Giving wine the bird: Thanksgiving wines for Turkey Day

Turkey and WineAs we meld into more of America’s melting pot, Thanksgiving is becoming a more difficult wine pairing challenge. And every host wants to look cool/educated/sophisticated/knowledgeable when it comes to pairing food and wine. Or, at least, Food Network says you do. But no one says you need to be perfect when choosing the accompanying vino — there are, indeed, tried-and-true wines which cozy up to many variegated Turkey Day plates.

* Take Chardonnay, for instance. A oft buttery, rarely food-friendly white wine but hangs well with white meat turkey. Here are a few recommendations:

The unoaked version
Buried Cane Chardonnay

* Pinot Noir, a higher-acid, lighter-bodied red that plays well with most food of any sort. It’s a go-to wine for any occasion. Suggestions:

Gary Farrell Pinot Noir
Handley Cellars Pinot Noir
King Estate Pinot Noir

* Bubbles, the sparkling wine light of my life. They make whoopee with any and everything. Suggestions:

J Winery Cuvee 20
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs
Cristalino Brut Cava

* Alternative, higher acidity yet fuller-bodied whites or reds can add intrigue and glamor to any gathering. Check out these options:

Gruner Veltliner
Albarino
Chianti Classico
Barbera

Thanksgiving is all about the food… and sometimes about the wine. As a kid, it was always – and remains – my favorite holiday. It’s the pinnacle of gluttony, a gustatory bacchanal, an excuse to eat 20 pounds of poultry and not agonize over the diet. But perhaps it’s morphing into a wine exploration as well. Happy Turkey Day y’all!

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