Turkey Dinner in 4 Wine Lessons

Thanksgiving_Turkey_imagekindcom_orange turkey

It’s not the bird as much as what we eat with it (sweet potatoes & heaven-forbid marshmallows, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, etc.) that causes the wine challenges with a turkey dinner. Many of these sweet & salty combos can cause wines to taste tart. Here’s your down & dirty guide to a wine that tastes great with a traditional turkey dinner:

Cheers_Languedoc Limoux

#1 — Bubbles
Well-made sparkling wine always has good acidity, and acidity is an asset when a food is salty (imagine an anchovy on top of an hors d’oeuvre), sweet (tastes great with chocolate or dessert or sweet dishes such as sweet potato soufflée), and rich foods (cuts through the fat of a cream puff or foie gras or pork rillettes). It can be rosé or white, and any style of sparkling will work with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: Champagne, Crémant, Prosecco, Cava and more! We recommend:

Jose Dhondt NV Blanc de Blancs
(Champagne, France) — Reg $62.99 | Mixed Case $50.39
Domaine Perraud Le Grand Sorbier Crémant de Bourgogne
(Burgundy, France) — Reg $23.99 | INSIDER $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Philippe Deval NV Crémant de Loire Rosé
(Loire, Italy) — Reg $23.99 | Mixed Case $19.19
La Farra Prosecco Superiore Brut
(Veneto, Italy) — Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59
Bodegas Maset (nu) Cava Reserva
(Penedès, Spain) — Reg $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99
Bruno Zanasi Lambrusco
(Emilia Romagna, Italy) — Reg $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59

#2 — Round Whites
This style of white is fuller-bodied with nice fruit (not too dry), some acidity for balance but not highly acidic like a Sauvignon Blanc, and key — little to no oak! Round whites can can also be off-dry, meaning that they have a slight sweetness in the middle, off-set by good acidity. This type of wine pairs well with spicy foods (especially ethnic foods such as Thai or Mexican), foods with some sweetness (it’s Thanksgiving, so I’ll return to sweet potatoes!) and rich food (a richer wine can balance a richer food). Examples of varietals that fit into this group are: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, Kerner, Viogner, Chardonnay (stainless steel aged or with less oak), and many more! We recommend:

Maximin Gruenhaeuser Riesling
(Mosel, Germany) — Reg $24.99 | Mixed Case $19.99
Lobo Hills PGR
(Columbia Valley, Washington) — Reg $18.99 | Mixed Case $15.19
Weingut Castelfeder Kerner
(Alto Adige, Italy) — $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Domaine Claude Nouveau 2011 Santenay Le Chainey
(Burgundy, France) — $42.99 | INSIDER $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Beauregard Vouvray
(Loire Valley, France) — Reg $20.99 | Mixed Case $16.79

#3 — Rosé
Rosé has never meet a food it doesn’t like. FULL STOP. We recommend:

La Colline aux Princes Sancerre Rosé
(Loire Valley, France) — $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé
(Provence, France) — $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Château du Grand Caumont Cuvée Tradition Rosé
(Languedoc, France) — Reg $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99

And although this wine is not technically a rosé (which is made from red grapes), it sure acts like one! Made from Pinot Grigio which has been left to ferment for a longer-period with its grey skins:

Santa Clerissa 2016 Pinot Grigio Ramato
(Veneto, Italy) — $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39

#4 — Juicy Reds 
Reds are where this meal can be especially tricky because tannic wines go sour with a sweet food and reds that are too big overpower the bird. Juicy reds can be described as lighter or medium in style with good fruit, good acidity, but NOT too tannic! Varietals that fit the bill are: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sangiovese, Vernatsch, Zweitgelt & more. We recommend:

Elk Cove Pinot Noir
(Willamette Valley, Oregon) $31.99 | Mixed Case $25.59
Weingut Castelfeder Vernatsch
(Alto Adige, Italy) — Reg $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39
Weingut Prechtl Zweigelt
(Weinviertel, Austria) — $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39
La Togata Barengo Toscana Rosso
(Tuscany, Italy) $23.99 | Mixed Case $19.19

Don’t want to think about it this much? Stop in & we’ll get you set up!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Julie + Jens