Looking to add some French flair to you Thanksgiving meal? For an affordable twist on the classic Turkey Day menu, this year try pairing your holiday spread with Wines of Southwest France. With the region’s vast diversity in both wine styles and grape varieties, Southwest France offers a perfect pairing for every step of your Thanksgiving dinner.
While you may associate sparkling wine more with New Year’s Eve, why not kick off the holiday season with a bottle of bubbly as well? Gaillac produces delicate sparklers made in the méthode ancestrale, a technique that predates the Champagne method. These wines will serve as a delightful aperitif that won’t break the bank.
The centerpiece of every Thanksgiving table is the turkey, so make sure to get this pairing right. The red wines of Fronton make for an excellent decision. Produced from the indigenous grape négrette, Fronton wine offers notes of violets and spice, as well as juicy flavors of both red and black fruit that will complement your cranberry sauce.
If you’re going the red meat route, consider two of Southwest France’s heartier wines. Madiran reds have a tannic density that is unequaled and yet perfectly controlled making them perfect complements to a large holiday meal. They are made primarily from the tannat grape, which produces hearty, textured, refined wines worthy of aging. When enjoyed young, they display fruit flavors of blackberry, black currant and cherry. When aged, they are marked by aromas of old leather, licorice, and spices. Cahors is malbec’s ancestral home, and the region still offers some of the most elegant expressions of the grape variety. If you’re serving roast beef as a turkey alternative, get a bottle of Cahors for the table too.
If you have any vegetarians in the family, the sides become the stars of the meal. When you’re offering mashed potatoes, stuffing, or perhaps a cheesy broccoli casserole, a crisp white wine is a necessity. Saint Mont whites display gorgeous minerality and a refreshing acidity that will cut through some of the more gluttonous dishes.
No Thanksgiving feast is complete without pie. Whether you’re serving pumpkin or pecan, everyone always makes room for the sweet stuff. Côtes de Gascogne offers scrumptious botrytized dessert wines, whose honeyed flavors pair beautifully with Thanksgiving pie.