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November 18, 2008


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Great post! Thanks giving dinner has too many flavors to figure out how to pair any wine with the whole thing!

Glad to see someone besides ME has had it with the obligatory pre-Thanksgiving wine post! Nice work Lenn!

Wow. That was very well said. We're planning on opening a magnum of Hermann Wiemer riesling that we picked up on our trip, a bottle of Shinn Estate Merlot and a Bedell Taste Red.


On the subject of pairing- "drink what you like" is of course the rule, but often people stick with what they "like" because they are afraid to try something new, or to take the suggestion of someone else.

People may know what they like, but they often don't know what they love until they start trying all sorts of stuff.

I'm with you, crack open a couple of bottles on the table, and let everyone try everything.

Hi Lenn

I second Dirty's points.

As for "rules": just as there are reasons why some wines and foods clash, there are reasons ("rules") that will result in a synergy of wine and food that offers more than the sum of the two alone.

I realize that the vast majority of wine consumers just treat wine as an embellishment to a social experience without really thinking about the elements of the wine they pour.

However, a modicum of pause and analysis (as in articulating to oneself the character) of wine, food and the interaction of the two can give any individual a compass and confidence to navigate and enrich their culinary experience.

I encourage people to think about flavors and aromas, structure and body: acidity/sweetness/tannin character and textures of both wine and food and to observe how those interact – in complementary or contradictory ways.

What results is the ability to articulate the nature of the wine and the food and a set of “rules” that may reflect or be rooted in personal preferences.

On your final notion: would you be interested in writing about how each of those wines interacts with your Thanksgiving dishes? I have some other bloggers interested in this type of writing and this holiday may be just the time to kick off the series.

Wine is just fine with Thanksgiving dinner, but the hodgepodge of flavors and the heaviness of the meal in general makes me hanker for a good brew to wash it down. A Sam's Winter Lager is always a great choice, it seems, but of course many beers would do.

And then you can pound PBR's with your uncle and cousins until hilarity ensues.

As for what I've had success with in terms of wine, a good pinot noir seems to play with the spices, enhance any fruit or vegetable flavors, and smoothly wraps around the turkey just fine. It doesn't seem like it would work, but I've had success with this choice so far.


Don't knock PBR, it won the Blue Ribbon!

Lenn, you couldn't be more wrong. Obviously the only wine that can possibly pair with all of the myriad flavors on the Thanksgiving table is Beaujolais. The French invented this delightful wine for our annual holiday, and we owe them the "thanks" enough to drink it.

The Young Winos just ran our annual Beaujolais tasting, although we adopted a strict "say non to Nouveau" policy this time. The round-up is here:


Remember: do your patriotic duty and "go Bo" for the holidays.

Oh, I'm not knocking PBR at all...it has its uses and has been very good to me.

Hey Lenn
Great post! I may have to steal your comment "Wine "experts" and sommeliers don't want you to think so, but wine pairing is often much more about avoiding bad pairings than it is finding the singular "perfect" one." for the forward of my book. haha! :)

I usually don't do a Thanksgiving post, because I do follow the train of thought that you have outlayed here. I will this year however be writing a post on what to pair with Tofurkey. :)


Lenn... I'm only in 2 wine clubs - Channing Daughters on the South Fork and Navarro from Mendocino CA.
Just last week I received my bi-annual (as in twice a year) shipment of wine and they sent me the perfect set of wines for a thanksgiving table:
2006 Navarro Brut
2007 Chardonnay Table Wine
2007 Sauvignon Blanc Mendocino
2007 Gewürztraminer Estate Bottled
2007 Pinot Gris Anderson Valley
2006 Pinot Noir Methode a l'Anciene
2006 Zinfandel Mendocino

Talk about variety and versatility. A little of everything for everybody.

PS: Don't let that "Table Wine" label on the Chard fool you. I buy cases of it every year. With my wine club discount, the bottles come in around $9 and they blow away most other chards in the $20 - $30 range.
You can't get Navarro if you aren't a wine club member (no distribution) but they are well worth joining. Every bottle I open I am more and more impressed with their balance and food friendly composure.

Anyway... have a great Thanksgiving. And whatever you choose to open, may it be as great as the food and family that you have it with!


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