What wine to pour on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Pies with Wine


The Story:

You're sitting on the couch, halfway slouched over watching the game and someone asks "Who wants pie?"  You take a moment to look down at your unbuttoned pants, bulging belly and scan the room to see who is tempted to say yes.  At this point it's hard to even breathe, let alone think about eating anything else.  Then you hear the words "We've got Pecan, Pumpkin or Apple!"  Visions of pie topped with whip cream and a scoop of vanilla bean go running through your head and although you know you should probably starve yourself for a week after today's caloric intake, you yell back "Apple, please!"

The Pairing:

Now that you've figured out what wine to pair with everything from sweet potato casserole to brisket of beef, why not wow your guests even more so by pouring them a glass of dessert wine to accompany an assortment of Thanksgiving pies?  I recently sampled the 2007 Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine from the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, Canada with pecan, pumpkin and apple pie and I have to say, the wine was magic with all three!

This wine is seriously liquid candy.  It's lush and full of apricot, golden raisin and honey notes with a touch of pear, orange creme and brown sugar hiding in the background.  For as sweet and syrupy as this wine is, it's backed by a beautiful balance of acidity that leads to a fairly long finish.  The spice in the wine worked incredibly well against the spice found in all three pies, especially the pecan.  I also enjoyed the texture of this wine with the pumpkin pie and since pumpkin pie is so dense, I adored the wine's opulent body with it.  More so than anything however, I loved how well the wine's bright acidity helped to wash down the food and especially how well it worked with the tart granny smith apples used to make the apple pie.  Cheers, we're just days away!!


Please let me know your comments in the section below!  Do you make room for pie on Thanksgiving?  What do you do after you eat?  Let's chat!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Wine

The Story:

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the #1 day to drink wine in America?  Me neither, because the way I drink wine, you would think everyday was a holiday!  And since it's hard enough choosing a wine for Friday night from a sea full of labels at the grocery store, I decided to host a pre-Thanksgiving potluck dinner to showcase 6 wines that would work with any holiday spread.

I invited the regular "tasting" crew (winos), along with a few other close friends and tried to get everyone to bring a dish.  I wanted a little bit of everything on the table, including sweet potato casserole, maple glazed ham and who could forget, turkey.  We were scheduled to start dinner at 8, but by 8:15, it was clear we were running behind.  We forgot to buy enough cheese for the macaroni and the stuffing was missing an extra bag of breadcrumbs.  Plus, my friend needed to toast her heaping mound of marshmallows on top of her casserole and another friend needed to throw her rolls in the oven.  Luckily, I bribed everyone to stay and wait by pouring a delicious and beautiful holiday cocktail (details coming soon).

We finally sat down to eat at 8:40 and I raised my glass in a toast to good friends, good food and a special thanks for not ripping my head off due to starving bellies.  And with that, we started our meal.  We took each glass of wine and tried a few bites of food.  The pairings were close to perfect and over the next couple weeks, I will be sharing them with you.  Today, I start by highlighting my absolute favorite, sweet potato casserole (extra marshmallows, please)!

 The Pairing:

The problem with choosing one wine for Thanksgiving dinner is that there are so many different dishes on the table.  A wine that does the trick every time is a slightly sweet, German Riesling Spatlese.  The 2006 Ansgar Clusserath Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese from Germany is a great choice.  The hint of sweetness in the wine works incredibly well with sweeter dishes like maple glazed ham and of course, sweet potato casserole.  Plus, Riesling is incredibly versatile with food due to its naturally high acidity and low alcohol level so it's sure to work with just about any dish.  In addition, guests who don't often drink wine will also enjoy its touch of sweetness.

What I like about this particular Riesling with sweet potato casserole is the wine has a rich texture helping it to stand up to the heaviness of the dish.  There is also a smoky element that plays nicely off the toasted marshmallows.  Additionally, the wine has enough sugar to stand up to the sweetness of the yams.  Finally, the length of the wine's finish along with its refreshing, clean acidity make you want to take another bite of the food and then another sip of the wine.  Cheers!


Please let me know your comments in the section below!  What is your favorite dish to serve for Thanksgiving dinner?  Do you have a wine you like to pour on Thanksgiving?  Let's chat!

Where To Find The Wine:

The 2006 Ansgar Clusserath Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese retails for $29.99 (only 166 cases were produced) at Khourys Fine Wine & Spirits.  Please visit their website: http://khourysfinewine.com/ or call 702-435-9463.  They can ship anywhere!