Planning Ahead: What Kind of Wine to Bring on Turkey Day?

Check your calendar. The countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun.

And while some of us will be wondering just exactly what we’re “celebrating” that day, the truth is we have a lot to be thankful for every day. It’s all a matter of perspective and attitude.

In years like this, sometimes it makes us feel better to really go all out on days such as Thanksgiving. We have family friends who are going to do just that. We’re invited, and all we’ve been asked to do is bring a bottle of wine.

Which brings up the question: If you’re asked to bring a bottle to a Turkey Day celebration — or if you simply want to bring one on your own — what kind should you bring?

Well, if you’re looking to make an impression, the two best choices are Cabernet Sauvignon from a well-known wine region (Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Bordeaux), or a bottle of bubbly (whether it’s from Champagne, Italy, Spain or elsewhere).

It’s quite possible that if it’s a really special wine, your host may sneak it onto their wine rack rather than opening it. So make sure it’s a bottle with which you don’t mind parting.

The only “problem” with Cabernet Sauvignon is that it’s not a great pairing partner for turkey or ham; it goes much better with beef. That means if you bring a Cab, it likely will end up being a gift.

On the other hand, bubbly works very well with both turkey and ham. It need not be restricted to pre-meal toasting or for use as an aperitif.

As for wine without bubbles, the two “go-to” choices for Thanksgiving — because they pair so well with such a wide array of dishes — are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

That’s why when we’re asked to bring a bottle to a meal, we typically bring one bottle of each. That not only makes the food-and-wine pairing possibilities nearly limitless, but also puts us one notch up on the “favorite friends” list.

This is where my wife would interject, “It’s not a competition.”

I love her, and she is entitled to her opinion.

But were still bringing two bottles…

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Posted in Editor's Journal, Wine Buzz
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