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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Noble Writ: The Truth About Wine and Thanksgiving

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Page 2 of 2

While it would be possible to craft a Thanksgiving menu that could showcase food and wine pairing, most of us either lack that control, or we want to savor the nostalgia of dishes horrific enough to provide Throwback of the House with a year's worth of recipes.

click to enlarge Consider a wine made with gamay grapes for your Thanksgiving feast. - USER "VIKING59," WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
So instead of trotting out the list of usual suspects for Thanksgiving wine matches, I'm going to share the selections I'll be pouring at my Thanksgiving. For the record, I avoid wine and food clashes by skipping any sweet side dishes and cranberries completely since I prefer the taste of wine to either of them.

First, I'll be opening a 2000 Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières. This is cabernet franc from a fine producer in the Loire that is at a lovely point in its evolution. I opened a bottle last month, and my first thought was, "This would be perfect for Thanksgiving." It was very sleek, but complex, with lovely red-berry flavors and aromas, mixed with minerals and a slight herbal touch. Of course, it had excellent acidity, and its tannins were quite resolved. So, my final bottle will be popped.

I'll also open my last bottle of 2002 Clos de Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Tardive. Gamay in the form of Beaujolais Nouveau is a common recommendation for Thanksgiving, and while there are some Nouveau that are well made, most offer little more than simple fruitiness. This wine is also gamay, but from the Cru village of Fleurie, where the Coudert family bottles this old vine offering. At seven years old, it should be awakening to present a velvety mouthful of rich dark cherry, with underlying mineral notes.

Finally, to offer a white option, I'll open a bottle of the 2007 Schloss Saarstein Qba I discussed in a previous post. This bottle's zingy acidity and lively minerality, combined with just a touch of sugar to take the edge off, should make a fine companion to our meal. Whatever wine you end up selecting, I hope that it serves you well -- whether that's to increase the pleasure of your meal or simply to allow you to numb the pain of an afternoon with your family. I'll report back on how my selections turned out in the comments after the holiday.

Dave Nelson is the author of the blog Beer, Wine and Whisky. He writes about wine every Tuesday.

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