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Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving & Greek Wines - a perfect match

Every year people ask me what I'm drinking on Thanksgiving.  Being a Greek - centric importer, the majority of our wines are Greek that grace our table.  Here are my thoughts on the best grape varieties & wines that pair well with the Thanksgiving meal.

While waiting for all of our guests to arrive, I usually have a bottle of bubbly or two open.  This year, I will be pouring Domaine Spiropoulos' Ode Panos Rose.  This is the winery's second release of sparkling wine.  It is made from a blend of 80% Moschofilero & 20% Agiorgitiko.  It is a bright pink color with aromas of rosewater and strawberry - perfect for smoked salmon & prosciutto.

White Wine

With the vast mount of side dishes and appetizers typically found on a Thanksgiving table, you need a wine that has a bit of body and acidity to it in order to stand up to the food.  Look towards Gentilini Robola, known for its weight and body, as a good pairing option.  Additionally, I like Ktima Pavlidis' Thema White and Assyrtiko from the North as well.  The Assyrtiko in the north is a bit more aromatic than those from Santorini.  Pavlidis' Assyrtiko 100% sees some time on the lees, therefore making it a bit rounder and adding some weight to it.

Red & Rose Wine

For me, there is nothing better to pair with the turkey than unoaked or lightly oaked red wines.  Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro & Limnio easily fit the bill here.  The acidity and red fruit notes of these grape varieties pair extremely well with turkey.  Since turkey is a leaner cut of meat, you do not need a big, powerful oaky red - it will just overpower the meal.  Stick to lighter reds and your palate will thank you for it.  Good options include Thymiopoulos Young Vines, GAIA Agiorgitiko, Vassiliou Nemea and Domaine Porto Carras Limnio.  Also, rose wines with high acidity and subtle tannin also are great matches as well.  For me, my go to Rose is GAIA 14-18 - it has the red fruit that pairs well with the cranberry sauce and the acidity and flavor to pair well with stuffing.


With the ever present pumpkin pie, UWC Samos aged Muscats such as the Nectar & Anthemis are amazing options.  Their cinnamon and nutty characters are the perfect match with dessert.

To all, have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy some great food & wine with family and friends!

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