Rue How-To: Serve Up Thanksgiving Wines Like A Pro

Confession: We’re going to be gorging ourselves this Thanksgiving. What may not be so straightforward: Figuring out which wines will pair best with our platefuls of, well, everything on the table. So we caught up with Kerri Platt, owner of Boston’s The Wine Bottega, for her expert take on the ever-so-daunting task of creating a Thanksgiving wine menu (and making it truly thanks-worthy).

Rue La La: First things first. What’s your go-to Thanksgiving line-up?
Kerri: For whites: definitely dry Riesling and Pinot Gris. For reds: Pinot Noir, Barbera, and Gamay.

Rue La La: Let’s talk reds. Any guiding rules we can use to narrow down the search?
Kerri: I’d recommend first deciding whether you want to go big or go light, and then sticking to that. A big and bold wine (like a heavy California red, for example) will stand up to flavors. While a light and juicy wine (like a Northern Italian red) will go with everything.

Rue La La: Shopping around can be intimidating. Any tips to get started?
Kerri: Small wine shops are also a fail-proof resource – pop into your local shop and ask an employee what they’re drinking – you won’t be steered wrong! The bottom line is that there will be many different flavors on the table, so don’t stress about “the perfect pairing.” Thanksgiving is your chance to just relax and pour wines that you enjoy.

Rue La La: We want to make the meal extra special for friends and family – any suggestions?
Kerri: What’s most important is to make Thanksgiving feel festive (it is a holiday, after all!). Kicking things off with bubbles is a great and easy way to do just that. Also, consider incorporating dessert wines. Not only do they have the ability to enhance a dessert, but they can be enjoyed in lieu of one. If you’re feeling too full to have a slice of pumpkin pie, tawny port would make for a great substitute!

Rue La La: We’ve got to know – what will your Thanksgiving table never be without?
Kerri: Sparkling reds. They really are pure happiness.

November 17, 2011