So…what wine do you serve with Turkey?
What to do when twenty or so of your nearest and dearest, their appetites enraged by the waft of Grandmother’s secret stuffing recipe coming from the kitchen, are eyeballing all those great wines you have squirreled away for the future? No occasion lends itself to a wine that is food friendly, crowd pleasing and a great bang for the buck like this.
First, a few basics about the tactics in selecting wines for what is probably the largest and most diverse meal any of us eat in any given year: the main attraction, Thom Gobbler, is content with almost any wine. From lighter whites to hearty reds, just about any well-made wine (or rich ale!) is delicious with roast turkey; a classic no-brainer.
The slippery slope begins with the supporting cast. Specifically cranberry sauce (sweet, but also bitter and one of the few foods with more tannins than a Walla Walla Cabernet)and the aforementioned Granny’s secret stuffing (full of culinary depth charges like cumin, sage, coriander, thyme, raisins, nuts, oysters if you are from the South, and usually a fair bit of salt).
These flavors often tend to accentuate the astringency in oaky Chards and make tannic Cabernet/Merlot based wines taste metallic.
Let’s face it, many of your guests are just not ready to get their teeth stained with the newest 99 point Monster Cab while you point out that the wine will be great in another forty to fifty years.
Through extensive research (using the excellent roast turkey with all the trimmings from Huber’s downtown as control), we have discovered the best choices include lighter, fruitier whites along the lines of a nice crisp Italian white or Pinot Gris.
If you want to show off something closer to home and reds with a lot of fruit, some spice but low tannins, typically a nice Gamay from Beaujolais (or if you can track them down, the mind-bendings Gamays from the Roannaise appellation near Lyon), A nice Valpolicella from northern Italy or a mid-range Oregon Pinot Noir will also do the trick.
And, don’t even get me started about having some Bubbles for dessert.
Have a great holiday!