More wine is consumed on Thanksgiving than on any other holiday. That’s probably because it is the largest food-centric holiday in America. It is all about family and all about food. Accordingly, there is no shortage of advice about which wines to pair with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Over the years, I have heard and read recommendations for nearly every type of wine and every story makes a valid argument. So I have concluded that the most important factor in determining selecting a wine is to drink what you like. If you follow that advice, it creates a world of possibilities.
So, let’s have some fun. Since Thanksgiving and Turkey are the symbols of the holiday, I am going to suggest that we choose wines that begin with the letter “T” and since there aren’t nearly enough wines that begin with the letter “T”….let’s expand it to include geographic locations.
The first type of wine that comes to mind, anytime a holiday occurs, is something sparkling. Prosecco is, by far, the fastest growing category of sparkling wine in the country and even though Prosecco does not being with the letter T, the birthplace of Prosecco is the province of Treviso. So Treviso Prosecco is our first T wine.
There are quite a few Prosecco’s from Treviso in the market. A few good choices are Pavan, Mionetto, and Pasqua. They are all available in the $12 to $15 range. I find most of my guests prefer the Extra Dry over the drier Brut designation.
Next, let’s look for a nice white wine. In this case, we do not need to look for a geographic designation, we can go right to a grape variety – Trebbiano. This is one of the most widely planted white grapes in Italy and is the dominant white wine in the central Italian regions, especially in Abruzzo. Trebbiano varies in style and price but, usually they are clean and crisp, with nice balance. Occasionally, they are aged in oak but, you need to be careful because too much oak can mask the clean crisp character of the grape. Two good selections are Masciarelli Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Antonelli Trebbiano from Umbria. Both cab be found in the $12 to $15 price range.
Now for red wines, the obvious choice is a Toscano Rosso. This is the actual, true designation for what we usually call a SuperTuscan. It is a very broad designation and can be made from a wide variety of grapes. The most popular blends are usually a combination of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The price and styles can range from a $10 quaffing wine, to full bodied wines that top $100 per bottle, such as Sassicaia; however, there are many great choices that lie in the vast price range in between. Some of my favorite go-to wines are Dogajolo Toscano Rosso and Luiano Sangiovese Rosso Toscano. Both wines are soft, round, balanced and versatile. They will complement the turkey’s white and dark meat, as well as the lasagna. You can find either wine in the $12 to $15 range.
When it comes to dessert, I would circle back to the Treviso Prosecco. You see, not only did Prosecco originate in Treviso but, so did Tiramisu. Buona Festa del Ringrazieamento!