The holidays are a great time to exercise those "green" muscles of yours and choose organic wines to pair with your feast!
There are multiple levels of organic wines. Not all bottles that bear the words natural, sustainable, biodynamic or eco-friendly are actually organic. Let's take a look at what the differences on the labels really mean:
Organic - In order for a wine to have the official USDA seal, it must be produced from certified organic grapes and in certified organic facility. These wines may have naturally occurring sulfites but no added sulfites. Sulfites are the preservative used in wine production.
Made with Organic Grapes - These wines are produced in the same fashion as the ones mentioned above, but they can contain low levels of added sulfites, therefore the label will not have the USDA seal on it.
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is quite the conundrum for sommeliers. We put such a variety of flavors and textures into this one meal, it is often difficult to perfectly pair one glass of wine with that full plate of food. That being said, it also opens the door to experiment with new wines and pairings to test your palate and have some fun!
I personally believe that you can pair sparkling wine with almost anything. Whether you enjoy it with your meal or just a Thanksgiving toast, the Albert Mann Cremant d'Alsace (www.albertmann.com) from France is a great organic choice! White wines with a hint of sweetness or spice work very well, I recommend the organic Viognier from Australia's Yalumba (www.yalumba.com). When choosing a red, light to medium bodied styles that feature both fruit and earthiness pair best. The King Estate Pinot Noir (www.kingestate.com) from Oregon is a beautiful representation.
Remember, more than anything else, the key to pairing food and wine is just simply that you enjoy it.
submitted by Angela Ortmann
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