WWPD – What Would Pilgrims Drink?

November 19th, 2008 by Jeff

Thanksgiving Dinner Wines

With the holiday upon us, we thought it prudent to suggest a couple good wines to pair with your feast!

Quick Show Note:

We were testing some new microphones. They really helped with the sound issues we were having, but they were highly sensitive and picking up sounds we normally wouldn’t wish to share (gulping and such). They were also picking up on some interference as well, so sorry for any static you may pick up on in the show audio. We’ll be working on perfecting our sound in the coming shows.

Featured in today’s show:

  • 2007 Casillero del Diablo Reserve Gewurztraminer from Chile
  • La Madone Gamay sur Vulcan from Cotes du Forez in France (sorry…couldn’t find a website for them)
  • 2007 Ventisquero Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley in Chile

Recommended food pairings:

Thanksgiving is not the time for subtlety in wine. There is zero subtlety in a Thanksgiving dinner and the wine needs to mirror that. Thanksgiving is one of the few times you need to think about what is on the plate as a whole. There are too many flavors and too many styles to match a dish to one specific item. A “wine that goes with turkey” does not cut it.

  • One of the first food and wine pairing rules is match the “weight “of the food with the wine beverage of your choice. It’s like drinking a glass of water with beef stew, or drinking a Porto with your Chef’s Salad…neither of which is very appealing.
  • Thanksgiving dinner has a tendency to be on the salty side. High tannin wines (Cabernet, Syrah, Tannat, high end Petite Sirah, Nebbiolo,) can make saltier food and the wine taste bitter. Stick to fruity, full flavored, low tannin red wines like a Gamay (Beaujolais), a California Pinot Noir, or maybe a lower alcohol (13-14.5%) Zinfandel or Dolcetto. For whites, think about a full bodied, slightly sweet grape like a Gewürztraminer or Riesling, especially from the Alsace region of France, or a moderately oaked California Chardonnay.

What am I going to serve with MY Thanksgiving dinner, you ask?

  • Chateau Valmer Vouvray: a full bodied, slightly sweet Chenin Blanc from the Loire region of France
  • Firestone Santa Rita Valley Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara (nummy)

Here’s some great tips and techniques for preparing your bird.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Som

2 Responses to “WWPD – What Would Pilgrims Drink?”

  1. Jennifer M. Says:

    Great show! What is a tannin?

  2. Jeff Kycek Says:

    Hi Jennifer. Thanks for watching and great question. Tannin is the microscopic material provided by the skins, seed and stems of grapes and to a lesser extent barrel aging. The juice of red grape varieties is in contact with the skins considerably longer than with white wines so tannin is rarer in whites which barely see much skin contact. Often times you could say the thicker the skin of a particular grape the greater the potential a wine will have greater tannic structure. Also the length of time in which the juice is left in contact with the skins, seeds and, in some cases, the stems have an impact on the tannic feel of tannins in your mouth.

    In the mouth, tannin is responsible for that drying sensation or astringency. If you are a tea drinker think about the slighty bitter dryness you get if you let the tea bag steep too long. THAT is tannin but from tea leaves.

    Good tannic structure is important for the aging of red wine, as well, as it is loaded with antioxidants. As a wine matures, the tannins will soften and “round out” somewhat making for a smoother, silkier wine. But often that requires more patience than many of us have.

    I hope that helps and it would probably make a pretty good show topic one day so keep tuning in.


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