Selecting the right wines for your Thanksgiving dinner menu

Photo credit: Gourmet chef David Rudolph

Thanksgiving dinner should be a memorable occasion where the entire family gathers for a delectable feast. With the holiday just two days away, every family in America should already have their dinner menu set. However, selecting the right wines with your dinner menu is a different story and may not be such a simple task. Luckily for you, we solicited help. We spoke with the publicist and gourmet chef for House of Pure Vin Wine Shop in Detroit, David Rudolph, to help with your wine pairing selections this holiday season. Check out what he had to say below.

As a gourmet chef, this must be an exciting time of year for you. What can your family expect to feast on for Thanksgiving dinner?

I love to cook and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to prepare an incredible meal for the family. On my Thanksgiving table you can expect a fusion of American Southern cuisine that will include roasted turkey — brined in salt, brown sugar, citrus juice and fresh herbs; spiral-sliced ham based in a Faygo Rockin and Rye glaze; quattro formaggi mac and cheese with lump crabmeat; cornbread dressing with roasted chestnuts and andouille sausage; mixed greens simmered with smoked turkey, roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in butter and toasted pine nuts and more.

Your family is in for a treat. How do you select the right wines for such an assorted menu? It sounds like a delicious, yet complicated menu

Well it is, but the tough part is choosing the right wines for a complex menu that features savory and sweet, salty and buttery.

Simply selecting wines for dinner could be a challenge anyway, if you’re not a connoisseur of wines. How does one go about doing that, especially for your Thanksgiving dinner?

The following is a list of four recommended wines selected by House of Pure Vin in downtown Detroit, Michigan. These wines can stand up to any dish on your Thanksgiving table. They also make great gift items.

  1. Laurentide Winery Emergence White Wine 2013, Leelanau Peninsula Michigan

This is a Gold Award winner from northern Michigan. A blended wine is intended to be more than the sum of the parts and that’s what this wine exemplifies, featuring the complimentary attributes of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling together. Emergence is easy drinking but has an intriguing edge and at 1.5 percent residual sugar, dry and sweet drinkers can both agree on its palate pleasure. Make this unique wine your “house” white to share with family and friends. Enjoyable on its own by the glass, this wine is a terrific pairing with macaroni and cheese or other traditional dishes one serves during the winter holidays.

  1. Smashberry Red Wine 2013, Central Coast California

Smashberry Red is all about the fruit: Bright raspberry on the nose & boysenberry and cocoa flavors on the palate. It is rich on the tongue with a supple mouthfeel, yet has firm tannins and a clean finish. 38 percent Merlot, 34 percent Petite Sirah, and 28 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes are destemmed, crushed and sent directly into fermentation tanks. Pumped over with several stages during the 7- to 10-day fermentations on the skins, the wines were pressed, racked, and made to undergo malolactic fermentation. The Smashberry Red was then aged nine months in French and American oak. Before serving this juicy red wine open and allow it to breathe for 30 minutes. It’s a versatile food wine, compatible with grill, steak, burgers, or pizza.

  1. Pierre Sparr Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV, Alsace France

Medium-bodied and flavorful bubbly. Produced in the traditional method with the second fermentation occurring in the bottle, the 100 percent Pinot Noir sparkler is aged a minimum of one year on the lees, making ripe raspberry, strawberry, tangerine and creamy peach notes with structure and balance. This is the wine the French drink instead of Champagne. It is festive at any time of the year and offers value and quality. Try it with kettle cooked potato chips for an incredible holiday party pairing.

  1. Chateau de la Font du Loup Côtes du Rhône 2014, Rhone France

Chateau Font du Loup can be translated into “Fountain of the Wolf.” The name according to the Southern Rhone Valley local folklore dates back to a time when wolves drank from the various springs located on the property. 50 percent Grenache, 50 percent Syrah this blend, produced from 50-year-old vines, is made as an easy drinker filled with tons of sweet red and black fruits and silky tannins. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied and fresh. Black cherry liqueur, ripe black plum, and black raspberry flavors linger. This is a wine that exhibits considerable elegance and finesse. It’s our favorite pairing with a warm bowl of chili on a cold winter evening.

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