11/09/11 – Thanksgiving wines, part one (Oregon)

By Jesse on November 8, 2011

Each year, the Winos embark on a journey to find the perfect wine for that Thanksgiving meal — even as numerous well-spoken wine luminaries, such as Alder Yarrow at Vinography, do their best to insist that there’s no such thing.  To quote Yarrow: “most people’s Thanksgiving meals, even the most modest of them, are a vast cornucopia of flavors so diverse, contrary, and strong … that the idea of finding ‘a’ wine to match with the meal is a ridiculous proposition.”  Is it?  Or have we just not yet discovered that wine-to-end-all-wines, that meta-wine, that Everlasting Gobstopper of a wine that perfectly adjusts itself, in glass and on palate, to pair perfectly with each dish encountered, no matter how flavorful?  (Probably not.  Probably closer to what Alder said.)

Other famous winos, though, accept the challenge anew every year.  Eric Asimov of The New York Times had terrific success picking out Thanksgiving wines two years ago.  According to Eric, the perfect wines for turkey n’ trimmings “must be modest but confident wines that assert their flavors in harmony with the food rather than trying to dominate the proceedings.”  When I think moderate yet confident, assertive yet harmonious, the American region I’d think of (after all, giving thanks is a primarily American custom) would be Oregon.  Next week we’ll get into some Beaujolais for tradition’s sake  — this will be the LA chapter’s fifth November Beaujolais tasting — but first let’s explore some offerings from our neighbor to the slightly north.

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