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WWBG: Perfect Thanksgiving Pairings

By BethesdaNow.com

Friday - 11/16/2012, 3:15pm  ET

Editor’s Note: This new weekly sponsored column is written by the staff of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, the most important thing to remember is that the holiday is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for.

And we certainly can be thankful for holiday food and wine!

Whether you are making the meal or visiting someone else’s table, serving or bringing a bottle of wine takes skill in choosing to compliment the cook’s feast.

A typical Thanksgiving meal offers up many dishes other than a giant turkey. We’ve decided to recommend some great wines that are known for pairing well with white meat, while being versatile enough to pair with any other dish on a Thanksgiving table. When eating turkey, wine experts usually recommend Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay for whites and Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz and Beaujolais Nouveau (just arrived!) for reds.

Here are some of our favorite wines that will pair nicely with your Thanksgiving feast.

Paraiso Pinot Noir-2009-Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey California

Pinot Noir is the dominant grape grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The highlands cascade off the eastern shoulders of the Santa Lucia Mountains around the city of Soledad.

The Highlands are known for producing slightly higher-octane pinots than cooler regions.

Paraiso Vineyards is owned and operated by the Smith family who has been producing wines here since 1973 on their 400-acre estate. It is SIP certified meaning it is a sustainable winery meeting the environmental requirements outlined in the rules to reach such standards.

This particular Pinot has a beautiful deep berry color with a powerful aroma, rich, slightly dry, jammy and bold with a peppery finish.

This wine would compliment the dark meat of the turkey, a bold stuffing such as sausage or ham corn bread with fennel, or a rich bread pudding, au-gratin potato casserole, mac and cheese with gruyere, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, turnips an array of salty olives, strong cheeses.

Antonin Rodet Mercurey Heritage 2009-France

Pinot Noir represents the main grape of the Burgundy Region, Cote Chalonnaise sub-region and Mercurey appellation.  The Cote Chalonnaise is a wine-producing region in the Saone-et-Loire department of Burgundy, Eastern France comprised of five key communes separated from one another by only a few miles.

The Rodet family has been in the business since 1875 and produces wines that are known around the world.

This Pinot has a gorgeous red raspberry color, preserved fruit aroma with slight acidity and medium tannins and a nice long finish.

This wine would pair well with the white or dark meat of the turkey served with a bold pepper or apple cider gravy, corn bread or light herbed stuffing, cranberries, butter nut squash, sweet potatoes parsnip mash, kale, leeks, balsamic brussel sprouts, string bean onion casserole, and an earthy mushroom pastry puff. For an appetizer, soft cheeses and vinegar-based salads are also suggested.

Cambria Estate Winery-Katherine’s Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay-Santa Maria Valley, California

Cambria Estate is located in Santa Barbara County three hours north of Los Angeles.  The winery was founded in 1986 and this particular Chardonnay was rated 91 Points by “Wine Enthusiast” earlier this year.

Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white wine grape.

This wine has a beautiful dry, medium body with fresh acidity, well balanced citrus aromas and flavors of peach, mangos, pears, light oak and is clear pale yellow in color.  The finish is crisp and clean.

For those who prefer a white wine with their turkey this is the wine for you.  It will compliment both white and dark meat, traditional turkey gravy, most traditional stuffing such as cornbread, apple and onion, herbed, mashed or sweet potato casserole, light cheddar mac and cheese, green beans, butternut squash, corn and cranberry relish and mild cheeses.  Try fruit salad, pecan or pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert.

2009 Domaine Alain Geoffroy Chablis, Burgundy, France

The Alain Geoffroy Vineyard has been a family business since 1850.

Chablis is a historic wine-producing town located in northern Burgundy, producing white wines that have crisp acidity and minerality. Chablis — the variety — is made with one single grape Chardonnay.

An un-oaked Chardonnay, this wine is clear in color, dry with a medium body, aromas of citrus fruit, tastes of limes, lemons and mineral and a fresh finish.

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