What to Ask For at the Wine Store: Thanksgiving Dinner


– So we have two specific recommendations for Thanksgiving dinner,
and they’re great. Now, I know what happens. When you give people
specific recommendations, they love it and hate it. They love it, because they
know exactly what to look for. They hate it, because
they know they’re never gonna be able to find that wine. We don’t want that to happen, so we’re gonna help you with that. – We’re gonna help you
find what to ask for at the wine store. (slow lounge music) – Hi, I’m Tracy Gardner from Pairing Base. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. I’m here today with Irene Miller who is a fantastic sommelier. Here at Pairing Base, we try to work with the best wine
professionals out there, and that’s what Irene is. Irene, do you want to introduce yourself a little bit? – Hello, my name’s Irene. I am just about to start
as the beverage director at The Dominick Hotel in Soho, but previously I’ve worked in New York in several top-rated restaurants; Lincoln, Del Posto, Le Bernardin. Before that, I used to cook, so I have spent a good amount of my life eating and drinking. I’m ready to do some more. – Fantastic, okay. So we’re gonna get into this. Again, we wanted you to be able to get a great pairing, no matter what. The best way to do it is get these wines. If you can’t, then we want you to be able to walk into the wine store and say, “I want a Blanc de Blanc
champagne that tastes like X”, or “I want a Burgundy that tastes like Y”, and so Irene’s gonna talk
about what you should ask more specifically. So, do you wanna talk
about the champagne first? – So what we have here’s
the Pierre Peters. It’s a Blanc de Blanc. When I taste this wine,
let’s taste it just to… Just to refresh my memory. So, what I get here is a lot
of lightness and freshness, notes of citrus, green apple,
also some ripe pear notes. And then you get this lovely character that happens with champagne as it ages and it develops this really nice lightly toasty, brioche-y quality. The texture here is very important. The bubbles here, the mousse here is very fine, very creamy. So what I find when
you’re eating this dish, the bubbles help refresh your palette, but there’s also this lovely creaminess that creates this symbiotic relationship with the food. – So it kind of simulates richness. – It does, but then it
finishes super clean, yeah. – Great, great. Yeah, I remember we tasted another Blanc de Blanc champagne
that we didn’t like as much as we liked this one,
and the difference was the bubbles were not as
much in the forefront. They were softer bubbles
and they didn’t do as good a job of cleansing the palette. – Right. – We joked that this champagne was sort of like scrubbing bubbles. The mousse did do a great
job of cleansing you palette in addition to the acidity,
and so those things are key. – Yeah, the acid is super important here. – Yeah, with this dish,
when we tasted it by itself, we noticed that it hangs
around in your mouth more than other dishes. Maybe because the gravy is heavy, because everything in
there is heavy and sticky, and so that’s why you want,
whether you know it or not, you want something to lift
the weight off your palette. That covers the champagne, right? – I think so.
– Okay. That was tasty. The other wine we liked
is this Bourgone Rouge from Domaine Bachelet. Irene’s gonna talk a little bit about what you’d ask for in the wine store if you can’t find this guy. – This is just a really lovely, elegant Pinot Noir. It’s very earth-driven. You get this really pretty
baking spice note to it, maybe a little bit of
cedar, pencil shaving. But there’s also really classic red fruit; tart cherry, there’s some cranberry here. I think the cranberry, when
you take a bite of this turkey and you have the cranberry sauce with it, I think it’s really just
an excellent pairing. I don’t think you want a super
powerful style of Burgundy, but I think that this one, it has enough elegance
and enough structure and enough acidity to be a
really nice pairing with this. – Again, I remember when
we tasted this Burgundy against a bunch of other Burgundies, it seemed like this one had
much more depth of fruit, or more concentration of fruit. When the dish made some of the
fruit go away a little bit, there was enough fruit left
over to still be apparent in the dish. We wanna make sure you have a Burgundy that has some depth of flavor. Would you call it concentration
or just depth of flavor? – I think they go hand-in-hand. I think you could say one or the other. – The food messes with the wine, but you wanna make sure
the wine can survive that and stay what you want it to be. And you want it to be that tart red fruit, cranberry to go with the dish. – And it has a really lovely
mineral character here. I think some of the other Pinots we tasted were just fruit and not much else. But I think it’s really about the layering of flavor here that makes it interesting with this dish, which can be very heavy. – I remember that something
really interesting happened when we tasted this before than when we tasted it with
a bunch of other Pinot Noirs. The dish seemed to suck in or cancel out the fruit
flavors or the aromatics and leave you with the frame
or the structure of the wine. And so, wines that did not
have as much concentration or depth of flavor, you were
left with just the structure as the pairing result, and
that wasn’t so pleasant. Something that doesn’t
have depth of flavor is going to leave you harsh
and with just the frame and not the reward of the pairing. – The flavor gets washed out. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – A quick way of saying that. (laughing) – So to summarize, when
you go to the wine shop, what you should be looking for in terms of a champagne or a sparkling wine. I think what’s important here is that this is a Blanc de Blanc, so it’s a 100% Chardonnay. You have a lot of finesse
and a lot of elegance. Fruit character here, you’re
looking at some citrus, some green apple but also has this lovely ripe pear note to it. It has a fineness of mousse and of bubbles that makes it really nice and creamy. And then it has this very
delicate brioche-y toasty note. With regard to the red; what we’re looking for here, I would say Burgundy
is really the key here to the flavor profile. You’re looking for bright red fruit, tart cherry, cranberry, but the wine also has this
very lovely mineral core, you get baking spice, you get some cedar, maybe some pencil shavings. So something with some
depth, some complexity and some layering of flavor here. And something that’s not
too big, not too robust. You want tannin, you want acid here, but you don’t want a monster. – So that’s what to ask
for in the wine store. Thanks for watching, please
subscribe to our channel and tune in for more videos.

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