Chef Cody Hogan offers tips for selecting wine for your Thanksgiving meal
As a chef, during the holiday season I am frequently asked what I prepare for Thanksgiving, and the conversation at some point usually includes drink preferences. The traditional Thanksgiving meal includes a complex variety of flavors. Add to that a larger-than-usual group of people with their own wine preferences and you have a dilemma—a good one—but a dilemma. Thanks to the enormous variety of wines with which we are blessed, picking one or two wines to please everyone at the table and finding that perfect pairing is intimidating at best.
When it comes to wine, the first rule with any meal should be drink what you like, but consider the foods being served. Turkey, roast or ham, stuffing or dressing, yams, any number of vegetable preparations and cranberry sauce—this meal features a multitude of both sweet and savory on one plate. Given the scenario, I’m recommending three wines, a riesling, a dry rosé and a pinot noir. As a bonus, none of these will break the bank.
The La Closerie des Lys Les Fruitières Rosé 2015 is another wonderful companion to the holiday table. A blend of grapes from the foothills of the French Pyrenees, this wine is floral and has the characteristic strawberries and lighter fruits of a respectable rosé. Its acidity helps balance the more robust flavors of the table, like roast lamb, Brussels sprouts, cheeses and cheese sauces, or that green bean casserole with mushroom soup and onions on top.
An oft overlooked point, more than pairing wines with food, more than your guests’ preferences and particulars, more than your own personal entertaining style with wine—don’t run out. Just please keep in mind that the most important aspect of the holiday table is not what’s on it, but what’s around it.