Turkey/Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving traditionally is a time to eat, drink and kick off the holiday season "right." That of course means wine. It can be tricky to pick a wine for Thanksgiving-- it's hard to please everyone.

Kimber Stonehouse, Director of Operations for Sportsman's Fine Wines & Spirits has some tips on what wines to serve with the bird.

See also: - 5 Beer/Food Pairings for Thanksgiving - 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau Debuts and Celebrates 30th Anniversary November 15

What is key when choosing a wine to pair with a traditional Thanksgiving meal? "One of the most important factors in choosing a wine to pair with any meal is to remember that the wine needs to match more than the protein, in this case turkey or ham." says Stonehouse. After all, some will serve green bean casserole, others sweet potato. Stonehouse also recommends deciding on a red and a white to please folks who strongly prefer one over the other.

Stonehouse recommends the following wines for Thanksgiving: -Chateau Thivin Beaujolais Rose: At under $20 per bottle it's what Stonehouse is serving! -Chateau Thivin Rouge: Cru Beaujolais just under $30 -Provenance Merlot: A "bigger" red at $24.99 -Pacific Rim Gewurztraminer: "Light, sweet, fruity and perfect with turkey" at $10 ( She's serving that, too.) -Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast or Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch: For the die-hard Chardonnay fans! Both are on sale at Sportsman's for under $30.

Opting for vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving choices can change the wine selection, but only slightly. "It may change the selection if the vegetarian choices are extremely different than traditional fare. However, turkey and ham require lighter reds or fruity whites, and both of those styles of wine work fantastic with vegetarian and vegan fare." says Stonehouse. Of course, food and wine pairing are all about texture and coupling flavors. "We recommend heavy wines with heavier foods, and flavors that we like together, such as sweet and spicy."

Stonehouse notes that Sportsman's has several "not too sweet" gewurztraminers and rieslings that are some of the best wines for pairing with Thanksgiving fare and also work for vegetarian dinners. To try something different entirely, choose "a white Burgundy or an oaked Viognier," to build your palate.

If you're going to a Thanksgiving feast as a guest, a bottle of wine is sure to please. "Many times your host/hostess will open the bottle for enjoyment while you're there; so pick something you'll enjoy drinking. If you're truly stuck, a good go-to is a bottle of bubbles. The holidays are celebratory, after all! If you're not a bubbles fan, then a middle-of-the-road wine is in order."

Sportsman's is celebrating their 25th anniversary and is currently having a holiday sale, which ends ends December 31. Everything returns to regular price on January 2, 2013 and they're closed January 1st.

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