Have you picked up your Thanksgiving wine yet? While turkey is admittedly the star of the show, wine and other warming libations bring a little extra joy and laughter to the table.
Not all of it tastes good. And some types of wine do quite well with turkey. While others do not. If you’re stumped when picking out the best Thanksgiving wines – and completely confused when a wine geek (or worse, a sommelier) starts talking about vintage and regions – these tips are for you.
If you love the idea of wine and want to learn more about it, take a peek at this unpretentious tutorial on how to taste wine.
Note: When shopping for wine, one bottle will comfortably fill four to five glasses.
Epic grain-free cheese and charcuterie board
There are many ways to begin your Thanksgiving feast. If you’re entertaining and not quite sure what your friends and family will enjoy, consider putting together a charcuterie board. With an assortment of little things to nibble on, your guests can choose what they enjoy most.
Beth over at Tasty Yummies suggests 3 – 5 kinds of cheese with a blend of textures – such as fresh, hard, aged, and soft – and a range of flavors – like sharp or rich and creamy. Add to your board an assortment of cured meats and plan for about 2 ounces per person. Give the charcuterie board a little more depth and sweetness with an onion, fig, or pepper jam. And finsh the board with grain-free crackers, chicharrones, and granola.
Pair with: Champagne. From a funky blue cheese and fatty prosciutto to fig jam and grain-free crackers. There’s a lot going on. In this case, the best thing to do is offer champagne. The bubbles are festive and you’ll get a little hint of citrus with each sip, which will help to balance out the rich flavors on your charcuterie broad.
Try: Veuve Clicquot.
A classic Thanksgiving dinner
What are the staples of a Thanksgiving dinner? Chances are your dinner table will have a well-cooked turkey, rich and creamy mashed potatoes, a thick gravy with a hint of nutmeg, some sort of fabulous stuffing, and tangy cranberry sauce that brings the whole plate together.
Red wine: Beaujolais. Fermented for just a few weeks and marketed as a “Thanksgiving wine” Beaujolais nouveau may seem like an obvious choice. But we prefer a Beaujolais village. You’ll still get that light body that Beaujolais is known for, but you’ll also taste notes of tart cranberry – instead of a ripe fruit and bubblegum.
White wine: Chablis. Crisp and light, with a high acid and almost flinty or steely flavor, Chablis will help to cut through the richness of your holiday meal. You won’t find any oak flavors in Chablis, which can give wine a soft or buttery texture. If you’re looking for oak, go with Chardonnay from California.
Try: For red, Louis Jadot. And for white, Willam Fevre Chablis.
Pumpkin pies are forever. But if you want to offer your friends and family something a little different, try creme brulee.
The recipe here is simple: vanilla bean, cream, egg yolks, raw honey, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar. But don’t be fooled, the flavors are luxurious. And who doesn’t want to crack that burnt sugary shell?
Pair with: Sauternes. Sauternes is a sweet wine that’s extra special because of something called “noble rot,” which gives grapes a raisined quality before they’re turned into wine. Known for hints of honey and orange blossom, the sweet taste and fruity notes of Sauternes pair well with vanilla bean. There’s also a hint of acidity to offset all that sweetness.
Try: Chateau Climens Sauternes.