It's that time of year, when all the stores are decorated with winter trees and blinking lights as Bing Crosby croons through overhead speakers, that's right, Thanksgiving is coming. It's around this time every year when people start asking, "Hey, what wine pairs with stuffing and cranberry sauce?" There are few meals throughout the year that seem to induce as much stress and it can be difficult to find the right pairing because everyone's family makes the meal just a little different. I mean, just how sweet are your family's sweet potatoes? Is the turkey smoked, baked, or fried? What kind of herbs are going in the stuffing? All of this can influence which wines work well with a meal and which wines won't.
I did some snooping around the internet to see what what other people are saying. The conventional wisdom seems to be giving the reader five to seven choices, casting a wide net to find something everyone likes. That solution just doesn't work for me. If you're really into wine, you probably aren't the person asking this question, you already have a list of pairings in your head you've loosely been building since last Thanksgiving. For you, this is an opportunity to showcase wines you enjoy, to share your passion with your family.
So, this isn't really aimed at the wine enthusiasts, this is for the people who like wine, but aren't total geeks about it and for you folks, I'm not helping you if I'm giving you half a dozen choices. I mean, how many different grapes do you see on labels in the grocery store? 12? Is it really that beneficial if I cut the list down by a third to half? Let's just make this easy.
So, what's the perfect wine for Thanksgiving dinner? Sparkling Rosé. Hear me out.
1. Thanksgiving is a Celebration
When's the last time you had a dinner with the whole family? If it was years ago and you're all finally sitting around the same table again, this is a good cause for celebration. Even if it was just last week and you're still talking to each other, this is still a cause for celebration. For a lot of families sparkling wine is reserved for New Years, toasts, and weddings. In short, sparkling wine goes with celebrations, simply by serving it you're making the meal seem more special.
2. Sparkling Rosé is Fun
Wine can be pretentious, especially for people who aren't regular wine drinkers. It can even be a source of anxiety. Sparkling Rosé is kind of a curve ball. It doesn't matter if your bottle is from Champagne or New Mexico, pink wines don't seem as snobby.
3. Sparkling Rosé is Approachable
Sparkling wines are easy to drink. They may not always be complex, but they're not offensive. It doesn't matter if you're having food or pairing it with itself, it shouldn't give anyone a reason to complain.
4. Sparkling Wine Pairs with Everything
It doesn't matter what you're eating. Turkey? Turducken? Cthulken? Tofurkey? A slice of Spam with Easy Cheese sprayed on top? Sparkling wine pairs with everything, the high acidity and carbonation help to cleanse with palate with every sip. There may be wines that pair better with particular dishes, but for a big meal with diverse flavors, consider this the ace up your sleeve.
"But, Justin, I don't want to drink Sparkling Rosé." Fine, don't. Buy the wine you want to drink. You know your family better than me, if you think they're going to hate this, do something else. However, if you need a wine that's going to please everyone (no wine is going to please everyone), this is the best wine I can suggest.
Hey, if you need a nice bottle of sparkling rose, we just started carrying this bottle of Gruet Sparkling Rosé. I wasn't joking earlier when I mentioned New Mexico, this wine is produced by Champagne growers who have expanded their production and invested in land to produce wine in New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque. So, in this case you get old world know-how with new world innovation. It's the best of both worlds (just like sparkling rosé).
Now that we've got the wine dilemma solved, what about the meal itself? Don't worry, The Chopping Block has that covered too. Thanksgiving Workshop and Thanksgiving Crash Course are both on the calendar this month, as well as a series of free holiday demos at the Turkey Trunk Show at Lincoln Square this Saturday, November 10 from 10am-5pm. We can help you take the stress out of one of the biggest meals of the year and you can spend more time sipping sparkling rosé with the family.