Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Obligatory Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Now, I told myself I wasn’t going to blog about it – naa-aah. Not me. No way this year. I was not going to tell my readers what wines make for a perfect pairing with their Thanksgiving turkey. I mean we’ve been reading about it for years from the LA Times to the Seattle Times to the New York Times and back to the LA Times, again. And let's not forget the glossies - perfectly poised and basted birds on the covers of food and wine magazines and between their pages are "perfect wine pairing" suggestions. And needless to say, there's usually a big shiny wine photo advertising the chosen wine pairing suggestion. Whooaaaa - what a coincidence that the ad manager chose the same wine as the wine writer!

Unfortunately, I fell – I fell to the peer pressure of my fellow wine bloggers reminding me it was time - - time to give out my suggestions for Thanksgiving wine pairings. So here I am. Now, for several years it seemed to me that everyone got stuck in a rut when it came to the perfect wine pairing for their Butterball or else they bought into the rant of the fictitious character from the movie, "Sideways." I can't tell you how many wine message boards I have read where someone would ask about turkey and wine pairing and the standard answer was always, "Pinot Noir - - the only wine to serve with turkey." And on one of those wine message boards, I was told I was "wine-ignorant" for suggesting a crisp dry French rose' for Thanksgiving. And let's not forget - -

The marketing scheme of Georges Duboeuf and his annual Beaujolais Nouveau "phenomenon" - - a bottle of young Gamay produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It's fermented for just a few weeks and the new vintage is officially released for sale on the third Thursday of November. The young Gamay production can be traced back to the 19th century, but became a marketing tradition since 1985. Off the distributors will race to see who will bring the first bottles of the vintage to their markets. And what a coincidence that it falls just a few days before the American Thanksgiving! In fact, today is "Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2008!"

So you ask, "Well Miss Smarty-Pants-Walla-Walla-Wine-Blogger-Woman," what wines are you going to recommend to pair with my Thanksgiving meal? My recommendation for the perfect food and wine pairing for your Thanksgiving table is: choose your favorite wines and be conscious about how many carbon footprints you take = go local!

Thanksgiving is about friends, family and giving thanks – who cares what some "big-city" magazine or newspaper says you should be drinking with your holiday meal! Open your favorites and open many! If Uncle John Pilgrim wants a Cabernet Sauvignon with his turkey and Aunt Priscilla Pilgrim would prefer an off-dry Riesling - - it's all good! This is the best time to enjoy and share your favorite wines with your loved ones.

Also, think local. Okay, so I will bring out that bottle of French rose' I've been hanging onto for a few months and I will bring out a few bottles of Spanish Cava for the sparkling factor, but the majority of the wines at our table will be local - - wines produced in the Walla Walla Valley.

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