It’s less than three weeks now until families all across South Jersey will be sitting down at dining room tables to give thanks for all their blessings and partake in a feast of holiday foods. In a lot of homes there will be turkeys and hams or both, with all of the trimmings. It’s a time when wine goes perfectly with dinner;when even those who seldom have a glass of wine will be drinking to celebrate the occasion. It’s not too soon to start thinking about what wines go best with the foods that will grace your table. I tend to think about wine on Thanksgiving as two different sessions.
First, I want a wine that is just fun to sip while watching the early football games. Something that drinks well by itself or with a few pre-dinner appetizers passed around the room. To fill this scenario I would go with a nice Australian shiraz or one of the now popular Argentinian malbecs. Both of these wines offer tons of flavor and don’t need foods. In fact, these wines would perhaps overpower the main course and are not suggested for the dinner table. Here are four possible choices that most people would totally enjoy while munching on cheese or veggies and a nice dip with one eye on the football game. Left to right they are the 2008 Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz ($19.99), the 2008 Mollydooker “The Boxer” Shiraz ($24.99), the 2007 Patagonia Malbec Barrel Selection Fabre Montmayou ($12.99) and the 2008 Kaiken “Ultra” Malbec ($14.99). None of these wines will put a heavy strain on your budget and all of them are drinking nicely right now. Once it’s time for the dinner feast, it’s time to put down these heavier wines and switch toward something a little lighter that will compliment the vast array of culinary treats spread across the dining room table. Finding the right wines for turkey and ham is not always an easy task. Some feel that only white wines can work with these two meats. For white wine lovers I would suggest something similar to what we have here. On the left is the 2008 Monchoff “Robert Eymael” Riesling ($13.99), slightly sweet without being overpowering with bright citrus fruits and a hint of minerality. If you don’t care for red wine this will serve nicely throughout the meal. Another white choice is the second wine shown, the 2007 St. Urbans-Hof, Ockfener Bockstein, Riesling Spatlese($17.99) just a tad sweeter than the Monchoff with many of the same apple and peach notes that give the wine its unique taste. Although, I will have some of the whites, I still prefer finding a red that isn’t too strong that will go perfectly with the meal. For myself, a nice Oregon Pinot Noir serves the bill extremely well and the two pictured here are both tasty and affordable. As I have mentioned in previous posts on this blog, good Pinot Noir often costs somewhere north of $30.00 and often far north. Both the 2007 Owen Roe ($18.00) and the 2007 A to Z are ($18.99) available for under $20.00 and both are great with fish or fowl.
Regardless of your wine choices, Thanksgiving is an awesome time to get together with family and share a few bottles of something and give thanks that we can all be together to enjoy each others company while remembering family members who are no longer with us. May each of you find peace and love on this special day.