Women's Health Magazine

The Best Wine Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Meal
by Jill Waldbieser, Women's Health Food & Nutrition Editor
November 21, 2012
When pairing wine with food, it's not just what you serve that matters--it's how you serve it. Consider this your wine-pairing cheat sheet.

Family gatherings call for drinks. Lots of drinks. Drinks for everything from toasting the turkey finally being done to getting through your uncle’s go-nowhere story.

So don’t try to hold out for post-meal cocktails—keep the wine flowing. Especially at dinner, where it can actually help enhance the biggest meal of the year. You probably know that effective wine pairing depends on what you serve—the whole white-with-fish, red-with-meat mantra. But any wine-lover should know that it also depends on how you serve it.

“When you change a cooking technique, it can change the pairing completely,” says Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, a New York-based sommelier and co-author of Pairing with the Masters. Not sure what to match with your main meal? Simonetti-Bryan shows you how to pair like a pro:

If you’re roasting:
Alone, turkey doesn’t have a lot going on in the flavor department, so a slight contrast can make it pop. Pinot noirs achieves this in much the same way cranberry sauce does—with tart, red berry notes.

If you’re brining:
Salt can make the tannins in wine more pronounced, making it seem overly dry and even bitter, so avoid high-tannic reds such as cabernet sauvignon in favor of a nice, non-reactive Beaujolais. (Bonus: Simonetti-Bryan says these are great value wines, so you can score a $30 taste for a $20 bottle.)

If you’re deep-frying:
It’s the ultimate high-low paradox, but one of the greatest matches for fried food is sparkling wine. Reason: The bubbly’s high acidity cleanses your palate of all that frying oil and prepares you for the next delicious bite. Even better: Try a sparkling rose.

If you’re grilling or smoking:
Either cooking method adds a layer of intensity to your bird, so you need to take your wine up a notch, too, if you don’t want it swallowed up by the dish. A richer red like a Zinfandels or Malbec is a nice way to bridge the smoky flavors.

Read the Article Online here.


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