Vino: Talking Turkey, Part 1

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Let’s get one thing straight, there is not one perfect Thanksgiving Dinner wine. With so many flavors and personal interpretations of Thanksgiving, it would be impossible to narrow all taste buds and options down to one single bottle of wine.

With Thanksgiving, as with other meals, the most important thing is to drink what you like.

However, if you are looking for complementary wines to pair with your meal, read below the jump for a few suggestions:

When pairing food with wine, the ultimate goal is achieving a balance and synergy between the two; neither should overpower the other. To achieve this, look for a wine that is high in acid, moderate in alcohol with well-integrated tannins.

High acid wines tend to pair better with food, as the food softens the acid and the low tannins do not interrupt the foods. (Granted, high tannin wines can pair well with many things, just try to stay on the richer and heavier side of the food spectrum)

Riesling is an awesome pairing mate to food, especially at the beginning of the meal. This varietal is predominately produced in Germany, Austria and the Alsace region of France. Available in a range of sweetnesses, though when it comes to pairing with food, I recommend staying on the drier side.

This basic Trimbach Riesling from Alsace is dry and crisp with the slightest hint of sugar, along with gorgeous honey, flint and lemon acidity that will match the best of foods.

Next to Riesling, Pinot Noir is one of the quintessential food pairing wines. Also high in acid, Pinot Noirs are their best when served with a meal.

Saintsbury is a consistently excellent Pinot Noir producer located in the Carneros region of California. (A quick side fact: Carneros is located in both Napa and Sonoma counties, one of the first AVAs to be delineated on geographical rather than political boundaries.)

Saintsbury produces 7 different Pinot Noirs, ranging in price from $19.99 a bottle to $65.99 a bottle. Their most expensive bottling is the Brown Ranch, a single vineyard designate. My personal favorite is the Carneros, which costs about $30 a bottle and tends to be their house style. Though their entry level Garnet is also very good. Click here for a list of stores carrying all the wines in Manhattan.

Check back next week for another installment where we move to heavier wines and dessert wines.