October 3, 2018
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get together with family and friends, and while there’s always lots of catching up to do, once that’s over, why not have a fun activity ready for the adults? Thanksgiving is a great time to put together a low key and simple wine tasting, featuring wines that are also perfect to pair with turkey dinner, baked ham, or even dessert.
Start your Thanksgiving Wine Tasting with Bubbles
When your guests arrive, welcoming them with a glass of bubbly is the perfect greeting. Whether you choose Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, serve it in a stemmed champagne flute or a vintage coupe.
Starting off with bubbles sets the tone for the evening to come and makes guests feel special, particularly since most folks don’t buy Champagne on their own unless there’s a big occasion to celebrate.
If you want something lively and fresh, choose Mumm Carte Classique Champagne. A favourite of nobles in Europe for over 100 years, it provides a great balance between freshness, fruitiness, acidity and strength. Or, look for Nino Franco Prosecco.
Sample White Wines for Turkey
When it comes to white wines, there are a few you can pour and sample, then have your guests choose which one you’d like to enjoy with the turkey and trimmings.
Sample Tournon Mathilda White from Australia, and look for hints of stone fruit and mineraly essences. Mathilda is very crisp and fresh with plenty of character.
Move your tasting on to a Gewürztraminer from BC’s Okanagan Valley. Ex-Nihilo Ursa White has plenty of tropical flavours and essences to make you think about warmer climates as the weather turns colder. With Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Pinot Gris blended together, you’ll find a nicely balanced wine with good acidity.
Consider adding another B.C. choice to your sampling list, like the Sandhill Pinot Gris or choose a California Chardonnay from Byron wines which has a lovely crispness with flavours of peaches and nectarine, hints of fig, honey, and a dash of spice.
Reach for Rosé for Your Tasting
Rosé may have gotten a bad rap for a lot of years, (thanks a lot, 1980s overly sweetened white Zinfandel!) but Rosé is back in a big way and it’s better than it’s ever been.
Kim Crawford Rosé is a great re-entry point for getting familiar with Rosé wines. Made with Merlot and Malbec grapes it will make you think you’re sipping essences of ripe apple, strawberries, watermelon and tangy citrus fruits.
Rosé is also an excellent alternative to white wine when it comes to serving with turkey, roast chicken or ham. With nearly any dish you’re serving for Thanksgiving, this wine will be a cheerful compliment.
Red Wines with White Meat? Definitely!
For some die hard red wine lovers, only the crimson will do—even with white meat. Despite popular belief, many reds are excellent alongside meats like ham and turkey, and these choices should keep the red lovers in the family happy. Again, you can pour small tastes for guests then have them choose which one to drink with the meal.
Yangarra McLaren Vale Grenache comes highly recommended from Co-op Sommelier Manager, Mike Roberts as does the Ivory & Burt Zinfandel.
Two Wines for Ham
If your family tradition leans more towards ham than turkey, or if you just want to expand your Thanksgiving tasting, the Mitolo Nessus Shiraz is a great choice. This dark and dreamy Aussie Shiraz has hints of dark plums, tart blackberry, and a light dusting of pepper.
Also consider Terra D’Alter Outeiro from Portugal. This Syrah/Shiraz-Petit Verdot is bold with a taste of red and black fruits like raspberry and blackberry, alongside hints of smoky vanilla, wood and spice.
Don’t Forget Wine with Dessert!
When it’s time to dip into some home baked pumpkin or pecan pie or perhaps a fresh harvest apple crumble, Jacobs Creek Moscato can cap the meal off perfectly.
If you’ve never enjoyed a Moscato before, it’s a light sweet wine with just a hint of effervescence that makes it easy to drink. It’s also a nice liquid dessert on its own for those guests without a sweet tooth.
This Thanksgiving, give your guests the gift of a wine tasting to help them expand their tastes—and yours!
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