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As the leaves turn and the air chills, Thanksgiving approaches, bringing with it a cornucopia of flavors and the challenge of pairing them with the perfect wines. At Pascale’s Liquors, we understand that the right wine can elevate your Thanksgiving meal from memorable to unforgettable. This guide is crafted blending foundational knowledge with expert insights to navigate the delightful world of Thanksgiving wine pairings.

Nick's Recommended Pairings

Roast Turkey and Fog Mountain Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir, known for its lighter body and complex flavor profile that often includes notes of red fruit, earth, and spice, is exemplified by Fog Mountain Pinot Noir. This wine brings forward bright raspberry and cherry flavors, complementing the turkey's delicate flavors without overwhelming them.

Roast Turkey and Terres De Galets Cotes Du Rhone

On the other hand, Terres De Galets Cotes Du Rhone, a blend typically involving Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, offers a fuller body and a more robust flavor profile. This wine's deep purple-red color, aromas of red fruits, and Provencal herbs, along with a hint of spicy black pepper and vanilla, provide a more intense pairing option for the turkey.

Glazed Ham and Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling

Glazed ham, with its combination of sweet and savory flavors, is ideally paired with Riesling, a versatile grape that can range from sweet to dry. Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling, with its semi-dry style, strikes a perfect balance. It brings tropically ripe notes of apricot, nectarine, and a touch of pineapple, along with lemon citrus and acacia blossom, which complement the richness of the ham without overpowering it.

Cranberry Sauce and Perseverance Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

Cranberry sauce, a mix of tart and sweet, pairs well with Zinfandel, a grape known for its bold and fruity profile. Perseverance Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel offers rich fruit flavors and spicy notes that harmonize with the cranberry sauce. Zinfandel's typical characteristics of ripe, jammy fruit, and a hint of spice make it an excellent match for the sauce's bold flavors.

Stuffing and Dr. Konstantin Frank Grüner Veltliner

Stuffing, with its diverse flavors and textures, requires a wine that is versatile and balanced. Grüner Veltliner, an Austrian grape, is known for its peppery note, crisp acidity, and fresh green flavors. Dr. Konstantin Frank Grüner Veltliner showcases these characteristics beautifully, offering lime and green apple flavors held in sleek suspension by a stony minerality. Its touches of pepper on the finish make it a delightful complement to the rich and varied ingredients of stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie and Wagner Vineyards Ice Wine Riesling OR Weis Riesling Ice Wine

Pumpkin pie, a sweet and spiced dessert, pairs wonderfully with Ice Wine, particularly Riesling Ice Wine. Riesling, when made into Ice Wine, presents a luxurious, full-bodied sweetness and concentrated flavors. Both Wagner Vineyards Ice Wine Riesling and Weis Riesling Ice Wine offer this opulent sweetness, along with aromatic and zesty notes that enhance the pie's spiced flavors. The wines' vibrant fruitiness and lingering finish complement the dessert's richness and complexity.

Liquor Option: Heritage Hill Bourbon Cream

For a non-wine option, Heritage Hill Bourbon Cream offers a delightful pairing for desserts or as a standalone after-dinner drink. Bourbon Cream, a blend of bourbon and cream, presents a rich and smooth texture with flavors of cream, apples, and cherries. Its balanced sweetness and subtle alcohol warmth make it a perfect match for the festive flavors of Thanksgiving desserts.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Tips for Beginners

Reading Labels:
  • Terms: 'Dry' means not sweet, 'full-bodied' refers to a richer, heavier feel in the mouth.
  • Light vs. Full: Light-bodied wines like Sauvignon Blanc are refreshing, while full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are richer.
Serving Tips:
  • Temperatures: Serve white wines at 45-50°F (7-10°C) and reds at 60-65°F (15-18°C).
  • Glassware: Use fluted glasses for sparkling wines and broader bowls for reds to enhance their aromas.
  • Swirl, Sniff, Sip: Swirling the wine in the glass releases its aromas. Smell before you taste to enhance the flavor experience.
Contrasting vs. Complementary Pairings:
  • Contrasting: Pair a sweet Riesling with spicy stuffing to balance the heat.
  • Complementary: Match a buttery Chardonnay with creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Bold Pairings: Try a Shiraz with a spicy Cajun turkey.

Cooking Tips for Thanksgiving Meals: For Beginners and Pros

For Beginners, Start Simple:
  • Roast Turkey: Begin with a basic roast turkey. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). A good rule of thumb is to cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound. So, a 12-pound turkey would take about 3 hours.
  • Basic Stuffing: Start with a simple bread stuffing. Mix dried bread cubes with sautéed onions, celery, chicken broth, and basic seasonings like salt, pepper, and sage.
Preparation is Key:
  • Chop Vegetables: Do this the night before and store them in the fridge.
  • Make-Ahead Stuffing: Prepare your stuffing a day ahead and refrigerate it. Just pop it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Turkey Temperature: The safe internal temperature for cooked turkey is 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to check.
Keep It Moist:
  • Basting: Baste your turkey every 30 minutes with its juices or a mixture of butter and herbs.
Experiment with Flavors:
  • Herb Butter: Mix butter with unique herbs like tarragon or smoked paprika. Rub it under the turkey's skin before roasting.
  • Spiced Cranberry Sauce: Add star anise or cinnamon to your cranberry sauce for a unique twist.
Balance Your Menu:
  • Texture and Flavor: Include a mix of creamy (mashed potatoes), crunchy (green bean almondine), and tangy (cranberry sauce) dishes.

Cooking with Wine: Integrating Wine into Thanksgiving Recipes

Deglazing with Wine:
Turkey Gravy: After roasting, use Pinot Noir to deglaze the pan. Add flour, butter, and stock for a rich gravy.

Marinating:
Wine-Marinated Turkey: Combine white wine, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Marinate the turkey overnight.

Wine in Sauces:
Cranberry Sauce: Add a splash of Riesling to your cranberry sauce for a hint of sweetness.

Alcohol-Infused Desserts:
Apple Pie with Liquor: Incorporate Heritage Hill Bourbon Cream into your apple pie filling for an extra layer of flavor.

Conclusion

At Pascale’s Liquors, we are here to help you make this Thanksgiving the most memorable yet with our expertly curated wine selections. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned wine enthusiast, our selections are sure to delight your palate and enhance your meal. Visit us in-store at 7401 Oswego Rd, Liverpool, NY 13090, call us at (315) 701-0781, or email pascalesexperience@gmail.com to reserve your Thanksgiving wines today!
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