By Anthony Gismondi Pills
Ita��s true I spend most of my life trying to avoid drinking a turkey of a wine, but ita��s Thanksgiving this weekend and well, the only question Ia��m getting is can you recommend a wine that goes with turkey. Ita��s somewhat at odds with the current food and wine mantra that goes something like Anything Goes With Anything, but Ia��m happy to help out if I can.
Sometimes I think the new wine police are on the wrong track in their pursuit to make the subject of food and wine less mysterious, but I tell myself to be patient. When it gets old enough to be new, then matching food and wine will make a comeback. In the meantime, pardon my presumption but herea��s a few tips Ia��ve learned over the years and some wines to illustrate the point.
Truth be told, turkey is a pretty easy match given its bland flavours, so what you need to do is pay attention to the trimmings, the vegetables, the gravy and sauces to see what might dominate as the flavour of the day. Even then turkeya��s high protein count, fat and oils are a fabulous foil to the fruit and tannins in white and red wine, making it almost impossible to go wrong with your wine choice. Just stay away from big young reds bathed in new oak. They dona��t work no matter how much money you spend on the wine, so put that young, red Bordeaux away.
Today we offer six different styles of wine to go with your turkey and encourage you to mix or match your selections depending on your preferences and or those of your guests.
An aromatic and fruity riesling is an easy choice and you can choose from the super dry to the off dry to pair with turkey or simply serve before dinner. There are several excellent choices both local and international including: Cono Sur Single Vineyard Riesling Block 23, Rulos del Alto 2013, Chile ($20); Tantalus Riesling 2013, B.C. ($23); Quailsa�� Gate Dry Riesling 2013, B.C. ($17) and the Selbach Riesling (Fish Label) 2013, Germany ($16).
Viognier, with its richer textures and flavours, is equally compelling with turkey a�� especially the white meat a�� and locally the selection has never been better. Labels we like include Laughing Stock Vineyards Viognier +09/10 2013 ($26); Church & State Wines Viognier 2012 ($20); CedarCreek Platinum Viognier 2013 and Liquidity Viognier (both in the mid-$20 range) while from around the world, three bargain picks are the Moillard Viognier Hugues le Juste 2013, France ($15); Oxford Landing Estate Viognier 2013, Australia ($11); and Yalumba y Series, Australia ($17).
Pinot Noir is an easy choice for turkey, and if ita��s ripe enough, a delicious diversion for your guests. Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 ($25); Cherry Tart Pinot Noir 2012 ($30); 50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir RosA� 2013 ($18); Little Yering Pinot Noir 2012 ($16); and Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 21 Pinot Noir Viento Mar 2012 ($20) are just a few of many in the market.
One of my favourite turkey pairings is southern Rhone and or Languedoc red blends. Soft and round, spicy and fruity, the grenache-syrah combo seems to just melt into the turkey. Appellations to look for include Cote du Rhone, Cote du Rhone Villages, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cote de Provence and Languedoc. Reliable producers include Chapoutier, Gabriel Meffre, Louis Bernard, Paul Mas, Gerard Bertrand and Pierre Henri Morel.
Finally, buttery sage stuffing and spicy side dishes call for chardonnay or GewA?rztraminer to keep it all fresh and fun. The new style chardonnay with fresh, citrus notes and muted oak will be fine as will a spicy, ripe ebullient GewA?rztraminer that will rise above the clatter of cranberries and gravy. Current chardonnay favourites include Meyer Family, Wolf Blass, La Crema, Mission Hill, William FA?vre, Christian Moreau and Catena. GewA?rztraminer local picks include Tinhorn, Oak Bay, CedarCreek, Quailsa�� Gate, Thornhaven, Dirty Laundry and Joie Farm.
We have so much to be thankful for in this part of the world, which is probably the only rule one needs to adhere to this weekend.
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