Good Food’s resident wine pro Stacie Hunt (from both Du Vin Wine and Spirits and Splash Productions) couldn’t be with us this year for the Thanksgiving show, but she has delivered an extraordinary wine pairing for us nonetheless. If you listen to this week’s Thanksgiving episode of Good Food you will find an entire Thanksgiving menu from a BBQ turkey to sides of Vietnamese inspired Green Beans, Celeriac Remoulade, Chestnut and Apple stuffing and for dessert a Pear Charlotte. Stacie has graciously paired a selection of wines for each dish. Here she is with her wine pairings as well as some musings on Thanksgiving….
This year Thanksgiving feels as though it’s coming to us very early. Hardly enough time to revel in the release of the Beaujolais Noveau party before we turn our attention to America’s biggest meal.
Our country is made up of many cultures and traditions that have so creatively adopted the Thanksgiving tradition, weaving into the meal roots from many “old countries”. But every culture has a tradition of feasting for “thanksgiving” if not Thanksgiving, a time to gather and give thanks for the harvest and each other.
My family takes emotional pleasure in thinking about the individual dishes and how the meal will unfold; how we’ll decorate the table; and each year find room to add a few more chairs as our family and friends expand.
There’s an excitement that builds as planning begins for the must-have dishes, the experimental recipes, the inclusion of dishes made from ingredients that are familiar and unfamiliar. There’s pure sensuality of anticipation, then eating and drinking for hours and finally, the tinge of sadness as the plates are emptied.
Thanksgiving meal is a narrative that develops throughout the meal. The prologue should sparkle and glitter; the vegetables and greens become lively when paired with citrusy wines; the main course and trimmings challenge with caramelized and spicy blends; and the concluding chapter is often a spicy, gingery dessert that calls for a nutty, decadent sweetness making for a lip-smacking finale.
As you select the wines for your Thanksgiving meal, keep in mind that spiciness and fruitiness are great combinations to pair with the variety of sweet and savory flavors. Look for value-priced level of wines, as this is a meal in which the wine will take a “character” part in the scene, allowing the food to be the lead.
Another exciting and festive idea is to look for large format bottles of wine. A magnum (1.5 litres) is equal to 2 regular bottles of wine and looks bountiful on the table.
Keep reading for Stacie’s perfect Thanksgiving pairings…
As guests arrive:
1. SPARKLING WINE:
N/V Nino Franco Prosecco, Valdobbiadene, Veneto Italy $16
Brilliant in the glass, medium-fine bubbles, aromas of white flowers, fresh bread, white stone fruit. Fresh, crisp and clean.
N/V – Non-Alcohol, Donelli Sparkling grape and peach juice, Italy $6
A non-alcohol sparkling drink that has a brilliant, pale gold color, medium-fine bubbles, aromas of yellow peaches from and a refreshing taste of fresh peach plucked from the tree.
The next wine pairings go with Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ Turkey, Jonathan Gold’s Chicken Apple Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing and “Mom Parsons’ Cranberry Sauce.”
Red, White and Beaujolais Choices:
White: ’10 Hugel Gewurztraminer, Austria $25
Light gold in color; aromas of figs, lychees nuts, spice; tastes of white peach, fig, melon and spice.
Red: ’09 Tobin James Zinfandel $16
’10 Bogle Zinfandel $12
Ruby-garnet in color: aromas of raspberry, strawberry, white pepper, cedar, and spice; tastes of blueberries, pepper, and strawberry.
Beaujolais Noveau (various producers) $10
Bright ruby color; aromas of fresh-picked strawberries, vanilla, and multi-fruits. Serve this wine chilled.
Rosé or Blush:
’11 Turley White Zinfandel, Napa $20
The famed Turley Zinfandel winemaker, weighs in with this beautiful light salmon-pink wine, dry in style.
’11 Petale de Rose, Provence $15
The classic from Provence: pale rose-pink, raspberry, strawberry and dry as a bone.
The next bottles pair with both Mark Bittman’s Celeriac Remoulade and Charles Phan’s Vietnamese Green Beans.
’09 Scolca White Label Gavi di Gavi $23
Pale gold in color; aromas of citrus flowers and white fruits; tastes of ripe citrus fruits.
‘09 Pochon Crozes Hermitage $23
Pale gold color; aromas of minerals, white stone fruits and white pepper; tastes of stone fruit, minerals, spice.
For dessert Stacie recommends bottles that have hints of spice and ginger. Both would pair well with either Roxana’s Pear Charlotte or Evan’s Pear Tarte Tatin.
N/V Vin Santo, Tuscany, Italy $25+
Made from the dried white grape Trebbiano, a rich and syrupy dessert wine tasting of dried figs and nuts.
’10 Quady Essencia, Orange Muscat, California $17
Made from the shriveled and dried Orange Muscat grape, Our own California version of a Vin Santo. Tastes of sweet, dried golden raisins, figs with a hint of spice