How To Pair Your Fave Thanksgiving Dish With The Perfect Drink
With a table full of turkey and Thanksgiving sides, it’s hard to find that one glass of wine that’ll go with everything. It just seems wrong to drink a dark red wine with a bowl of creamy mac ‘n’ cheese. Since you deserve to live your best Thanksgiving life, here’s your go-to guide for pairing your favorite Thanksgiving dish with the perfect drink.
Mac ‘N’ Cheese
The mac ‘n’ cheese lovers out there need to know what’s going to complement their favorite comfort food dish. Our favorite pairing for a baked, creamy mac is a light, unoaked chardonnay. For mac ‘n’ cheese that’s on the extra cheesy side (we’re talking more than three cheeses here), an American-style brown ale is perfect. And if someone is whipping up a fancy mac with truffle oil, you want a drink with more intensity like champagne to stand up next to the complex flavors going on there.
Of course, no two turkey dinners are the same, but it’s always good to be prepared. For a perfectly roasted turkey that’s all kinds of juicy, go with a pinot noir. For the turkey that spent a little too much time in the oven, compensate with a glass of dry rosé that has bold, juicy fruit flavors to liven up the bland white meat. If you find yourself with a slice of smoked turkey, a red zinfandel has notes of tobacco that’ll match well with those smoky flavors.
Regardless of whether your family is into creamed spinach or spinach and artichoke dip, a sauvignon blanc is the way to go here. Sauvignon blanc usually has an herbal side with a good amount of acidity to cut through the richness of both of these creamy dishes. If you can, avoid reds with spinach. This leafy green has a knack for drawing out the metallic taste in most red wines.
If you consider yourself a passionate sweet potato fan, you might want to whip up a batch of sweet potato cocktails with a homemade sweet potato simple syrup and bourbon. In the wine realm, you have a ton of options that’ll pair with sweet potatoes. You could go with anything from an acidic riesling that’ll cut through the richness of the side dish to a zinfandel with deep fruity flavors to a sparkling wine like prosecco that’ll stand up to the density of a sweet potato casserole.
When you’re eyeing that skillet cornbread on the Thanksgiving table, make sure you have a glass of sauvignon blanc or chardonnay handy. A buttery chardonnay mirrors the sweet, buttery goodness of a rich cornbread. If you rather go against the grain, pick a wine with a zing of acidity like a citrusy riesling.
Between the bitter, sweet and tangy flavors that you’ll taste in one spoonful of cranberry sauce, it’s hard to pick a wine that’ll pair well overall. This is when a cranberry-based cocktail or a beer comes in handy. For a beer, go with something that’s slightly sweet and slightly sour to compliment the sweet and tangy of the cranberry sauce.
Your basic Thanksgiving stuffing involves ingredients like bread, butter, onion, celery, broth, eggs and spices. Traditional stuffing often has sausage and herbs, but there are just as many vegan and vegetarian stuffing recipes that’ll work for the entire crowd. If you want a few safe drink options, keep pinot noir, merlot, a dry riesling, an oaky chardonnay or a gewürztraminer on hand. Go in the dry direction when you’re pairing any kind of savory stuffing with wine.
Dessert isn’t the time to slow down, especially when there’s a pumpkin pie on the table. Since pumpkin pie is on the sweet and spicy side, your taste buds probably won’t taste much with a light dessert wine. You’re better off pairing that slice of pie with a strong and sweet beer or a sweet dark rum. End the night on an indulgent note, that is, if you still have room.
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