What kind of sparkling wine goes well with Thanksgiving dinner? On this quintessentially American holiday try serving an American bubbly.
A few years ago I wrote about the Best Thanksgiving Wines and while the usual suspects of Pinot Noir and sweeter wines like Rieslings were common recommendations, this year I’m thinking of serving some festive American bubbly. Here’s what the experts have to say.
Let’s start with whether its a good idea to serve sparkling wine at Thanksgiving. Jill Silverman Hough notes in her book 100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy With Wines You Love (Wiley, 2011) that it can be a challenge choosing a wine to serve with Thanksgiving dinner because the turkey and gravy are savory, but the yams and cranberry are sweet. Perry Hoffman, Domaine Chandon’s head chef of étoile restaurant suggests that bubbles are the way to go because they go well with Thanksgiving stuffing, mussels, pumpkin pie, and turkey.
Melanie Wagner, Certified Sommelier and author of Hello, Wine: The Most Essential Things You Need to Know About Wine has this suggestion:
This Thanksgiving, delight your guests by pouring them pink bubbles! Rose Champagne—it’s less expensive than sparkling wine cousins—provide an exciting and festive alternative to white wine. Their robust yet elegant flavors take your guests from appetizers to dessert with no problem. Plus, everyone feels more sophisticated and charming with a tall Champagne flute in their hand.
Finally, Melissa Darnay, aka. The Wine Maven, adds that sparkling wine has the added benefit of cleansing your palate between each bite.
American Sparkling Wines
Wondering which sparkling wine to serve? Wagner likes Schramsberg Brut Rosé and J Vineyards and Winery Brut Rosé from California (one of my personal favorites!) and Gruet Rosé Brut from New Mexico.
Jon Bonné, the wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, in his new book The New California Wine notes that Roederer Estate is “turning out excellent sparklers” and agrees that Schramsberg “is stronger than ever.” Bonné, who champions smaller terrior-driven producers is especially enthusiastic about a few new “sparkling projects” such as Under the Wire, which is producing single-vineyard sparkling wine. He also champions an emerging style of sparkling called pétillant naturel, lightly sparkling wine “adopted from Europe’s Naturalistas.” He cautions that pétillant naturel are not for everyone (they can contain “beery yeast flavors”) and require instructions to open, but cites Salinia Taken Rustic and Donkey and Goat Lily’s Cuvée as two good ones to try (if you can find them!)