Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving + Wine = A good time.

So, what's the plan for thanksgiving? Gonna gobble down some of the usual suspects? You know Turkey, maybe a little ham and stuffing? This year please don't allow for your food to go down to the depths of your stomach, lonely, let's fix it up with something. For this post I plan on listing some of the usual dishes that 90 percent of the american people eat on Thanksgiving and pairing it with wine. With each dish, some will be conservative in approach and some will be for a more adventuress sort, you let me know what works for you. Without further ado,
let's start.

Black eyed Peas (or any earthy type vegetable): I'm pretty sure, although palates are different, that most red wines would not suffice when pairing with black-eyed peas. So what I propose is an Albarino from Spain (Salneval 2008, 9.99 at World Markets). It is an earthy but fruity white wine that has the flexibility to hang strong with the earthiness of black eyed peas.

Turkey: 1st pick: Zinfandel (Peachy Canyon 2007, 8.99 at trader joes)- because if you happen to be at a persons house that tends to dry out the meat a bit, the over-ripeness of the fruit in this wine may save the meal. Zinfandel tends to house lush red fruits within every glass sipped upon.

2nd pick Shiraz (Shoofly 2008, 7.99 at world markets)- because like zinfandel, this wine has a lot of red fruit within it's bottles. To be more specific, the reason I said Shiraz and not Syrah is because although Syrah is the actual grape varietal based out of France, Australia has decided to call the Syrah grape Shiraz. And the truth is, I think if you want to enjoy the Syrah grape, at least on Thanksgiving, Australia is the place you want to enjoy it from. Australian Shiraz tends to have heavy fruit throughout the palate, which might do well for those of you who need a wine to pair up nice with a juicy turkey. FYI, stay away from any over 14.0 alcohol, I'm just saying, It could over power the food.

Ham: The truth is, I would be surprised if you could find a white wine that would pair well with Ham, I know there are some out there, but far and few in between. I think a light but fruity Pinot Noir (Trinity Oaks 2009, 9.99 at Bevmo)would work.

Fried Chicken: So there are two ways you could go about this, you could get some oak induced Chardonnay (Markham 2009, 13.99 at Trader Joes), which would be a safe pairing. Or you could go for a more fruity and acidic alternative, Vouvray (Chenin Blanc, La Cheteau 2009, 5.99 at Trader Joes) from the Loire Valley in France.

Shrimp or light fish (especially with a little spiciness): Your best bet is Prosecco (Zonin 6.99 at trader joes) from Italy, It's reasonably priced and has the bubbles to balance out the flavor of fresh seafood.

Dessert (fruit forward vs. Rich and sweet): If your desserts are focused on fruity dishes my best recommendation is a Muscato D'asti out of Italy (Vino Dei Fratelli 2009, 11.99 at Bevmo), it should have enough bubbles to clear your palate before each bite, and also offers fresh fruit to fall in line with the dish you will be scarfing down.
To pair well with a dessert, that is considered more of a sweeter and richer dish, the standard recommendation is a Port (Graham Six Grapes Port 19.99 at World Markets). Which is well and good, but if you have the chance to get your hands on a Ice wine (Jackson - Triggs Vidal, 19.99 at World Markets) or Late Harvest Riesling(Hogue Late harvest Riesling 2009, 8.99 at Bevmo), you may end up being the life of the party.

Other than that, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything, I am sorry, sometimes life just happens and other things sneak into the picture that you didn't expect. Please leave a message if anything I wrote, helped you out. Till then, Peace and Wine for all.