Thanksgiving dinner in Canada brings on a traditional comfort-food bonanza. Roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, savoury stuffing, various vegetables, tangy cranberry sauce and lots of rich gravy all find a place on our dining table.
My usual advice to folks, when they ask what wine to pair with food, is to match or contrast the flavour, weight, and texture of the focus food with the flavour, weight and texture of the wine.
Traditional matches include a big, bold, heavy California cabernet sauvignon paired with a slab of beef, grilled rare, and a New Zealand sauvignon blanc paired with a summer salad dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. These wines match their partner focus foods. For contrast, foie gras with sauternes or gorgonzola cheese with ice wine are classic. The sweetness and acidity of the wines contrast the saltiness and richness of the focus foods.
Thanksgiving dinner wine in our house is typically pinot noir, with Riesling served to those who don’t drink red. Neither wine is heavy or overly complicated (please don't confuse that with simple and boring) so they won't overpower or clash with the meal; conversely, they have enough presence so they aren’t beat up by the food. Their acidity and fruitiness make them the well-rounded wines at a dinner ta
They do it all—from cutting through the fatty richness of the gravy and standing up to the sweet-tart cranberries, to cleansing and preparing your palate for your next bite.
This year, however, I'll be going "pink" and offering up Segura Viudas Brut Rosé ($15.99/12% ABV), a sparkling Spanish wine made from trepat, garnacha, and monastrell grapes, and Le Vieux Pin Vaïla ($25.00/13.8% ABV), a pinot noir rosé from B.C.'s own Okanagan Valley.
All the wines I've mentioned have a really good acidity level, which makes them perfect for turkey dinner. If you haven't already, please read my piece called "Big Tang Theory" in Palate Press where I talk about acidity in wine and why it's a (really) good thing.
Copyright © 2009 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.