By Lisa Katic
Thanksgiving is a special holiday in the U.S. and is meant to celebrate the current harvest and other blessings of the past year. Although we all think to celebrate and give thanks for family, we should also honor the people who work to harvest the abundance of items on our tables, including grapes for wine, when sitting down to our Thanksgiving feasts.
Speaking of wine, there are loads of choices to consider for traditional Thanksgiving meals. One way to navigate the abundance of choices is to open a few bottles of reds, whites, roses and sparkling wines and let your guests choose their match. If that doesn’t suit you, then a useful guide is to let your stuffing or in some homes dressing be your guide.
There are hundreds of ways to make stuffing, so think about your core ingredients. whether it is sausage, oyster, mushrooms or veggies and pair your wines with those ingredients. Oyster stuffing, for example, would beg for a classic, crisp and mineral driven Chablis, a chardonnay. Chablis is mostly stainless steel aged, so it won’t overwhelm the oysters in stuffing. You could also select a dry sparkling wine as the nice acid in these wines will cut through some of the richness of butter or other ingredients in stuffing.
A sausage stuffing will pair nicely with a dry Riesling or red wines such as a grenache-based Rhone or an American classic like Zinfandel. Cru Beaujolais, a Gamay wine, is another great choice. The Cru Beaujolais is unlike the Beaujolais Nouveau that is released and celebrated on the third Thursday of November. The Nouveau is tank fermented and bottled just three weeks after harvest and Cru Beaujolais is the cream of the crop in Beaujolais and represents terroir-driven wines that can rival some much higher priced Red Burgundy in France.
If you fancy a wild mushroom version of stuffing, then whip out your favorite pinot noir. Any of the wines listed here would pair with the host of flavors and food at the Thanksgiving table.
A dry sparkling wine or Champagne would be the choice to last the entire meal and even carry you through to dessert. If you are not keen on bubbles with dessert, you can always open some Sherry, Sauternes or even Madeira.
The writer is owner of Wine Gallery 108, located at 108 N. Patrick St.