Thanksgiving is fast approaching. The pressure is on, family coming and you are in charge of picking the wine. Well, let us help you. First, here some general classic pairings. If you are featuring the traditional turkey and trimmings, a fruitier lighter red works very well. Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are perfect choices. But do not be afraid to go with something heavier like a Rhone, Syrah, Grenache or even a Zinfandel.
What about white you say?
Whites need to have appropriate acidity to cut through all the heavy fat from the dinner. The dinner is already heavy enough, you do not want a heavy, oaky Chardonnay to add to the weight. Some of the best choices are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer.
Here are some picks:
2008 Lancyre Roussanne (white)...$17.99
I used the previous vintage of this wine last year at my house, and loved it. This wine has no oak and great acidity that you do not find in Chardonnay. It has the perfect flavor profile for Turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. As you see in the following review "lime zest...rich yet bracing wine..." is what makes it work well with the holiday meal.
"Now that their 2008 Roussanne has been bottled, it can take its place as the latest in an amazingly successful series of wines (blended with a small amount of Viognier), and the estate and importer have even contrived to lower the price a bit from last year’s. Ripe, intense apricot and lime are laced with salt and smoky black tea on a lush and expansive palate, with suggestions of apricot skin, lime zest, and salt adding to a finishing impression of striking invigoration. This rich yet bracing wine should – based on the track record of past vintages – be worth following for 5-7 years."
Rated 91/100 The Wine Advocate
2007 Lancyre La Coste d'Alerac (red)...$16.99
The same producer, but I love their wines and they both will go amazing with the meal. This one is a blend of Syrah and Grenache that is medium to full body. I am assuming from the flavor that their is very little oak in this wine. Again, oak is something you do not want when matching wine with lighter meats like turkey, chicken or ham.
A cuvee of Syrah and Grenache with a bit of Carignan first essayed in 2000, the Lancyre 2007 Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup La Coste d’Aleyrac – due to have been bottled in February – is full of ripe black fruits to be sure, but offers more herbal, carnal, and mineral dimensions than the corresponding 2006. An impression of saline, marjoram-laced beef bouillon with cherry and purple plum extend to a long, satisfyingly juicy, clear, faintly and stimulatingly bitter finish. Look for this exceptional value to offer pleasure for another 3-4 years.
Rated 90-91/100 The Wine Advocate
Shotfire Shiraz (red)...$19.99
I am a big fan of Shiraz with Thanksgiving. There are so many different flavors going on---sweet, tart, salty, and earthy. You need a wine with good fruit and richness to handle it all. Shotfire is up for the challenge. Consistently one of the best Shiraz with a great track record of scores from 90-94 over the past years.
For a more reasonable option, try Milton Park Shiraz....$12.99
Some other white choices....
Sbragia Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99), Big House White (a Conundrum style blend...$8.49).
Some other red choices...
Sbragia Family Zinfandel ($23.99), Dancing Bull Zinfandel ($7.99), Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone (15.99), Evesham Wood Pinot Noir ($18.99)