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Thanksgiving Wine Suggestions

It's that time of year where we frantically try to pair something with the bird.  And with all of that, inevitably some critic or wine snob has the be all to end all of wine pairings that will revolutionize the Turkey Day festivities.  Stop right there!  Mistake number one.  Unless turkey is all you eat on Thanksgiving, you have an entire array of other dishes to consider that go along with that.  Why just pigeon hole your wine selection to matching just the turkey?  It's not rocket science, it's just wine.  My rule is drink what you enjoy instead of putting so much pressure on yourself to impress everyone else.  But, if we must have suggestions and recommendations then let's give it a whirl.  Again, whatever you enjoy then that's what you should pour, but for sake of argument these are my picks and my opinions.  I'm steering away from Pinot Noir just because that's the safety net everyone uses when they don't know or don't want to experiment. Wine #1...Anna de Codorniu Rose Cava from Spain. What? Sparkling wine from Spain is known as Cava which is made in similar fashion to French Champagne, but 50% of Champagne's price tag. This particular Cava is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay (same grapes used to make Champagne, shhh!) Why?...BUBBLES!  Bubbles make flavors in food POP!  Not to mention this particular Rose Cava has a tiny fruit component that will compliment a dry turkey, cross over into the stuffing, match up the canned cranberry sauce and then tackle a cheese cake.  ONLY $10
 WINE #2...Ravines Dry Riesling What?  The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is making killer Alsace/German style whites and fantastic French inspired Cabernet Franc. Why?  Finger Lakes Riesling is a terrific balance of fruit (not sweet) and dry as opposed to that fruit cocktail syrupy juice found in California Rieslings which are too cloying for me and in my opinion and my opinion only are way overboard for Thanksgiving.  You want a fruit component with the festivities not a bone dry white.
WINE #3 Tilenus Mencia
What?  The region of Biezo, Spain is one of those hidden gems turning out great quality affordable wines.  Their main red grape is called Mencia which is similar to Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley of France.
Why? I'm going with this versatile red because yes there is a slight fruit character to it, but it has beautiful floral flavors of lilac, lavender that will balance with the savory flavors of stuffing, herb roasted chicken, etc.  It's not as terroir driven (there's a Jeopardy question there) as a Loire Cab Franc but in this case I'm not looking for minerality or earthy flavors.  ONLY $10

WINE #5 Cave Saint Desirat Cotes du Rhone Villages
What?  The Rhone Valley of France is home to a bevy of off the beaten path grapes such as Mourvedre, Syrah (not Shiraz), Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan to name just a few.  Spicy fruit with cinnamon and clove balanced off with just enough earth tones to not make them a jelly jar bomb, but not necessarily a barn yard forest floor.
Why? Again, let's go back to the concept that you should focus on the entire meal being served and not just the bird.  With that, you have an entire array of flavors so I give you a wine made up of several flavors that will match.  This particular red is coming from Cotes du Rhone Villages which is a notch up from a regular CDR and at $10 worth the try.

BEER#1 Sin Cider Newton Pippin Hard Cider
This maybe a new concept to some, but beer actually pairs very nice with food, again BUBBLES and low alcohol.  This year has seen an influx in hard ciders.  You may have had Woodchuck or Angry Orchards, but these are slightly different.  These ciders drink like wine as opposed to fizzy yellow beer (cider).  I'm going with this choice thinking that between stuffing, bird, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and such that this will play off those savory flavors.  This particular cider is not too sweet and finishes dry.  If you can find the cherry cider then that would be a terrifc match with the turkey and trimmings.  This isn't a strange concept if you think back to history.  The pilgrims drank beer and most likely fermented ciders.

Experimentation should be the name of the game.  Actually, enjoying the company of family, friends at the holiday dinner table should be the main focus.  All this worrying about being so particular and accurate with pairings is too much. Drink what you like.  If it's a jug of Paisano then so be it just give me a heads up so I can BYOB! Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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