Tips for the perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings

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You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to have great wine at your holiday meal.  You can save money and make the experience enjoyable for all of your guests.  Certified Sommelier Josh Ratliff explains how.

o   Thanksgiving food needs great wine

o   Traditional thanksgiving food is low acid, high fat, earthy, and plentiful

o   So, Thanksgiving drink needs to be higher acid, lower alcohol, lighter and complex

How do you get the right bottles with confidence without working hard or thinking too much?

o   General Tip for avoiding stinker bottles, not just for thanksgiving: Always look for the bottles with the most specific geographic location listed. They will on average be better quality.

o   Go to a trusted wine retailer – Grocery can be better than a liquor store- Don’t go buy bottles that have been on a shelf gathering dust, in 70 degree environment, under fluorescent light for 3 years!

o   Buy 2 or 3 of the same bottle so everyone can taste the same thing and talk about it

o   Thanksgiving wine normally ends up being Pinot Noir because of its low tannins (textural element that makes wine taste dry), but there are lots of others like Barbera d’Alba that are also low tannin and better values.

o   White, rose and red can work beautifully with this food.

o   Higher Iron content (think steak) needs higher alcohol. With all this dairy and white meat protein avoid big California reds, ‘red blends’ and others that are any higher than 14% - This also allows you to drink more with the a punishing heavy buzz.