Choosing the best wine for turkey day

A hugely popular public holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving really is the time to unbutton the top button of your jeans and indulge in excessive amounts of turkey and yams. I think Chandler from Friends sums it up pretty well.

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But it isn’t quite the same without wine, am I right?

thanksgivingI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they say the first rule of food and wine pairing is “if it grows together, it goes together”. Essentially what that means is wine and food that originate from the same area are inherently designed to be enjoyed together and therefore make a great pairing.

Applying this theory to turkey day – sorry, I mean Thanksgiving – you should preserve the authenticity of the experience by selecting wine produced in the USA. That should be pretty easy given North America is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world with an annual production of over three billion litres. That said, if you end up with one of the following wines from another country, don’t stress – the pairing will still be delicious.

Turkey – with yams, stuffing, relish and everything else – works wonderfully with sparkling wine because the bubbles act as a palate cleanser. Bubbly also lends itself magnificently to a pre-feast toast. California produces a good variety of Sparkling (white) wines, particularly Sonoma and the North Coast.

ITurkey-Wine-Glasses1f you’re in the mood for white, go for an oaked Chardonnay – it offers enough acidity to cut through the fat of the trimmings and the ability to stand up to the powerful combination of flavours in the dish. Again, take a trip to California (Napa!). If you are thinking eurgh, anything but Chardonnay please, kindly click here. If I really, absolutely, definitely, definitively, categorically cannot convince you to give in to the wonders of Chardonnay, a magnificent alternative for turkey is Viognier.

Red wine lovers – a popular choice is Pinot Noir, and it isn’t difficult to see why. The wine has the character to complement the variety of dishes, yet it isn’t as tannic as some other reds. Oregon and California are often the go-to places for this wine. If you prefer something with more body and spicier flavours, go for a Syrah (Washington is a good source).

It’s only 10am but writing this has made me extremely hungry. I also live in London. Where on earth am I going to find a Thanksgiving-esque meal to satisfy my cravings?!

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Grapeful is a free app that helps you wine while you dine, and much more. Download it today on your iOS or Android device.

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