As we come to another Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada, citizens are a hum with thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner with extended family and friends. Debates and lamenting over this or the other pre-dinner, during dinner, and then after dinner, becomes highly tolerable with good vino. You know it's true! So, to prepare you for yet another holiday meal with family and friends, I've got a few handy wine picks below. These picks are delicious, to put it plainly, but if you have Caribbean, Indian, African, and Taiwanese dishes with more spices accompanying your turkey, you will do well with these wines for sure.
Thanksgiving Wine Choices
When I think of holiday wines for dinner, I think of versatility. Trust me; this covers you if you've got a potluck dinner in mind, finicky palates to deal with, and the occasional wine drinker who likes to put ice cubes and fruits in their wines. With versatility in mind, you will have something for everyone.
Margaret River Chardonnay
With so many opinions about Chardonnay, there is no ignoring the fact that the classic expression (Chablis) with its crisp acidity, green apple, and lemon/lime notes makes it a perfect food pairing wine. On the flip side, its richer expression in warmer climates evokes more buttery and smokey notes imparted from oak that many enjoy over conversation. The two styles are quite different, but let me introduce you to Margaret River Chardonnay. Here, the grape gives you the perfect marriage between Chablis from Burgundy and Chardonnay from Napa. Margaret River Chardonnay's are harvested with an intent to keep the grape's acidity while giving a lifted fruit profile of apple, pear, apricot, and bright citrus.
You will find that this wine pairs well with both conversation and food. This wine does quite well with white meats, such as turkey!
Light Red Wines
When it comes to versatile red wines, I like to go with lighter wines to ensure they will go with an array of dishes and align with as many palates as possible.
Cool Climate Pinot Noir
Cool Climate Pinot Noir is a chameleon as it can vibe well with many cuisines. Here, you find bright red fruit, crisp acidity, and moderate tannin and alcohol on the palate.
When we talk about cool climate, we're encouraging you to look at Pinot Noir from :
Germany (called Spätburgunder here)
New Zealand (Central Otago region is a must)
Gamay is a red wine, famed and primarily produced in Beaujolais, France. It is a light-bodied red wine with low tannin, high acidity, and medium alcohol. Many align Gamay with candied fruit and banana notes, which come from the winemaking process used in the region, called Carbonic Maceration. Today, however, you are finding more and more Cru level producers using semi-Carbonic Maceration.
While Gamay may be famed due to its origin region, Beaujolais, France, it is essential to mention that other parts of the world produce great Gamay, namely Ontario, Canada.
Ontario Gamay holds notes of red fruit that we know Gamay to bring to the senses, but you'll often find more violet, peppery herbs, and mineral here.
Gamay is an astoundingly food-friendly wine that shines when paired with pork and lamb.
I honestly feel that Cabernet Franc is one of the most underrated yet wildly important grapes there is. As one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon and a mainstay in Bordeaux blends, it deserves its due. Umm... fun fact that should be included here, it is also the parent of Merlot and Carmenere. It's a busy grape! However, the style of Cabernet Franc I want to talk about today is not the blended kind. I want to talk about wines made from 100% Cabernet Franc; these beauties!
Cabernet Franc is an aromatic, red berry, tomato, and herb kind of wine. One of its tell-tale signs is notes of bell pepper or jalapeno, depending on where the grapes are grown. You will also find lively acidity and moderate tannins in this wine giving it the style profile fit for any meal.
With these wines in tow, there will be no debate or lamenting session you cannot handle this holiday weekend!