The convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukah is definitely a time for celebration of family, friends, and food. But what to drink can be a bit confusing since traditional wine pairing may not work with both turkey and fried foods. Our friends at Royal Wine, are always on hand to help us make these decisions and make sure our wine is as good as our food.
Most wine experts would say that big and bold red wines such as Cabernet or Shiraz can overpower the delicate flavors of turkey. But, Gary Landsman, our Royal Wine contributor says, “I think with a rich gravy these big wines pair fine with the food, especially if that is what people like.” I’m excited about this because I always like to have some cabernet with my meal. Having said that, Zinfandel (such as Baron Herzog OLD VINE Zin) is a big red wine, but it’s frequently available and promoted on Thanksgiving since it is an American wine, synonymous with California.
Two other “traditional” Thanksgiving wines are Pinot Noir (a light bodied red that won’t overpower turkey that also goes nicely with cranberry sauce because it often has hints of fruit in the wine) and Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a rich white wine that pairs well with white meat turkey. Gary recommends, Goose Bay Pinot Noir (this is a big favorite in my house) and Herzog Russian River Chardonnay (the grapes grow near the Russian River Valley – thus the name, and add some unique flavors like lime and tropical tastes). It’s definitely on my need to taste list.
Having said all that, the best pairing for latkes and fried foods or doughnuts is probably a nice bubbly. This exciting and historical day when Hanukah and Thanksgiving actually match up calls for a toast too. The Bartenura Prosecco, Elvi Adar Brut Cava or Drappier Champagne would be great ways to celebrate the double simcha.