Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for many reasons — no gift-wrapping, minimal commercialization, friends and family getting together and the opportunity to try new wines! So many flavors populate a Thanksgiving table that lend themselves to particularly tasty pairings.
Topping my Thanksgiving pairing list this year is a Champagne, and not just any Champagne. Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition Champagne is a very special Grower Champagne. Unlike most “House” champagnes that buy grapes and blend wines from potentially dozens of suppliers, Grower Champagne is called such because the same person that tends the vineyard and grows the grapes makes the wine. This gives it a unique flavor of place — in this case, delicate peach and golden delicious apple notes, exuberant bubbles and a warm richness in the lingering finish. From crusty breads to sweet savory sauces to oysters, everything pairs with this Champagne! A hands-down winner in a tasting among 55 Whole Foods Market wine Team Members.
Made with organically grown grapes, Pizzolato Pinot Grigio greets you with bright aromas of hard peach and stone fruit.There is vibrant acidity and an almost effervescent brightness finishing with enticing minerality. It’s lovely with vinaigrettes, citrus-based dishes or anything with a bit of a kick.
A really interesting White this year is Louis Latour’s Duet Chardonnay-Viognier. Its warmth and roundness comes from the chardonnay while complex floral and earthy notes come from the viognier. This is a real food-loving wine and a natural Thanksgiving meal pairing for those different flavors at the table from crispy roast turkey to yams to cranberry sauce.
Look for big flavors in Russian River Chardonnay from Sea Pines. With green apple, lemon, vanilla bean, it’s a wonderfully balanced and mouth-filling White. Creamy sauces, Cornish hens and artisan breads all pair nicely.
Reds for Thanksgiving should show abundant fruit, lightness of body and softer tannins in the finish.Two must-try Thanksgiving Reds this year are Coppola’s Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Bodegas Belgrano Malbec from Argentina. The pinot noir shows that classic see-through ruby red color and loads of dried cherry and strawberry flavors on the palate. Look for subtle floral notes in the silky finish. Turkey, lamb chops and sour cherry glazes pair well. The malbec is fuller bodied and equally food-friendly. Warm spice aromas, stewed blueberry flavors and woodsy hints of smoke blend perfectly with roasted meats and autumn flavors.
Have specific pairing questions? Ask our Team Members in the wine department. They know their stuff and love talking wine!
Here’s to wines and Thanksgiving! Which wines will you serve this holiday season? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.