Thanksgiving is hard.
Remembering how to make that dish you promised to bring so you can impress your family and friends with your culinary prowess: hard.
Driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours to get anywhere: hard.
Promising not to flip the table in the living room (again) when your football team isn't playing well: hard.
So let's make part of the holiday a little easier. Pairing wine and food is simple when you have the right guidelines.
Generally speaking, the more fatty the food, the more tannic your wine should be. Tannins are essentially natural preservative compounds found in things like wine, coffee, tea, and even eggplants. They're what gives wine that drying effect in your mouth.
After you take a bite of that wonderful turkey — or tofurky for my fellow vegetarians — and have a sip of wine, the tannins bind with the protein and fat. They meld together; mellowing out your tannins for a more smooth wine, and clearing the fat for a more clean food flavor.
Let's go through a few examples.
To pair with your showstopping Turkey, you'll most likely want either a light-bodied red wine or a rich white. Both have tannins present, but they won’t be overpowering. Our 2014 Odd One, a Rhône blend with a pleasant cranberry nose and earthy mushroom notes would do well. Or for your white wine drinkers, the 2015 York Mountain Chardonnay, with its hints of toasty oak on the nose and citrus, butter, and roasted nut notes, would be a standout.
Meanwhile, your side dishes might benefit from a light Zinfandel, such as the 2014 Clevenger. This wine is versatile. It has wonderful olallieberry and blueberry aromas to accent your sweeter dishes. Then the palate opens with cherry and pecan notes that roll into a lingering finish of smoke and spice — the perfect combo to pair with savory sides.
If you're going for more lean side dishes this year, you might look for something just slightly more tannic than a white. The 2016 Rosé has a crisp acidity to make your green beans, cranberries, and salads pop. Look for berry notes on the nose and light citrus on the palate, giving you a slight peak of summer during the holiday season.
Then of course, there's dessert. Dessert foods, naturally, s pair well with dessert wines. And your pies deserve to be elevated by a port. The XIV Zinfandel Port combines toffee, praline, raisin, and baking spice notes that will bring your Thanksgiving meal to a warm and comforting end.
From all of us at Peachy Canyon, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with wonderful wine. And good luck with the Black Friday sales.