Nov 23 2009

Perfect Thanksgiving Pairings!

Published by at 11:39 PM under Uncategorized

Thanksgiving at the Rockwell's

Norman Rockwell

Miss our Thanksgiving Pairing class and still clueless about what to imbibe on Turkey Day? Well, we can forgive the whole “skipping class” thing (but don’t let it happen again!) and have recap to boot.

Now, we couldn’t just taste wine and try to imagine how great it would be with Thanksgiving fare–we at Just Grapes had to prove it! We served up a traditional Thanksgiving meal that included stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams with candied walnuts, grilled squash, adorable tiny pies and, of course, turkey with a selection of 8 delectable wines to sample along as we ate.

First up was the light-bodied, agile 2008 Banyan Gewurztraminer. This guy is our favorite go-to for sushi and Asian cuisines, but like some kind of dynamic ninja wine, he also is a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table. With white peach, rose petal and lychee, this delicate, aromatic and crisp wine matches the texture of turkey as well as the smoky, savory citrus of the meat. Banyan would also go great with:

-Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon and Sage

-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Dried Fig and Mushroom Sauce

-Fast-Track Baby Back Ribs

-Pan-Seared Pork Chops

Next was the coy 2007 Diva Riesling. This off-dry, peachy Riesling has racy acidity and matched the turkey in a very similar way to Banyan: both the turkey and the Riesling are delicate in texture. However, the sweetness in the Riesling contrasts the savory of the turkey, highlighting the best in each other. Also try Diva with:

-Cumin-crusted Lamb

-Plank-Cooked Salmon

-Sirloin Steak with Beurre-Naise sauce

Our 2008 Donausonne was third, and is one of only two sweet reds we carry at the store. Action-packed with fresh strawberries, cherries and allspice, this Blaufrankisch went fantastically with the savory turkey, much in the same way we love sweet cranberry sauce with turkey. Give him a go with:

-Oven-Charred Asparagus with Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

-Lemon-Herb-Prosciutto Shrimp

-Spice-Pained Salmon

-BBQ Chicken

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to whip out Black Chook, our sparkling Shiraz. This medium-bodied, creamy-yet-acidity red is deceptively light (hint: it’s because of the bubbles!) and when eaten with food, turns into a whole new beast. The turkey brings out the peppery spiciness of the Shiraz, while the fruits of the wine compliment the turkey. Try Black Chook with:

-Roasted Chicken

-Seared Shrimp and Chorizo

-BBQ Chicken (again.)

Next up were two of our very limited quantity Beaujolais: 2007 Louis Jadot Chateau Lumieres Morgon, and 2007 Louis Jadot Cheateau des Jacques Moulin-A-Vent. It never ceases to surprise me how these villages can be so near each other and produce such different wines! Chateau Lumieres has bright cherries, raspberries and strawberries, a little violet, with supple tannins and nice acidity. Chateau des Jacques still has those detectable fruits (though a little less ripe and crisper) with smoky meatiness to it.  The Morgon contrasted the turkey with its fresh fruit, while the Moulin-A-Vent underscored the smoky gaminess. Try both of these Gamays with:

-Bean and Black Olive Bruschetta

-Seared Tuna and Lemon

-Flank Steak with Spicy Herb Oil

-Sherry-Glazed Pork Chop with Mushrooms

Finally, we came across our two big, bad Pinots: 2007 Lucia and 2006 Alma Rosa. The more subtle, nuanced Lucia–with its floral notes, sweet spice and earth–brought out the savory aspects of the turkey while bold Alma Rosa’s medium body contrasted the turkey’s delicate texture. Pair these up with:

-Grilled Pork Loin

-Salmon Fillets

-Crispy Chicken and Shallot Hash

-Rosemary and Sweet Garlic Roast Chicken

Just because the holidays are upon us doesn’t mean that pairing delicious food with delicious wine is just a special occasion kind of deal; the fact is that most wine works with most food, so go on and pick up a bottle of wine for a middle-of-the-week dinner–it’ll make it that much more enjoyable. Be adventurous with your food/wine pairings and throw convention out the window.

Don’t forget to check out our complimentary Thanksgiving Tasting on November 25 from 4-8pm, and our exciting upcoming classes, like our December 10th Holiday Sweets and Dessert Wine class and the Bubbly and Champagne Seminar on the 17th.

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