Ah, Thanksgiving. No other time of the year quite inspires a fervor like this celebration of history and gratitude. As the trees start to change color, temperatures drop, and loved ones gather for the greatest feast of the year: mountains of mashed potatoes drizzled in mouthwatering gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pecan pie and, of course, endless tides of turkey.
With every great feast comes the great opportunity for even greater pairings. As we loosen our belts in preparation for the culinary masterpiece that is Thanksgiving, serious thought should be given to the wines that will grace the table on this special day. Here are six succulent wines that will complete any Thanksgiving table.
Domaine Allimant Laugner, Cremant d’Alsace
Brut, Blend, NV
From turkey and gravy topped stuffing to pecan pie, bubbles can transcend every aspect of the Thanksgiving table. Bright acidity cuts richer aspects of the meal while refreshing the palate as you shift between dishes. Tenth and eleventh generation winemakers, Hubert and Nicolas Laugner have masterfully blended Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc for this refreshing brut. Notes of lemon zest, granny smith apple, and honey radiate from the glass in a streaming, pearly simmer. Fresh pear and a light touch of toasted almond join the aromatics as the wine moves to the palate, finishing bright and crisp. Available here.
Scherrer Winery Pinot Noir
Halberg Vineyard, Green Valley, Pinot Noir, 2012
Pinot Noir is always among the first wines that comes to mind when thinking about this auspicious day. Winemaker Fred Scherrer has crafted a wine with supple elegance, exquisite perfume, and intense depth of character that exemplifies the small Green Valley AVA. Cool morning fog shields the thin-skinned Pinot grapes, keeping the vines refreshed and preserving acidity in the wine. A core of deep cherry and strawberry is certain to make any cranberry sauce sing. As the wine unfolds, earthy undertones emerge. Sweet potato and mushroom dishes do well with this complex Pinot, while the acidity balances the richness of the turkey. Available here.
Demi-sec, Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, 2014
Chenin Blanc found in the Loire Valley has range and versatility. The grape can be light and dry, such as a Savennières, or rounded out with a bit of residual sugar, such as a Vouvray. Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans 2014 Demi-sec release offers a complex profile of honeysuckle, white peach nectar, and a mild leesy, almond undertone. This Vouvray is amazing with a topped up sweet potato. A touch of maple syrup or marshmallow will help to accent the sweetness of the wine, making for a beautiful pairing. Available here.
Bieler Père et Fils Rosé,
Sabine, Provence, Blend, 2016
Anyone who still believes that Rosé is only consumable between May and August needs to dispel that myth immediately. A rosé is a great option for a lot of those tough-to-pair dishes such as leafy salad and sautéed greens. The 2016 release of this citrusy blush blend incorporates five varietals. Grenache and Syrah account for 75% of the total. Classic floral character backed by subtle notes of raspberry and savory herbs will certainly round out the flavor of any vegetable side dish. Available here.
Stéphane Aviron Morgon “Cote du Py” Vieilles Vignes, Gamay
Beaujolais — one of the most underrated regions in France — produces world-class wine with depth and character, often at a very easy price point. Stéphane Avirone masterfully captured the essence of both the Gamay grape and Morgon in his Vielles Vignes (Old Vine) 2014 release. This wine displays dazzling red berry character with strawberry and kirsch emanating from the glass, pairing beautifully with cranberry sauce. Its herbaceous undertones will thrive in this environment. The palatal grip is balanced with the acid, making it perfect for mashed potatoes, turkey, and gravy. Available here.
Cossart Gordon’s 5-Year Bual Madeira
As entrees leave the table, endless varieties of pies — from pecan and pumpkin to apple and cherry — begin to dominate the landscape. Cossart Gordon’s five-year aged Bual Madeira is a versatile expression of this island specialty that will certainly round out classic Thanksgiving desserts. This Madeira displays an intensely nutty core wrapped in apricots and maple. Augment any homemade whipped cream with a splash of this wonderful fortified wine to top off your favorite Thanksgiving pies. Available here.
As you polish stem and silverware, it is important to reflect and give thanks for the joy we all share with family and friends on Thanksgiving. Once plates are piled high and glasses are filled, it is good to reflect upon the great words of Aziz Ansari and “treat yo self” on this special day of food, wine, and celebration.
Our StiQit is perfect for bringing to the dinner table. Its portable single use package means you can take it with you anywhere. Stick a handful in your purse – or a few in your pocket. It’s as easy as unwrapping it, stirring it and enjoying your sulfite-free wine.