With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s not too early to start thinking about what dishes you’re going to prepare and which wines you’re going to share with friends and family. I’m personally guilty every year of eating too much before the turkey comes out, so please remember to pace yourself! Whether or not I’m as stuffed on stuffing, theres always room for delicious wines.
When picking wines for Thanksgiving, it’s good to keep in mind that there is usually a medley of food, so pick wines that go with a lot of options. I like to keep my whites somewhat round, and choose reds that aren’t too bold to overpower the white meat of the turkey. This Thanksgiving, I’d recommend some wines from Alpha Estate.
Usually I’d want to suggest Greek varietals for the newsletter, but it’s always exciting to see classic producers from Greece working with popular international varieties. Alpha Estate’s Chardonnay has everything you’d expect from this variety with an old-world accent. Seven months in the oak give it a delicious roundness and body that you typically hope to find in high end chardonnay. The colder, high elevation terroir of northern Greece where the grapes are grown help create a balanced and nuanced wine.
For a red wine, I’d definitely recommend opening the Old Vines Xinomavro from Alpha Estate. Voted best wine of the year in 2020 by Vinepair, this is one of the most unique xinomavro you can find. Grapes are grown on 100+ year old vines, leading to tremendous nuance and flavor in the wine. 24 months in the barrel leaves this bottle smooth, round, and just the right amount of body you’d crave with all your thanksgiving dishes. Pop this bottle a few hours before you want to drink and watch it open up beautifully.
For those of us that are hosting this Thanksgiving, the challenges begin as to what to prepare and how many offerings are considered enough. I feel for the most part we constantly over think and over deliver for the feast. As we explore ideas and recipes for the big day, we are introduced to wonderful dishes beyond, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce, and classics. Same goes for our wine selections for the big feast as well, Chardonnays have dominated the table over the years as the proper pairing on Thanksgiving, but the field has opened up to a variety of wonderfully structured wines that will enhance turkey day. On that note, I’d like to introduce three exquisite Greek wines that will really drive the balance of pairing.
Our first offering will actually be a sparkling rosè from the region of Naoussa. We don’t often think of bubbles when it comes to Thanksgiving, but it’s actually a great way to begin any experience or feast. Sparkling wines wake up the taste buds, cleanse the palate, and stimulate flavors. My recommendation would be Kir Yianni Estates ‘Akakies’ Sparkling Rosè. Ideal with salty appetizers, sharp cheeses, tiropitakia, and spanakopitakia.
Our next selection will be a dry rosè that is eloquently balanced to work with our appetizers and multiple dishes that will accompany the big bird. Dry rosès are eventually becoming a preferred option rather than a trend. Their structure, which consists of great fruit qualities along with adequate acidity and crispness, makes it ideal to pair with foods that are well seasoned and have good amounts of oils and fats. My recommendation is Mylonas Winery Rosè, which is produced from Mandilaria & Malagousia, two indigenious Greek grapes that create wonders.
Lastly, I will be choosing a red wine over a white wine for our turkey. This might be an unorthodox approach, but I’m all about the chemistry of how we are preparing our dishes. A light bodied red wine with slightly sharp tannis can really drive home the pairing. Poultry that is well seasoned and buttered sitting in a bed of root vegetables and fruits will pair wonderfully with a light bodied red wine. My recommendation is Vaeni Winery Xinomavro.
Enjoy these pairings and your feast. Always keep exploring with wine, you never know what you might fall in love with. Stin Ygeia Sas!
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