As we leave daylight savings time behind, and the temperature drops to and then remains at 50 degrees, there is no longer any doubt of the season. And as the calendar shows November, thoughts turn naturally to…rosé. Or at least they should.
You see, Pinot Noir rosé is the perfect wine for the Thanksgiving table.
Allow me to explain.
The Thanksgiving table is notorious for its, er, plenty. It’s an exercise in excess. And while the featured flavors are generally not ‘over-the-top’ (excepting the sweet potato and marshmallow), they are rich and herbal and filling. A big, jammy, highly alcoholic wine will bury the food and aid the tryptophan*; you’ll be dozing way before halftime. However, a fresh and bright rosé, with floral and herbal aromatics; tart cherry and subtle earthy flavors and cleansing and refreshing acidity supports the flavors on the table without challenging them.
But don’t make the mistake of serving a riper California Pinot Noir rosé. The thicker and cloying mouthfeel will not refresh, and will add unwelcome sweetness to the savory elements. Rather, select a Loire Valley rosé, from Sancerre or Menetou-Salon, or this example, Domaine Collotte Marsannay Rosé (sale price, $17.99). The Collotte is a traditional rosé from Marsannay, bottled in the spring to retain freshness and balance, and then benefiting from time in bottle to development complexity.
This wine might even allow you to see the end of the game.
*The oft-repeated turkey myth stems from the fact that turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which forms the basis of brain chemicals that make people tired. But turkey isn’t any more sleep-inducing than other foods. In fact, consuming large amounts of carbohydrates and alcohol may be the real cause of a post-Thanksgiving-meal snooze.