The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2018

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14  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2018 Because of my reputation as somewhat of a guru, I'm often asked two important, cosmic questions: "What is the meaning of life?" and "Which wine should I serve with my turkey?" I assume most of you have spent many hours deep in thought while in the presence of a fine bottle of wine, so you naturally have all the answers to the first question. But, because it always comes up around this time of year, it seems it's time to once again address the second question. The logical resolution to the turkey problem, of course, is white wine. Many of us learned as children perched on our mothers' knees that "white wine goes with white meats and red wines with red meat." Well, in this case, turkey works just fine with white wine by itself, but when you add sweet potatoes, creamed onions, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, these wines can get drowned out by such an explosion of flavors. In short, Thanksgiving meals cry out for wines that offer balance. I recommend serving a crisp, red wine with your feast: Opt for Burgundies, California or Oregon Pinot Noirs, the new Beaujolais, and light, young Zinfandels. I'm also partial to Côtes du Rhônes, California Syrah, and lighter Australian Shiraz, but the key, no matter which of these you choose, is to serve young, fresh reds. A complex, well-matured Bordeaux, for example, would be a mistake, as its subtlety and finesse would be overwhelmed by the cacophony of tastes Thanksgiving presents. If you're all about giving your guests some options, you can also offer them a rich Chardonnay or a bright Riesling alongside the reds. That should satisfy even the pickiest drinkers at the table. As for my final thought on the subject, I think it's important to remember that, in this case, the food always trumps the wine. Don't try to fight what's on the plate: Go with it, provide a comfort- able background for the feast, and, most importantly, just relax. A Question for the Ages LETTER FROM THE EDITOR PHOTO: JEREMY BALL

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