For those of us in the States, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s probably my favorite holiday (and my favorite time of year); it’s focused on time spent with family and friends, good food, and good wine.
We’re hosting my family for Thanksgiving dinner this year, a dramatic shift in tradition. As our parents get older, the holiday hosting duties move to the next generation. First was Christmas, which moved to my younger sister’s house from our parents’ nearly a decade ago (save one year at mine when she was pregnant with #4). Thanksgiving was always at my Aunt’s (Auntie!) house. Unfortunately, this year she’s been benched with a busted hand, and my parents are also not up to the task.
My wife and I don’t have kids, so prep duties are a little easier for us. We also have a perfect house for a grand meal around a table, with a dining table that can seat 16 and an open space so we can be in the kitchen cooking and still interact with all of our guests. Our guests will number 15, 9 grownups and 6 kids… we’re missing both of my cousins and their kids as they are going to be in other parts of the country.
So we’re excited. The menu is traditional, Turkey, dressing, mashed potato, sweet potato, green beans, etc. As the “wine people” in the family, we have a certain responsibility to provide some solid choices there as well.
Here is what we’re serving:
NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
Frankly, we don’t drink enough Champagne (or enough of any sparklers). This was a gift to us some time ago, and has been waiting in our refrigerator for just the right time to open it. Thanksgiving is just the right time to share some good bubbly.
2008 Paul D. Gruner Veltliner
I had this earlier this year, and really liked it. Excellent minerality, citrus, and acid will make this pair well with a variety of foods, as well as make for a great aperitif for those skipping the Champagne. Plus, it’s a bit unusual, and it’s a great bargain; a great find to share.
2008 Precept B Late Harvest Riesling
I haven’t had this yet, but the wine merchant notes indicated it would be off dry, pleasing the part of the group who prefers a bit more sweetness. Another great bargain if it turns out to be good.
2009 Dr Loosen Riesling (Dr L)
This is the second Riesling for the night, coming with more substantial positive reviews, and yet another great bargain. Also off dry.
2009 Kudos Pinot Noir
I haven’t had this yet, either, but this came recommended. I think Pinot is the best food match for Thanksgiving dinner, with the roasted turkey and sides bringing heft that isn’t necessarily satisfied by a Riesling. This wine is from Willamette Valley.
2009 Sobon Estate Old Vines Zinfandel
I’ve had several Sobon wines in the past, and have enjoyed them. I’m a fan of Zin with Thanksgiving, as a young, bold wine’s fruit will often sing with the variety of rich food we’ll have for dinner. I also like serving American wine with an American holiday (although as you can see, don’t stick to that hard and fast rule).
NV Cave Des Vignerons Muscat
This one we’ve had before, and it’s fantastic. We’ll serve this with apple pies, it’s a great pairing with apple and pear pastry. I’m not sure how well it will do with pumpkin, though. We’ll see.
It’s possible we’ll dig in to the cellar and pull out some treats if the mood strikes, as Thanksgiving is a great time to break out those special wines you’ve been holding.
What are you serving? Any great Thanksgiving pairings we shouldn’t miss?