout the year. If an “expert” tells you that “X” wine pairs beautifully with “Y” food… but you don’t like it… what good is it?

That said, there are certain wines that most people tend to enjoy with turkey and all the trimmings, and we’ll share those in our next blog — along with a 10-point “to-do” list to help relieve the stress of hosting the Big Feast.

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