Thanksgiving - Turkey with water is no celebration
Don’t look at the turkey; look at the people you’re with at the table.
That truism on harmony was affirmed in 1985 by Hugh Johnson, the renowned British wine master who had an encyclopedic knowledge about alternatives.
The most traditional school suggests quite the opposite. It states that it is a festivity marked by history and custom and that century-old rules have always accompanied the pairing of white meats.
Johnson explained that his attitude toward wine “is determined by the idea I have of the wine, more as a social drink than as a condiment for the food.”
Nowadays it’s not as simple as it was before
In modern times, little or nothing has changed in turkey meat; however, a lot has changed in wine alternatives.
Options and trends that until a few years ago did not exist have emerged for several reasons:
-Because the country has made big progress in vineyards and enology
-Because the United States is consolidated as the first world- player in wine consumption
- Because the offer of specialized stores has sprouted like mushrooms, making it easier and more fun to access the desired bottle.
-Culturally, because there was a Feminine Revolution in wine
And because the segment of connoisseur consumers grew vastly
In the past, it was easier.
Up until the seventies in the Twentieth Century, aficionados were familiar with only two options: White wine, sweet or dry. Dry meant it wasn’t sweet.
The Arrival of Rosé
At the turn of the century, since 2001, Rosé has been leaving a strong imprint in the territory reserved for White wine until then. It’s happened because it grew significantly in alternatives, quality and subtlety.
And also because as tastes change every five years (according to booming trends) traditional schemes are left behind.
Every year, Rosé, historically derived from red wine, takes a bite from the global consumers’ cake from White, as well as from Red wine.
This is due to two reasons:
Rosé rises to the place where Whites can’t go when facing special meats, or with a special cooking touch.
And its vigor diminishes in the Reds where Pinot Noir can’t, albeit, keeping its tannins; hence, its personality.
This is the norm that in Thanksgiving family and guests break, according to taste and cravings.
So what should the person in charge (you) of buying the wine for the party do? Follow Hugh Johnson’s rule, even if you haven’t read any of his nine books and his wine atlas.
How Does the Connoisseur Choose?
It’s quite easy to get lost in the labyrinths of white wines, supple reds, and Rosé. By just walking between the shelves filled with options and offers you realize that without a guide the buyer will most probably get lost.
Making a mistake can be avoided by getting to know the path beforehand.
Under ideal conditions, this should be carried out in the company of a wine lover of the opposite sex that you know will sit at your table during Thanksgiving dinner this year.
I learned the “perfect hit” method from maestro Jean Huteau when I was studying with him in Paris. If your wallet allows it, choose four wines: White, Rosé, Sparkling and Red.
Buy them one or two weeks before so you can test them, and don’t be influenced by third party opinions, only by your partner’s. However, take not one, but two types of tested wines to the event. Do it in two batches, first the White and the Sparkling, then the Red and Rosé.
“Besides being able to show off because of your selection, it’s a lot of fun”, stated Huteau.
I’ve been doing it since the late seventies. He was right; it works.