You can almost smell the bird in the oven. That juicy, herby smell that’s about to take over kitchens across the country for the most gluttonous of all holidays. And what’s a little gluttony without the proper vino.
The world always wants to reach for a red wine come dinnertime. It’s a nasty little habit, really, that pushes whites to second-class status. We’re here to tell you that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show off your wine acumen by putting a white on the table as a centerpiece.
Riesling happens to be arguably the best choice — although Viogniers and Gewürztraminers work well too — in large part because of its diversity. First, a Riesling with just a touch of sweet has the viscosity and body to stand up to the meat on the table. The sweetness plays well with the gravy and the juices, and the floral notes will sing in harmony with any herbs and spices used to season the turkey.
Riesling’s versatility doesn’t stop there. It will work with the sweet potatoes on the table, as with a variety of other veggie-first flavors. You can also open a bottle to welcome guests while serving finger foods and cheeses before dinner.
The 2012 Bonacquisti Wine Co. Riesling ($16) is a particularly nice option. Sourced from the rockstar West Elks AVA, high in the mountains of Hotchkiss, it’s floral and fruity with lime zest and a hint of lavender. It’s acid structure will help break down the food as it works its way from first bite to digestion, too.
Other wines to consider for Thanksgiving:
Rosés: These pink wines are great with cheese plates.
Sangiovese: This light Italian grape provides a good balance of body and fruit that won’t overwhelm the bird. Vinny No Neck is a blend led by Sangiovese and it just so happens Vinny is the ultimate dinner guest.
Pinot: See above.
Something for dessert: Be it a port-style wine or late harvest offering, dessert wines make dessert. Match the sweetness of the wine to the sweetness of dessert. The Bona Port, made from Zin grapes, will go well with rich chocolates and stinky cheeses.
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