Perhaps you’ve seen the prix fixe menus at restaurants where a wine is helpfully selected to pair with each course. So can a Thanksgiving meal work like that, too, with a specific wine for the green bean casserole, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and pumpkin pie?
By STACY DOWNS
The Kansas City Star
Don’t bother going to those extremes, says Doug Frost of Kansas City, an international wine consultant to businesses, including restaurants.
“There are a lot of sweet things on the big day,” says Frost, a Star columnist and host of “Check, Please,” a weekly show on local public television station KCPT that visits Kansas City area restaurants. “Brown sugar in dressings, marshmallows, the list goes on. It’s sugared up to heck.”
To power through all the teeth-coating sweetness, Frost suggests fruity wines.
The best bet: Riesling pleases the largest group of people. “That’s definitely what I have with my turkey,” he says.
Other whites: Dry rosés are classic. And — wine snobs shut your eyes — Frost says White Zinfandel is a fine accompaniment to turkey.
The best red: Beaujolais, because it has a lot of fruit and tartness at the end, similar to a cranberry.
Big reds that work: Syrah from Washington or California. Or the less expensive Shiraz from Australia. “They all taste the same,” he says. “They’re big, bright and have a black cherry/plum character. They’re not just big and rich, they finish tangy.”
With dessert: A late-harvest wine pairs nicely with pumpkin pie. Stone Hill Late Harvest Vignoles (Missouri) features pear and sweet apple notes. Les Bourgeois Late Harvest Vidal (Missouri) has characteristics of peach and apricot.
A bit of bubbly: Sparkling wine is good throughout the day. Frost likes Iron Horse Brut (Sonoma, California) and Schramsberg Brut (Napa, California)
FROST’S THANKSGIVING WINE TIPS
How much wine should you have? Figure half a bottle per adult. When people are there for four to six hours, it’s not that crazy.
What temperature should I serve it? I put red wines in the fridge 30 minutes before I serve them. I take white wine out 30 minutes before I serve.
Do you set up a buffet or bar for wine? I just put it right on the table so people can grab it easily. It means people are more relaxed. There’s no more elbows-up-on-the-table holiday than Thanksgiving.