Selecting The Right Wine For Thanksgiving

Finding the perfect wines to complement a dinner whose dishes range from sweet to buttery to salty to spicy can add a whole new layer of stress to an already high-stakes meal. But selecting wines for this multi-flavored dinner doesn’t have to be hard. Writer and wine critic Eric Asimov offers a few strategies.

Nonetheless, the projected disasters almost never occur. Everybody has a great time. Remembering this will not help to achieve preliminary serenity, but understanding the process can make the angst easier to endure.

In order to help, the Thanksgiving wine panel annually tries to eliminate wine selections from your areas of concern. Each year, we share a Thanksgiving feast in advance. We each bring two bottles of wine to the meal, each costing no more than $25, with the aim of adding to our understanding of which types of wines work best.

As with many families, we welcomed a new member this year. Our colleague Tejal Rao — sitting in for Julia Moskin, who was away on assignment — joined me, Florence Fabricant, Pete Wells and our tasting coordinator, Bernard Kirsch.

Over the years, we have learned and affirmed that wine is the least consequential issue anybody will face at Thanksgiving. Why is that?

Rule No. 3: If the food is good and the company convivial, you cannot go wrong with the wine. If the food is bad and the company annoying, wine can only help.

To see Asimov’s wine recommendations, click here.

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Emily Brendler Shoff

Emily Brendler Shoff

Emily Brendler Shoff found true love when she moved to the Rockies for her freshman year at Colorado College in 1994. Her love affair with the mountains hasn’t wavered since. She writes, teaches, and makes cookies for her favorite people in Telluride, Colorado.
Emily Brendler Shoff

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