Not everyone serves wine with their Thanksgiving meal. I do. I think it's a grand time to enjoy wine with all of the different flavors that conglomerate on the Thanksgiving table.
And, sometimes I like to experiment with a wide variety of wines at Thanksgiving, turning the holiday meal into a wine tasting event as well. You can see my ideas about that in this week's "Drink" column in City Weekly.
But, if you're looking to keep things simple, here are my thoughts on serving just red wine with your holiday turkey and all the tasty accouterments.
Lots of people serve Zinfandel on Thanksgiving because, although its deep origins are in Eastern Europe, it’s widely known as an all-American wine. However, Zins tend to be high in alcohol and can overpower many foods on the Thanksgiving table. So, I recommend turning to lighter, low-tannin, lower-alcohol wines. For red wine, Pinot Noir is a slam-dunk—a wine that ranges nicely through dishes like turkey with gravy, mushrooms, most types of turkey stuffing, and even cranberries.
Good lord, there’s no end to the range of Pinots available to enjoy on Thanksgiving. Some good Pinot Noir values include A to Z, Hahn, Belle Glos Meiomi, Simi, Kim Crawford, Heron and Mark West.
Other interesting, outside-the-box red wines to serve on Thanksgiving include quaffable, low-alcohol Beaujolais Nouveau from a reliable producer like Georges DuBoeuf and high-quality, dry Rosé like that from Chateau d’Aquéria Tavel, Carol Shelton, Atrea, Fisher, Cline, and Le Cirque.
I also think Sangiovese-based wines—ones with good acidity, fresh cherry fruit flavors and herbal aromas—are a dandy dance partner for roasted turkey with mushroom gravy. Good value-priced Sangiovese can be had from wineries such as Jeriko, Luna, Di Majo Norante, and Italian Chianti from producers like Coltibuono, Piccini, and Straccali.
Whatever you wind up sipping with Thanksgiving dinner, I hope it's a happy and safe one.