Perfect wine pairings with Thanksgiving

Will your Thanksgiving table have the best wine pairings?

Your turkey is defrosted, the cranberry sauce is made, the pies are cooling, and you’ve followed your Aunt Alice’s creamed onion recipe to a T. You’re feeling on top of the world until you remember that you need something to wash this all down with. Don’t despair, Keri Levens, the wine director for Aquavit, New York’s newly minted Michelin starred-restaurant,  is here to guide you through the perfect pairings.

To begin, Levens recommends looking for a fuller-bodied white wine and lighter bodied red for your Thanksgiving table. “For white, I recommend Domaine du Tariquet, a wine producer from Gascony in southwest France. Look for their wine called Classic, a stunning white wine at an incredible value, around $9. This Uni Blanc/Colombard blend is perfect throughout the entire meal. For red, I look to the Pinot Noirs of Oregon such as Domaine Serene or Cristom for their elegance, versatility and ripe fruit and cranberry character,” she says.

Levens notes that turkey can be a very tricky pairing. “There is much debate about whether to serve white or red,” she admits. So she goes with one sommelier’s secret: “Pair to the sauce instead.”
And don’t overlook dessert, which needs its own bottle. “With the diversity of dishes, it’s best to go with a delicate and versatile option,” she says. Levens likes Jalliance Clairette de Die, saying it’s not overly sweet.

“This delicate sparkler is made with 100 percent Muscat, the same grape as Moscato, so it won’t be too heavy after a big meal. It has refreshing acidity to help lighten a rich dessert like pumpkin pie.”

How to tackle the wine store like a pro

Does the thought of trying to navigate the wine store fill you with dread??Levens says an easy place to begin is with bottles from the Alsace region of France. They label their wine by grape variety so it’s easy to pick out a full-bodied Pinot Gris or a crisp and complex Riesling and know what you’re getting. “Both of these would compliment dishes with mushrooms, spicy sausage stuffing or even a  dish with a hint of natural sweetness like sweet potato,” she notes. “For red drinkers, Alsace produces earthy yet light bodied Pinot Noir.”

How to serve your wine

“Thanksgiving is communal. There’s no reason to be stuffy about wine service,” she says, meaning you don’t need to replace your guests’ wine glasses after each course. “As long as your wines are served at the right temperature, a quick rinse between wines will help each glass shine.”

Other suggestions

Apéritif: Greet family and friends with a flute of sparkling (and affordable) Jaillance Crémant de Bordeaux or partner hors d’oeuvres with Domaine du Tariquet Classic, a refreshing white with delightful citrus notes. 

Main Course: Alsace Riesling is the most versatile accompaniment for the array of Thanksgiving dishes. With enough body to stand up to the turkey and starchy dishes, its crisp acidity is refreshing throughout the meal. The “red wine only” drinkers will enjoy Domaine du Tariquet’s Chenin Blanc-Chardonnay or Alsace Pinot Gris for their food-friendly and fuller-bodied nature. Keep the bubbles flowing with Crémant d’Alsace Rosé, a dry and fruity sparkling wine that pairs excellently with cranberry sauce.
Dessert: What could be more refreshing after a rich meal than a lightly sweet and fizzy glass of Jaillance Clairette de Die Cuvée Impériale? Perhaps an Autumn Cobbler, a sophisticated yet simple cocktail twist made with Jaillance Clairette de Die, sherry and cinnamon.


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.


PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.