Delicious wine pairings
for your Thanksgiving meal
OBy Annette Alvarez-Peters ONE OF M Y favorite holidays is Thanks- giving. It’s a day to spend time with family and friends, watch football, have a wonderful meal and drink some of my favorite wines. Wine has become a part of most Thanksgiving dinners, but many of my family, friends and colleagues have a difficult time choosing wine for the occasion. One reason this can be trou- blesome is that there are so many
flavors to match. Meals can feature turkey (somewhat bland,
with a dry texture), stuffing and
gravy (savory), sweet potatoes
Chardonnay ranks as the top-selling white
varietal in the United States. A full-bodied
Chardonnay can take on the texture of turkey.
Find a fruity Chardonnay from California or
Australia that isn’t overly oaky. (An oaky
Chardonnay may overwhelm some of the
flavors on the dinner table.)
(sweet), cranberries (tart) and
pumpkin pie (spicy and sweet).
With such a menu, what wine do
you choose: white, red or both?
A crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from
Sancerre or New Zealand can complement
the stuffing and the many vegetable
side dishes. Albarino from Spain is
another good choice, thanks to its
mineral flavors and crisp acidity.
Aromatic wines pair nicely too—
perhaps an off-dry Riesling or a
wonderful Gewürztraminer; both
have a hint of sweetness that can
add layers and balance the spicy
nature of some of the dishes.
Bubbly and whites
For a wine that’s fun, try a Beaujolais
Nouveau from the southern area of Burgundy.
Each year, Beaujolais Nouveau is released
Start your meal with a bottle of champagne—it’s festive and always appropriate.
Champagne can pair perfectly with appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. Kirkland Signature™
non-vintage Brut Champagne is a great value
in French bubbly. It’s made from Chardonnay,
Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes in a
traditional method. The lemon and grapefruit zest flavors with hints of toasty notes
please most people’s palates.
Fruity, friendly reds
There are many white wines to seek out;
your best bet is to look for one with intense fruit
and crisp acidity to complement your meal.
Red wines should be fruity, food friendly
and not overly tannic. A traditional
Thanksgiving wine is Pinot Noir. This lighter-bodied wine with delicious red-fruit flavors
can be an elegant choice to pair with your
meal. Older Bordeaux wines can also be
extremely satisfying. An older Bordeaux, with
its lovely and refined flavors of fruit and
earthiness, along with the softer tannins, will
enhance your dining experience.
If you are looking for a big, full-bodied
wine with a lot of flavor, try a fruity Zinfandel
with bold, jammy notes, or a spicy Syrah or
Shiraz with intense fruit flavors and aromas.
Both varietals have lower tannin levels, which
can pair well with turkey.
Kirkland Signature™ Non-vintage Brut
Champagne Item #942108
Erath Pinot Noir Item #5426
Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge
Chardonnay Item #191907
Kirkland Signature Chardonnay Item #514007
Condes de Albarei Albariño Item #33614
Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer
Cline Ancient Vine Zinfandel Item #199145
Jadot Beaujolais Item #54953
Featured at Costco
worldwide on the third Thursday of November. This is the first wine from the new
harvest to be released from France’s famed
Beaujolais region. The red wine, which is often
served slightly chilled, is a simple and fruity
expression of the Gamay grape. Whether you
choose a red that is elegant, bold or fruity, you
can find one that’s truly enjoyable.
For information on Costco’s Kirkland
Signature wines, go to Costco.com, click
on “Costco Connection Magazine,” then
“Kirkland Signature Wine Connection.”
The finishing touches
Costco makes the best pumpkin pie ever,
annually selling more than a million pies the
week of Thanksgiving. If this pie happens to
be on your table for dessert, try pairing it with
a 10- or 20-year-old tawny port. The nuttiness
of the port can make a lovely pairing with the
spiciness of the pie. If you prefer your pie with
coffee, enjoy a glass of tawny port by itself to
finish the evening.
As you put your Costco shopping list
together, finding bottles of red and/or white
wine doesn’t have to be a challenge. Seek wines
with descriptors that sound interesting or varietals that you know your guests will enjoy.
By the way, if you need new glassware, try
the newest wine stems from Italy by Luigi
Bormioli (Costco item #428182). These are
great, attractive glasses, and, best of all, they
are break resistant!
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and
be grateful for what we have. I raise my glass
to you and yours, and wish you a very happy
NOVEMBER 2009 The Costco Connection 69
Annette Alvarez-Peters oversees Costco’s
national wine, spirits and beer program.