November 15, 2013
Jazz Up Thanksgiving Traditions with Novel Pairings
The complexity of Chenin Blanc makes Vouvray a savvy companion to all the autumnal flavors going on at your meal. A notable choice is the 2013 ‘La Vigne des Sablons’ from Foucher-Lebrun. This petit negociant specializes in the Loire, and its full-bodied Vouvray expresses a real sense of place while still presenting a good value. With luscious apricot and pear notes balanced by a sturdy acidic backbone, this rich wine will stand up to the decadent gravies and mashed potatoes on the table, while complementing the sweetness in yams and cranberries.
Speaking of acidity, young, playful, and zippy is a great direction to head in when picking Thanksgiving wines. The 2012 ‘Escolha’ Vinho Verde from Muros Antigos is lively and fresh, but with a round palate that’ll meet turkey and green bean casserole head on. And its relatively low alcohol will help keep you equally lively during this marathon food session. For reds, the Italian Frappato grape is supple and fruity with notes of cranberries and a slight meatiness. Valle dell’Acate’s 2012 ‘Il Frappato’ from eastern Sicily is a beautiful, nuanced example of this ruby red, low-tannin wine. Serve with a slight chill and it’ll display its yin-yang between juicy berries and gamey complexity.
When it comes time for pie, top the meal off with Madeira. This wine has deep roots in the Colonial tradition, and in fact was the libation chosen by our founding fathers to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Vinhos Barbeito’s 2000 Single Cask Madeira has rich stone fruit and nutty notes that will complement any pie in the pumpkin/pecan/sweet potato genre.
Thanksgiving may be a truly American celebration, but this international selection of wines will give the turkey some competition as the star of the show!