Say cheers! How to pick the perfect wine, cocktails for your Thanksgiving feast
A turkey’s pretty easy to pick out: Fresh or frozen? How many pounds? That’s about it.
But picking out the perfect wine to go with that holiday staple—alongside all the usual goodies, like sweet potatoes and green bean casserole—is a daunting task to many.
Sommeliers to the rescue. Even if your go-to wine is an oaky chardonnay, try to avoid it for this feast. That rich, buttery wine will be overwhelmed by the food you’ve so lovingly prepared—or, worse, it will overwhelm that food.
We turned to an expert from a city and state known for a passion for beer—Boulder, Colo.—but the picturesque mountain town has its fair share of wine lovers, too.
The first wine suggestions from Liquor Mart wine associate Ash Staunton is a classic: pinot noir.
“You want a wine with a bit of acid and a good ‘mouth feel,’ with relatively low tannin,” he says.
Another red he recommends: Valpolicella, an Italian wine usually made from three grape varieties.
If you prefer the classic white wine with poultry pairing, consider a Grenache from Spain or a Grenache blend from Southern France.
Staunton, who moved to Colorado from Australia 10 years ago, also has a suggestion from his native land.
“A sparkling shiraz pairs well with turkey,” he says. “It’s not common, but most good liquor stores will have one or two selections.”
For dessert, he suggests Sauternes, a French sweet wine.
“It’s truly one of the best sweet wines out there,” Staunton says. “Another option would be a good ice wine, from Canada, or even from here in the U.S.”
For those who like a little variety in their holiday drink menu, it might be wise to stock your liquor cabinet with a few bottles that will ensure you can create an inventive, tasty drink to start or end the evening. We’ve suggested a few colorful, tasty creations from some of the makers of America’s favorite liquors.
Ketel One Pumpkin King
- 1 ounce Ketel One Oranje
- ¼ ounce Godiva Caramel Liqueur
- 1/3 ounce pumpkin liqueur
- 1 teaspoon whipped cream
Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a martini glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a dust of cinnamon powder.
- 1.25 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- .5 ounces ginger liqueur
- 1.5 ounces pomegranate juice
- .5 ounces lemon juice
- .4 ounces maple syrup
- Dash cinnamon
- 3 dashes baked apple bitters or orange bitters
- Apple slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish
Shake all ingredients vigorously for 10 seconds over ice. Strain over fresh ice into large rocks glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.