Traditional Thanksgiving dishes bring a unique set of challenges to wine pairing. Lucky for us that two L.A. based wine experts share their suggestions.
domaineLA is a recent Melrose outgrown of Jill Bernheimer’s two-year-old online shop, forum and newsletter. She recently combed her 450 selections to recommend a range of turkey-friendly wines that are of course available at her shop.
For a traditional roasted turkey, Bernheimer says, “If we stick with tradition and assume that cranberry sauce will play a large role as an accompaniment, I recommend something festive, bubbly and a little bit sweet to counter the tartness of the cranberry dressing.” Suggested pairings Bugey Cerdon, “a sparkling sweet wine from the French Alps” ($20) and Raumland “Cassis with Bubbles”, “an oddball of a wine from Germany which is a sparkling Pinot Noir infused with grape juice and Cassis ($16).”
If you plan to fry a turkey, Bernheimer says, “What you’ll really need is something to cut through the fat of the fried skin, something with high acidity and plentiful aromatics. Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Gewurztraminer, especially from Alsace, would be great.” For example: 2007 Albert Mann Pinot Blanc ($17) or Joseph Swan Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer ($200).
For Turducken, Bernheimer advises, “a Pinot Noir like the Joseph Swan Cuvée de Trois ($28) from the Russian River Valley, which draws its grapes from three different vineyards in Sonoma. Or, if you prefer fuller bodied wines, try something like a Cotes du Rhone or a Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($15), often blends of three (or more) grapes such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.”
Bernheimer also has recommendations for more untraditional turkey preparations like BBQ Turkey, Indian Spiced Turkey and Tofurkey, which has no business being grouped with turkey.
On November 21 from 5 PM – 7 PM, Veritas Imports sommelier Cara Bertone will be at Froma on Melrose to pour and discuss Thanksgiving-friendly wines. Francine Diamond, who owns the gourmet café, wine bar and marketplace, will provide cheeses and charcuterie. The cost is $20 per person, plus tax and tip. Reservations are required.
The wines include Gewurztraminer, Domaine Stirn ’06, Alsace; Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Ch. De Cerons ’05, Bordeaux; Grenache Blend, Vacqueyras, Domaine de Montvac ’01, Rhones; and Bordeaux, “Prieure La Solitude” ’05, Pessac- Leognan, but you have to attend Froma’s tasting to learn their suggested pairings.