This is the time of year when everyone in America eats the same meal and asks the same question: what wine to serve? Even those who may have successfully matched wine with food all year long seem terrified by the responsibility of choosing the right Thanksgiving wine. Maybe it's the sheer magnitude of the meal: while it's easy enough to find a wine that will go with one dish, what about one that will suit 10 or 12? Or maybe it's because Thanksgiving's main attractions--turkey, stuffing and yams--are foods that few people think about the other 364 days of the year. How do you pair wine with food you almost never eat? In search of answers, I flew down to our nation's capital for a roundtable discussion with four men who make their living matching wine with food. The discussion took place at DC Coast, with the restaurant's David Wizenberg as host; joining us were Michael Flynn of Kinkead's, Michael Nayeri of Galileo and Mark Slater of Citronelle. Here are the highlights.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of Thanksgiving?
Flynn Cranberry sauce is definitely the biggest challenge; its acidity and its bittersweetness are both wine killers.
If you had to pick one wine for Thanksgiving, what would it be?
Wizenberg Because people have such a range of preferences, I've always offered a kind of buffet of both food and wine at Thanksgiving, although if I had to pick just one wine, it would be Zinfandel.