November 18th, 2009

Thanksgiving Wine Tips from The Wine Merchant

Thanksgiving is just one week away, and with that you’re probably beginning to pull together the final menu including the ever so important choice of wines to please everyone!  Never fear…The Wine Merchant is here to help.  I sat down with Kathee and Lisette from The Wine Merchant to get their tips on pulling together the perfect Thanksgiving wine selection.


UC: What should people think about when pulling together a wine selection for Thanksgiving?

TWM: There are a lot of flavors and a lot of different side dishes going on for Thanksgiving, so it is a challenge. In the end, though, you have to drink what you like. You can’t just say Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice if you hate Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s usually a family occasion so if Mom likes oaky Chardonnay then Mom should have her oaky Chardonnay!

UC:  What are some tips for Reds?

TWM:  If you’re having traditional turkey, then for Reds lighter, fruitier styles seem to work well. Pinot Noir is a great choice. If you want something with a little more body and complexity then Grenache and Syrah are great varietals to go with. If you like fruitier then Zinfandel is a great choice as it compliments cranberry, fruit and nut flavors in the meal. It’s great for people that want a heavier, fuller body wine.

UC:  What about Whites?

TWM:  For whites, crisp whites with a lot of acidity are good because they cut through all the heavy fats on Thanksgiving! The gravy, the creamy side dishes…lighter, high acidity wines are a nice compliment so that you’re not putting something heavy on top of something heavy.

UC: Could you give me a few high acidity wines that would be perfect?

TWM: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris from Oregon or France, Pinot BlancGewürztraminer is great because it has a subtle spiciness in the scent and on the palate. It goes great with some of the fall flavors like yam or pumpkin, or other spicy flavors of Thanksgiving. It will really compliment cinnamon and nutmeg well.

UC:  How many different types of wine should someone have on the Thanksgiving table?

TWM: It really just depends on your family.  Some families are very much into wine while other families are more about beer and football and they’ll only have wine when they sit down to the table.

UC:  Can someone get some help on Thanksgiving wines just by stopping into The Wine Merchant?

TWM: We did a feature in our Newsletter suggesting wines for Thanksgiving, but the entire staff at The Wine Merchant has a lot of experience on what goes well with Thanksgiving. One of the simplest rules is to stay away from Cabernet and Merlot because they’re a bit heavy and more of a beef wine. And with whites you just want to stay away from oaky Chardonnays (unless Mom loves it!).

You can visit The Wine Merchant at 3972 Edwards Road in Oakley.  They are open Monday-Friday 10 AM-7 PM, Saturday 10 AM-6 PM, and Sunday 1PM-5PM.

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