Like any holiday, there is no textbook Turkey Day. Every celebration takes on its own traditions- such a beautiful thing!
Of course there are the foundations- football, feasting, family, and friends who we love so well that they may as well be kin. And then there is thankfulness- we say a little grace, and maybe take a moment to appreciate the seen and unseen blessings and threads that weave our days. There are so many! If we are upright and thinking and breathing, we have the whole world in our hands.
But about the feast. It is hard to say that there is any Thanksgiving wine pairing prototype. The game can change with the sauce, the roast, recipe, climate, or company. Some choose to serve lamb, duck, tofurky, whatever! So it’s really anywine’s game, oh-so-American. Be playful- who better to experiment with than your nearest and dearest? Here are just a few suggestions to throw into the mix…
-A beastly white like that made from the Tortona Hills of Piedmont’s Timorasso grape. Timorasso’s tannin, petrol, and saline qualities are so fitting for a slow-roasted bird. Terralba is an excellent producer.
-A crowd pleaser like a bottle from Lebanon’s Bekka Valley Messaya. The red blend of Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah has some sassy fruit going on, but holds its own as a nicely balanced table wine.
– A cabernet franc from the Sierra Foothill’s Burch Hall. Practice patriotism with some dusty green pepper goodness.
-Embrace the autumn bouquet of a Copertino Rosso from Italy’s Salento Peninsula producer, Rosa del Golfo. Mainly made from the negroamaro grape, its red fruit, fall spices, and rustic character will keep hearts and conversation warm.
-Have some bubbles (always have some bubbles!). Segway into the meal with a tart and toasty sparkler like a Cremant d’Loire. Most that you find on the market are lovely sparkling expressions of the wine’s primary grapes, chenin blanc and cabernet franc.
-As for me, I plan to sip down the well travelled and much loved route of the new release of Beaujolais Nouveau. Always cheerful and light, the festive wine is produced annually from gamay grapes harvested earlier in the season in the southernmost portion of France’s Burgundy region, Beaujolais. The wine is produced using carbonic maceration, swiftly bottled, and released on the third Thursday of November. Though I am reminded every day that the very best things take time, every now and then a little instant gratification is completely satisfying. Beaujolais Nouveau is to dig in the here and now as the wine will have greatly withered by this time next year. There are a number of good producers, I recommend staying away from larger houses such as Duboeuf.