The Bird is the Word

November 24, 2014 No comments » [ssba]

It’s true, the turkey is king on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s the star of the show, the ultimate symbol of this great American holiday.  Young and old gorge themselves on the chicken’s much bigger cousin and this single flightless fowl then feeds us in leftover form for days.  But I have a confession; call me un-American, call me a traitor, call me…well…a turkey.  But here it is: I don’t think turkey is all that great. Anyone else think it’s a tad bland?  Now, I adore Thanksgiving, but when it comes to my plate, I usually take hordes of side dishes and a couple very thin slices of turkey which I douse in cranberry sauce.  Then I go back for seconds of side dishes.  I’ll always make a turkey for the holiday to remain loyal to its symbolism but it will probably never, ever be my favorite part of the meal no matter how much it’s been brined, marinated, deep-fried, slow-roasted or basted in truffle butter.  Sorry, not sorry.

As for the Thanksgiving wine, this is the really exciting part for me.  Choosing the right wine can be overwhelming on such an occasion when there are so many flavors and textures going on in the side dishes alone.  Tart cranberry, sweet potatoes, crunchy onion toppings, savory gravy and boring turkey…it’s practically a circus for the taste buds.  And these are just the basics.  There are countless Thanksgiving dishes that incorporate seafood, spicy sausage, dried fruits and more.  I have found the best results when I go with a lighter wine.  Not necessarily white, but light.  With lots of fruit.  My go-to selection is a dry rose wine.  Dry roses offer the light body of a white wine with all of the fruity characteristics of a red which compliment many different dishes without overpowering them.  If you have any bottles of Ponte’s Fiorella or Pas Doux in your home, you will not regret opening them for Thanksgiving dinner.  I am personally a recent Chardonnay convert and will say that Ponte’s 2013 vintage is bursting with fruit flavors and just the tiniest touch of vanilla oak, so if you’re looking for a great white wine to serve, this is the one.

Most people don’t equate red wines with “light” but the two can and do coexist.  Take our 2011 Tempranillo.  It is considered a medium-bodied wine meaning it doesn’t have a whole lot of tannins and is easier to drink than, say, a bold Cabernet.  With black cherry, blackberry and plum flavors, it’s a great choice to serve your red-loving friends and family this Thursday.  While not really “light”, don’t rule out our Holiday Reserve Zinfandel as a Thanksgiving wine.  Thing is, this hefty bottle is a magnum, meaning it is twice the size of a standard bottle of wine, meaning it serves twice the number of people, meaning it’s obviously perfect for a holiday like Thanksgiving.  It is actually a wonderful wine to serve with ham, Thanksgiving’s other main meat dish.

So, what have we learned here?  That:

  1. When in doubt, go for a lighter wine for Thanksgiving, something without a lot of tannins and with a whole lot of fruit.
  2. Unless you are getting our Holiday Reserve Zinfandel which is a good choice ‘cuz it’s really big even though it’s not really light but it’s still fruity…
  3. Aw, heck, you know what?  Drink what you like this Thanksgiving!  We have something for absolutely everyone

–What wines will you serve this Thanksgiving?

–Erica Martinez

Posted by , November 24, 2014 No comments

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