By Kat Turley
Wine pairing for the traditionally luxurious and rich foods of Thanksgiving can seem impossible at times. With an incredibly wide variety of flavours, sides and textures, it is important to find wines that can blanket the entire meal, while also covering the palates of everyone attending your holiday party. While heavier oakier wines are typically crowd pleasers for party guests, they may be too rich for the main event of Thanksgiving, the turkey. Typically choosing something with a bit of tart acidity, to cut through the fatty sides, while remaining delicate and fruit forward would allow the turkey flavours to sing, and appeal to all of your attendees!
Luckily Jacques Scott Wines & Spirits has a range of incredible options for your holiday feast.
My name is Kat, and I’ve joined Jacques Scott’s as the new retail wine specialist. I’ll be assisting with your inquiries to help make your holiday (or day to day) shopping pleasant and easy.
There are many excellent choices throughout our stores, but I’ve selected a few of my favourites for this Thanksgiving season.
Pinot noirs are an excellent choice. Many of them already have a multitude of flavours incorporated that are akin to a Thanksgiving meal. With their slight mushroom undertones, a tarte cranberry, and cherry based fruitiness, followed by savoury herbaceousness, the crisp acidity of great Pinot is my go to for a flavourful stuffing and buttery turkey.
Decoy Sonoma County Pinot Noir is an excellent mid-range choice. At $28.99 per bottle, this pinot noir was a late season harvest allowing it reach its full ripeness. As a result it showcases the alluring flavours of cranberry and strawberry, while portraying a bright acidity and silky smooth tannins.
For a high end wine, perhaps a gift to impress or treat your hosts, Beaune Clos des Mouches, at $121.00 per bottle, with 94 points from Wine Spectator is a phenomenal expression of a Burgundy Pinot Noir. Carefully hand harvested, and aged for 14-18 months in new oak, this wine has the ability to be consumed now or aged for a couple of years. For a young wine, it takes you on a journey, its texture is velvety smooth, while the palate plays through flavours of baking spices, strawberry and cherry, finishing with an energetic minerality that will pair perfectly with the rich cornucopia of Thanksgiving dishes.
And for our bargain hunters, Indigo Eyes Pinot Noir at $14.99 a bottle is a great pairing to a Thanksgiving Feast! A wonderful example of Pinot Noir, this wine moves from fruity to savory. With aromas of blueberries and cherries, and notes of roasted fig, a subtle mid palate minerality, and a beautiful all spice finish, this bargain is big bang for your buck.
As for white wines, I find there are many directions you could take. For those with a sweeter palate, an acidic and bright Kabinett Riesling I believe is an excellent option to pair with your sweet potatoes, herb filled stuffing, or even dessert. Alternatively, for those dedicated to dry whites, a Sauvignon Blanc would be a perfect pairing. Crisp and refreshing, it can add a lovely citrus fruit forward minerality to any Turkey-Day meal, and doubles as a delicious pairing with the exquisite taste of roast turkey.
Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett at $37.99 per bottle is an excellent mid-range option. With 90 points from James Suckling, this light bodied, crisply acidic, fruit forward Riesling has a beautiful spritz through natural carbon dioxide. It gorgeous honeyed apple flavour will bring out the best in your main course, as well as being a delicious pairing to enjoy with dessert.
For something different, my high end choice is William Fevre Vausdesir Grand Cru. At $98.00 per bottle, this Pouilly Fume, does not disappoint. Both delicate and complex, this delicious expression of a smoky Sauvignon Blanc, is ripe with elegant richness. Both traditionally citrus forward, a creamy lime mid palate, with gentle nutty, and spiced notes, this Sauvignon Blanc is an experience to be enjoyed with or without food.
More than a Bargain, it’s great wine!
For an absolute bargain, Matua, at $17.99 a bottle, is a prime example of a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Packed with flavour, this wine sings with traditional citrus notes, such as grapefruit, and lime, which is followed by the beautiful flavour of melon, and basil. It is so refreshing we don’t doubt you’ll be back for more. The crisp acidity will cut through the richness of this seasonal meal, while the basil notes will be the perfect accompaniment to the herbs and spices incorporated into traditional side dishes.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Feasts!
For additional questions regarding wine please feel free to send me a note!