I found the wine I’m serving for Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, I wrote a Bible on turkey wines, interviewing top chefs doing prix fixe dinners, and in the end, it turned out that you can serve just about anything with enough fruit or acidity to stand up to all those side dishes.
Ya dig? The wine pairing has nothing to do with the dull bird. It’s the buttery yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole that the wine has to cut through. Hence, the usual suspects are sparkling reds, crisp whites or Beaujolais, which packs more fruit than Hawaiian punch.
This year, I’m definitely going with J. Lohr Estates 2006 Wildflower Valdiguie. The grapes are grown on Chualar loam soil in the cold, windy Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. They were originally thought to be the Gamay Noir grape (Beaujolais), but UC Davis scientists have since identified it as the grape Valdiguié, probably from an area in the southwest of France. Only the wine gods know how it got there, or when.
But anyhoo, it’s quite reminiscent of Crus Beaujolais like Morgon but with slightly more purple in the glass, and dark boysenberry complexity. Last night, over more Tivo catch-up (“Friday Night Lights” this time), my roommate tested it out with a huge plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. I swigged my glass with baked salmon.
While we nearly finished the bottle, a point that I missed: it would’ve been much more vibrant chilled! So stick it in the fridge an hour before your guests arrive. Order it now and you’ll be in great shape for the holidays.