Wine Pairing with Turkey & Fixings
November 1st, 2014
Peggy Fiandaca

  Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  In my opinion, there is nothing better than the smell of a stuffed turkey roasting, fresh bread baking, and fruit pies in the oven.

Couple these incredible aromas with the loud (at least in my family) sounds of the people you love gathering to give thanks I can’t wait for the upcoming holiday.

In addition to the traditional fixings of mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, and deviled eggs, we add our own twists such as our Italian sausage bread stuffing and jalapeno cranberry salsa.

A Thanksgiving dinner is probably one of the most difficult wine pairing meals because of the richness of the foods and variety of the flavors. Do you try to pair the wine with the savory dishes or the sweetness of the many side dishes? It is a conundrum for sure. Here are three tips when choosing the perfect wines for Thanksgiving.

 Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

1. For goodness sake, choose an American wine. It is an American holiday, why would you put a foreign wine on your table? Better yet choose an Arizona wine. Our 2010 Sky Island Grenache will make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table. The ripe berries and soft tannins make it the perfect match for the richness of the turkey and fixings. We call our Grenache the Pinot Noir of the desert because of the similar characteristics. A bold, fruit forward Oregon Pinot Noir would also be a good choice.

2. Since we live in the Southwest, our Thanksgiving dinner includes more spice than many other regions. It is important to take the type of spices being used into consideration when choosing a wine. Surprising enough, fuller-bodied white wines can stand up nicely to the Southwestern spices and buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. Think a toasty oaked Chardonnay from California or the Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ 2012 Sky Island Viognier. The Viognier has the crispness and acidity to cut through and compliment the rich flavors.

3. Don’t shy away from a great sparkling wine with Thanksgiving. Not only does it fit with the celebratory nature of the holiday and a great way to give thanks, but a good California brut rose sparkling wine is a good complement to the intense flavors. Or consider a Riesling or Gewurztraminer from Washington or Oregon. The acidity of wine can cut through the food’s richness and the touch of spice in the wine pairs well with the dinner’s flavors. Stay away from wines that are too sweet and lean toward the drier profile. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the homemade pies and not your wines.

Thanksgiving is for celebrating life, family, friends, and the bounty all around us. It is a day to reflect on the incredible journey we are experiencing together.

So take the time to reflect and raise a glass in a toast to a life well lived.
   Lawrence Dunham Vineyards