Thanksgiving always gets me thinking about food, and thinking about food always gets me thinking about wine. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes…pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, there’s a lot of great choices on this annual day of total over-indulgence. Recently the whole staff at Talley Vineyards was asked what wines they’ll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. I have my own ideas, but this really got me thinking, what IS the best wine for this unique dinner? —What do the sommeliers recommend?
I met with Todd Brown, Sommelier at Lido, Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach and he had a lot to say about this topic. Todd points out, “The problem is that we don’t serve Thanksgiving Day dinner in courses where we can pair each dish with a different wine. With all the dishes and condiments on the table we pass the plate and load up on a little bit of everything all at once.” So with that in mind, I asked him what the best solution would be- and I really liked what he had to say.
He recommends a ½ glass of Rosemary’s Pinot Noir AND a ½ glass of Rosemary’s Chardonnay. (I’ll take a full glass of each, thank you.)
Todd explained that the Talley wines are a great choice because of their balance, particularly their higher acid, lower alcohol and mild tannins that enhance the flavors of food so well. He says “The higher acidity in the wine lets it pair with heavier, starchier foods like potatoes and turkey with dressing. The lower alcohol doesn’t over-exert itself and mask the flavors of the food.” Todd explains that there’s a necessity for both wines because chardonnay and pinot noir go great with turkey. The oaky, yet crisp elements of chardonnay are great with starches while pinot noir’s earthiness is a best bet for complementing vegetable sides like brussel sprouts and green beans as well as the fruitiness of cranberry sauce.
So take this for what it’s worth, but most importantly don’t limit yourself. I would like to thank Todd for his insights, but mostly for his permission to open 2 bottles of Rosemary’s Vineyard wines.