The best wines to pair on Thanksgiving Day
As every fourth Thursday of November, the population of the United States lives one of the most special days of the year. Family and friends gather to experience Thanksgiving Day. It is a date that marks the beginning of the Christmas holidays. In fact, and it is compared to Spain, this day is the closest thing to Christmas Eve. The reason for this holiday is to be grateful for everything we have while dining on the traditional baked turkey.
In an event as traditional as Thanksgiving, you cannot miss a good wine for the corresponding toast and to accompany with a good meal or just to share with family and friends.
Of all the advice you will get this year about the wines you will bring to your Thanksgiving meal, none is more pertinent or relevant than these two basic rules: 1. keep it all simple and 2. make the people who will enjoy it (including yourself) happy.
Tips for pairing wine with Thanksgiving food
According to food pairing experts, you can't start a meal better than with Champagne and it's reasonably easy to understand why. The starters sets the tone for the rest of the evening's energy, and nothing generates a celebratory vibe better than Champagne.
Usually for Thanksgiving Day, it is very traditional and common that, within the menu of the day, especially if you decide on a buffet type event you will find the following foods:
- Deviled Eggs
- Stuffed mushrooms with olives
- Smoked salmon
- Salted nuts
For these cases, we recommend the incredible versatility of Champagne that can be attributed to the blending of different vintages for a well-balanced flavor and acidity capable of cutting through rich, savory flavors that blend harmoniously with all kinds of types of appetizers.
Pairing with soups
When it's time to sit down, a sublime autumn soup, such as roasted pumpkin soup and beef short rib soup, creates a cozier atmosphere around the table. Pumpkins reign supreme during the traditional Thanksgiving feast and a dry German Riesling is well suited to showcase delicate flavors.
Most wine experts describe German Rieslings as usually lighter and lower in alcohol, with more floral citrus notes. When served with the delicious traditional soup of the day, the lightness of these Rieslings keeps the dish balanced while the floral aspects shine through with the citrus as a backdrop.
Other options for Thanksgiving meal accompaniments.
While heated debates abound over the proper preparation of traditional Thanksgiving classics, the sides have one thing in common: rich creaminess. Thanksgiving sides steal the show for many, and menus across the country offer variations of these top-notch culinary comforts:
- Green bean casserole
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
- Corn pudding
- Sweet potato casserole
- Asparagus with hollandaise sauce
Thanksgiving Day Central Menu
Flavors and alcoholic beverages as the main course are great, meals like stuffed turkey and a spoonful of cranberry sauce, are brought to the center stage. Choose a worthy wine pairing for the Thanksgiving main course that complements the flavors while paying homage to the importance of the evening.
A Beaujolais Villages is the one that best suits your needs. This French red beauty is light and fruity, making it the perfect pairing for a lighter meat, such as turkey, as well as the savory accent of sausage sprinkled throughout the stuffing. Notes of red berries complement the roasted meat while maintaining a perfect balance with the salinity and woody herbs.
And it is time for dessert!
Traditional Thanksgiving desserts include side bars adorned with flaky pies that burn with deep, caramelized flavors, crisp apples and candied pecans. Check out this comprehensive list of the best pumpkin pie pairings for an inspired final course.
First, it's worth positing a simple rule of thumb that you'll need to be clear about as you set out to choose the best wine and dessert pairing. There are three key factors to take into account:
Acidity: The more acidic and refreshing the wines are, the better it will pair with fresher desserts.
Intensity: The more intense the flavors of the dessert, the more power and body our wine will need.
Sweetness: A correlation between the sweetness of the dish and the sweetness of the wine is necessary. Logically, sweeter desserts will require wines denser in sugars. As a general rule, the wine should be at least as sweet as the dish to achieve a good harmony.
Recommended pairings according to the characteristics of the dessert
Fruit and wine pairing: Fruit represents the paradigm of a fresh dessert with a restrained sweetness. For the pairing of this type of dessert, we recommend dry wines, with high acidity and freshness in abundance. We cannot imagine a better ally than a good Cava Brut del Penedés, such as Agustí Torelló Mata Reserva Brut 2011. Give it a try.
Pairing with creamy desserts: Crèmes brûlée, fruit tarts, cheesecakes. This type of desserts will appreciate light wines, with a present sweetness, but not excessive, fatty, with good freshness, and amplitude. We imagine pairing this type of dishes with late harvest white wines, such as Chivite Colección 125 Vendimia Tardía 2010, or Dessert Cavas, such as Llopart Néctar Terrenal. Fantastic!
Pairing of spicy desserts: Apple pies, fritters, gingerbread cookies, etc. This type of desserts requires sweet wines somewhat more intense than in the previous cases. For the pairing of this type of dishes, we would opt for sherry creams, with good sweetness and full of nuances, such as Maestro Sierra Cream Dulce, an elegant and very seductive wine. It will surprise you!
Pairing chocolate desserts: Chocolate has so much personality that it is often difficult to pair. It requires accompaniments with a lot of personality, such as fortified wines with a lot of solera, or very special sweet red wines. And this is precisely our proposal: Pansal del Calàs 2010, a formidable natural sweet wine made from Garnacha and Carignan, with moderate sweetness, expressive, different and brimming with personality.
We hope these recommendations will be of help when organizing and preparing for a pleasant Thanksgiving Day and you can meet the expectations of your guests for such a special day as Thanksgiving.
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- Fabianni Posteraro