Do you feel nervous about pairing just the right wine with your holiday meal? Turkey is notorious for being difficult to pair with wine, and Thanksgiving is just a couple days away! Thanks to the knowledgeable staff at Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor, we can take the guessing game out of wine and food pairings this holiday season.
Check out the best pairings for not only turkey, but ham and beef as well. Host your Thanksgiving feast and other holiday dinners with confidence!
Content sponsored by Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor in Saratoga Springs, NY
Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor, photo provided
Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’ve got the best turkey and wine pairings for you, courtesy of Erik Strait at Purdy’s. Both of these wines pair well with a roasted turkey with sausage and sage stuffing.
Wine: Quinta de Chocapalha, Reserva, Branco, 2010, Portugal, Lisboa – $13.99
Strait says: “This wine is a full-bodied white retaining elegance and aromatics of apple, pear, apricot, peach, and a distinct nuttiness. There is tremendous minerality from the French oak, of which it spends some aging time, and focused complexity that dances around the palate.”
Fruity undertones in wine make a great pairing with not only turkey, but with many of the side dishes as well – sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce will certainly be complimented by the apple, pear, apricot, and peach nuances in this wine.
Wine: Domaine de la Grand’Cour, Fleurie, Beaujolais, 2015, France – $31.99
Strait says: “A medium-bodied, full-driven red with savory elegance. Notes of liquored strawberries, pink flowers, truffles, and spice are palatably pleasing. . .it’s light enough to not overpower the turkey, yet aromatic enough to give richness to the dish.”
While many might believe only white wine can be paired with turkey, we see here that the right red can also do the trick.
A succulent ham can be a fantastic choice for a holiday meal. Pamela Birmingham at Purdy’s offers her suggestions on the ideal wines to pair with a savory baked ham.
Wine: Cederberg Bukettraube, 2016, South Africa – $13.99
Birmingham says: “Bukettraube has distinct floral and apricot aromatics much like Muscat. This off-dry wine is exquisite, and you are not likely to have tasted anything quite like it. A wine with a delicate sweetness and gorgeous acidity, a near perfect match made in heaven for a savory ham dinner.”
The sweet and salty flavors in a ham can really benefit from wines that exhibit a bit of sweetness, a lot of acidity, and bold fruit. With the Cederberg Bukettraube, we can see we’re hitting the perfect pairing on all levels.
Wine: Hugel Gewurztraminer, 2013, Alsace – $23.99
Birmingham says: “Gewurztraminer is a highly aromatic, slightly sweet white varietal. . .[with] signature aromas of lychee and rose petal, mingled with sweet red grapefruit, honey, ginger, and a perfect touch of cinnamon.”
Birmingham adds that this wine will not only compliment the ham, but any sweet sauce or side dish that’s accompanying it as well. When pairing wines with food, we must keep in mind not only the main food item, but the sides too.
Beef is always a crowd pleaser! Noël Dunham at Purdy’s specifically recommends a filet mignon with Béarnaise sauce with both of these wines, along with roasted fingerling potatoes with fresh herbs, roasted garlic, and lemon-shallot vinaigrette.
Filet mignon has a juicy and tender flavor, with an almost buttery texture. The Béarnaise sauce Dunham has suggested is herbal and creamy, and pairs very well in and of itself with the filet mignon, which can make a wine pairing difficult. Fortunately, Noel gives us exactly what we need.
Wine: Michel Gassier, Nostre Pais, 2013, Rhône Valley, France – $16.99
Dunham says: “This wine has sexy curves, texture, and intricacy. The complex nose reveals floral and mineral notes with accents of fresh citrus fruits. This wine is lively and fresh, with aromas of flowers and white fruits, blends with flint. The very soft finish evinces a great deal of minerality.”
This wine is a great pairing for a rich dish like filet mignon. The light floral tones will undoubtedly compliment the beef and the sauce, without being overpowering.
Wine: Aia Vecchia, Lagone, Toscana, 2014, Italy – $16.99
Dunham says: “In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby with purple hues. On the nose, the wine is delicate with notes of cherry, vanilla, cedar, sandalwood, raw beef, and herbs. On the palate, it is dry, structured, and elegant with flavors of plum, ripe cherries, wild berries, and a hint of spice, followed by a lengthy and smooth finish that begs for food.”
Once again, we can see that the chosen wine will provide an excellent match to the meal. The notes of berries, cherries, and other elements are sure to highlight the flavors in the filet mignon. Dry, red wines in general are typically recommended with beef dishes, and this one is a fantastic choice.
All suggested wines can be found at Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor, right on Congress Street in Saratoga. With these budget-friendly options that match up perfectly with what you’re serving, you’re sure to find something for each holiday meal and every palate!