It’s an exciting time of the year in the wine world for those of us with an interest or passion for wine. It’s Thanksgiving!
For us here at Brut, the wine is almost as important as the food. We put a lot of thought into the selection. Maybe too much, but at the same time, that is what makes it fun!
So, here at Brut Detroit, we want to offer some great ideas for pairing wine with Turkey Day.
Let’s begin with the white wines.
We always start with BUBBLES! Sparkling wine pairs with just about anything (popcorn, fried chicken, oysters, white meat and even burgers). If you can pull it off, a Brut Champagne is best. A very slight bit of sweetness that will compliment any turkey and sides. If Champagne is out of your budget (as it is for us), try a Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy. These are great bubbly alternatives at a fraction of the price.
And, do not be afraid to try a rosé sparkler -- a touch fruitier to pair with cranberries.
For white wine without Fizz --
Sancerre -- this Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France is great for meals as it pairs with the bird, green beans and is a palate cleanser that just invites food to be revisited and revisited. (Sancerre can be a bit pricy, so try a White Bordeaux. We would stay away from the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs -- although delicious, they may overwhelm the meal)
On to the reds!
There is a commonality for the red wine choices below key to a Turkey Day pairing -- they have bold red fruit flavors (to pair with the cranberries and autumn spices in most meals), light tannin and acidity (to pair with the texture and flavor of the turkey) and have an earthiness (to match the gravy usually present in a turkey day meal)
So, with that we offer the following recommendations --
Zinfandel -- this American holiday deserves and American classic and that is Zin. Fruity, smoky and bold, this will make the autumn spices associated with the dinner sing!
Southern Rhone -- known for its GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blends) these iconic French wines do well in Turkey day because of their earthiness and great acid. Try a Cotes du Rhone!
Pinot Noir -- this is the easiest “go-to”. It’s a crowd pleaser. It’s full of red fruit flavors. It has great acid to balance with light and dark meat as well as cranberries. BUT -- try one from New Zealand or Oregon to mix it up. Just trust us. Great value. Great wine.
Beaujolais -- this one may be outside the box for most but worth the try. Light in tannin. Great acidity. Earthy. Try the stuff that arrives this week-- you know the “new” Beaujolais. Or, on our suggestion, try a Cru Beaujolais. From places like Morgon, Brouilly, Moulin-A-Vent, and Fleurie. These are the best that Beaujolais has to offer and well worth it.
Yes rosé. We Americans tend to drink rosé only during the summer months. The rest of the world? Year round. We Americans need to change our ways. Rosé is PERFECT for Turkey Day. Dry rosé from Provence, Spain, Portugal is almost a must have. The delicate red fruit flavors are incredible for Thanksgiving. Try one.
We here at Brut hope you have a lot to be thankful for in 2016. Enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. We hope these ideas will help you with your Thanksgiving imbibe!
Shameless plug -- We will be pouring many wines this weekend at Always Brewing in Detroit that would pair well with Turkey Day. Come on out and try them. AND, we have a special tasting on Saturday evening with Michigan Bubble guru Larry Mawby. He makes world class sparkling wine! Come join us to taste some bubbles and meet Larry!