Pairing wines with foods is largely a question of personal preference. There are very few hard and fast rules except for a few notable “hard and fast rules”…and I will cover those right up front: do not drink excessively dry wine with your turkey dinner because your mouth will be dry enough with the usual turkey accoutrements…keep the hearty cabernet sauvignons, French Syrahs for juicy red meat dinners…avoid, at all costs, the collision of your cranberry sauce with that noble Barolo…and keep your Amarone for New Year’s!
- Zinfandel- Also known as our sweetheart wine, it is as close as you can get to the perfect turkey pairing because of its relatively low tannin. The lingering typical flavours of cinnamon, clove, vanilla and peachy spice will set the mood for fall and make even the driest turkey breast taste nice.
- Prosecco…yes…Champagne! Nothing says ”Party” like the popping of corks all over the house. A great way to break the ice and add some fizz to the mood. Before the dinner or after…or during. Great local sparkling wines are all around you…Treveri Cellars, Mums, Italian-style Prosecco (add a little Aperol for colour and bitterness…) One of my favourite: Huff Estate 2008 Cuvée Peter F. Huff from Prince Edward County. Clearly rivals well with the much more expensive French beverages…at only $40!
- Pinot Noir– Everybody’s favourite “lighter” wine. Non pretentious, smooth, and clever tasting…a great companion to any white meat because of its fruity disposition. No one has ever been fired for recommending Pinot Noir and no moderate wine drinkers have been harmed in the creation of this blog! One of my favourite is made by one of the most under rated wineries in the Niagara region: Between the Lines Winery Family Estate Winery http://www.betweenthelineswinery.com/
Gabi and her phenomenal wine makers have created a velvety 2012 Pinot Noir (regular or Reserve) whose intense black fruit and cherry mouth will delight your palate and give wings to your bird!
- Riesling- Go white or go home! White makes for a wonderful interlude in the middle of the elaborate meal. Just as everyone is beginning to loosen the belt (ever so inconspicuously under the draped tablecloth), spring a fresh white wine…perhaps even a Pinot Grigio or an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. A pleasant way to cleanse the palate and prepare the belly for the next round. Try Peller Estates Family Series Riesling 2013 http://www.peller.com/ and your mouth will surely be seduced by its natural freshness. Serve cool and enjoy!
And for desert…Canadian Icewine (what else, eh?) It’s not just for desert…it can be desert! What better than to let dance on your palate this cheerful infusion of flavours… lichi, pineapple, orange blossom and juicy peaches all delightfully liquefied to create this smooth liquid gold. The nectar of the Canadian Frost Gods will delight your palate and warm your belly. The very best is made in only one place: Niagara, Canada. And the Best among the Best is none other than Pillitteri Estate Winery. http://www.pillitteri.com/ Truly a spectacular and storied winery, their collection of varietal Icewines are to die for. For an Icewine experience that’s totally “off the charts”, treat yourself to a Unique experience with Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and even Merlot Icewines. You haven’t had Icewine until you’re had one of the RED Icewines from Pillitterri’s- a multiple award winning family establishment founded in 1993 but originated in the heart