Friday, October 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Wines

Yes !! It's that time again. Gobble, gobble

Golden turkey, real cranberries (not the canned stuff), mashed potatoes with gravy drizzled on top and stuffing, ... glorious stuffing. Finish the meal off with pumpkin pie or butter tarts and I can already feel my pants stretching to the next size. Wrap the whole evening up with some exceptional wines and you've got yourself one of those memorable Thanksgiving celebrations.
People frequently ask me to suggest wines for holiday meals and one of the most common questions is "What's kind of wine goes with turkey?" That's a good question but try not to zone in on just the turkey part. Think more about the entire meal that's being served. Sure, you're the one cooking the turkey and it's the centre piece of the meal but your sister is bringing turnip casserole, your mother is doing her sweet potatoes, your brother is providing appetizers and Aunt Martha is bringing that green jello salad with the floaty things inside that looks like a space creature from a 1940s sci-fi movie. Add in the mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy and you've got a lot of different flavours, spices and textures on your palate.
Most of the dishes involve cooking with butter or fat in some form so you'll need a crisp wine to help cut through the fat. Also, there's a plethora of herbs and spices in each dish which can quickly overpower a light weight wine.

Here's my picks for Thanksgiving.

Errazuriz Estate Reserva - Sauvignon Blanc (2011), Valle de Aconcagua, Chile

Like most Sauvignon Blancs this light yellow with a tinge of green wine has good acidity (6.1g/l) which gives it a nice crisp finish capable of handling the richness of a turkey dinner. Aromas of tropical fruit and Bartlet pears stands out with some leafy tomato and grassy-ness (is that a word?) in the background. A medium bodied white wine.
Price - under $13 - LCBO

Finca El Origen - Chardonnay (2010), Mendoza Argentina

An Argentinian chardonnay with a nice balance of crispness and fruit with a smooth finish. Aromas of peaches and vanilla with a creamy texture and citrus flavours.
Price - under $11 - LCBO

Some other suggestions for turkey time.

For those people who like red with their turkey.
Creekside Estate - Pinot Noir (2006) - Niagara Ontario (under $25 at the LCBO)
Alamos - Malbec  (2010) - Mendoza Argentina (under $14 at the LCBO)

And if you're having pumpkin pie, you've got to try this dessert / wine combination. The creaminess of pumpkin pie with the sweetness and spritz of a Moscato is unbelievable.

McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Moscato (under $14 at he LCBO)