Thanksgiving is but a few days away, and if you’re anything like my grandmother, you’ve got everything on the menu prepared: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, among other various side dishes and pre-dinner snacks. But there’s a whole other side to this Thanksgiving feast than the food, and that is of course, beverages. Specifically, wine.
Wine is probably going to be the number one drink for the adults. Chances are, you’ve never had a Thanksgiving dinner without a pleasing Pinot Noir, a jammy Merlot, or a robust Cab Sauc; and of course, creamy Chardonnay for that one guest who doesn’t drink red wine. These are the wines that are said to go best with this rich and varied menu, that is, full of many different flavors. We get it, it’s “traditional”, and Thanksgiving dinner is all about “tradition”.
Well, this traditional pairing is about as ancient as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And let’s face it, the “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner itself is slowly succumbing to 21st Century modernity. Mashed potatoes are getting garlicky, cheesy, chive-topped upgrades; green bean casseroles are ditching the canned cream of mushroom soup for a homemade version made from foraged mushrooms; and pumpkin pie comes topped with a spiced-pecan glaze instead of whipped cream.
So, why shouldn’t we give the wine menu a new, rosé facelift?
This Thanksgiving, break the turkey and Pinot tradition, and prepare a wine list full of rosé. This is sure to please all of your guests, from the “Merlot purist” to the “oh so cultured Chardonnay drinker”. Start a new tradition: The Rosy Turkey! (Or the Rosé Dinner… or whatever you want to call it!)
Our tradition at home was always mimosas during the day, while we cooked dinner, watched football, and ate snacks. Cheese and crackers, fruit plates, chips and dip, deviled eggs are just a few of the many different hors d’oeuvres we had before the final feast.
Change up the mimosas for a fresh bottle of sparkling rosé. La Maitresse, from Le Grand Cros in Provence, comprised of Grenache, Syrah, and Chardonnay, is a perfect match for those fun finger foods. It’s bright bubbles and fruity but rich taste complements any cheese-and-veggie platter, pretzels and dip, and so much more.
Turkey Day Purists will claim that a light, dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir, is the best wine to pair with turkey and all of its flavorful side dishes. These few rosés beg to differ, and make a fine (if not finer) pairing for all the flavors of Thanksgiving.
An elegant and sophisticated rosé that will shine bright next to the turkey, this blend of Grenache, Rolle, and Tibouren from Chateau d’Esclans in Provence is an ideal pairing for Thanksgiving. With a spicy, herbal scent and a smooth, fresh taste, this is surely an all-around wine, that can taste just as good with creamy mashed potatoes as it does with candied yams.
Another winner from Bandol is this rosé is a Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault blend from Domaine de Terrebrune in Provence, specifically the Bandol region. A delightful, aromatic rosé with a crisp minerality that will balance out even the plumpest turkey, but is delicate enough to enjoy alongside a cool salad. A cool thing about the rosé from Domaine de Terrebrune is their ability to age well; as they age, they become more complex, emitting notes of honey and cinnamon, which would do equally as well as their younger counterparts.
Cool bottle aside, this is a fine rosé for Turkey Day. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Syrah, this rosé from Chateau Pigoudet in Provence is full of character, and a sweet yet zesty creaminess that will leave you begging for more. This rosé a beautiful partner for nearly everything on the table, down to the cranberry jam.
Spare the port wine for another day: instead, reach for a sweet bottle of bubbly rosé! After a huge meal, more food is probably not what you have in mind; but it’s Thanksgiving, and since Thanksgiving is all about tradition, some sort of pie is sure to be the finale. Thankfully, a bubbly glass is all you need to get the appetite going.
The only rule about pairing with sweets is: to pair it with something equally as sweet, which is why Port is generally a popular option with dessert, alongside champagne. Luckily, there is sweet rosé champagne, which is kind of like a happy balance between the two.
This Demi-Sec Rosé Champagne from Nicolas Feuillatte. Demi-sec means semi-dry, which basically means it’s sweet, as far as champagne goes. There is no better way to finish off a Thanksgiving dinner than with a lovely, pink glass of bubbles.
So there you have it, a new, rosé-filled wine list for your Thanksgiving dinner, and hopefully many to come. Don’t forget to give thanks to breaking tradition, and the vintners and winemakers around the world, along with the fertile soil of our beautiful planet, that provide us with such delicious, pink wines.
Photos sourced from Martha Stewart and Pinterest