Wine pairings that will transform your meal
Some experiences are electric. Take, for example, the pairing of the perfect red Burgundy with our rabbit terrine. It transports you to the winemaker’s table. You can almost feel the scarred wood under your elbow, the breeze rolling in through a cracked window, hear the winemaker laugh as they chat up their guests over lunch. That’s the magic of pairing spectacular wines. And it’s something our team lives for. To experience for themselves, and provide for our guests.
Around Thanksgiving, the shop is buzzing with guests excitedly preparing for an epic feast with friends and family, searching for wines that will pair with everything. But at Dedalus, we go beyond that. We want you to have those electric experiences. To find wines and food that don’t just pair, or elevate, or complement your dinner. Wines that completely transform it.
Sometimes it's as simple as discovering the beauty of crunchy salt-laden potato chips, dunked into a custardy wheel of Rush Creek Reserve, washed down with a glass of Champagne. Or how the brilliantine swirl of a Bandol rosé in your glass precisely emulates the sensation of drinking it, how it bursts across your palate and keeps you coming back for everything rich, hearty, and smothered in gravy just so you can experience the rush again, and again.
Thanksgiving offers so many opportunities for these moments, and our team was eager to share some of their favorite pairings for the holiday. They held up bottles of Barolo and Beaujolais, pulled out softly effervescent sparkling wines from Champagne and elsewhere, and called out a handful of rosés that, while normally overlooked this time of year, deliver a truly outstanding experience at the table. These are wines that we’re lucky to have. That not many have access to. And we can’t wait to share them with you.
Barolo and Barbaresco bring it back to family
Wines from Piedmont get to the heart of the season. Not only do they pair well with rich foods, but they also bring about rich experiences, and come from families with deep connections to land and tradition.
Kristen Murray, the general manager of our Burlington shop, is from Long Island, and has a lot of memories of big family dinners at her aunt’s house, with its old-school 1960s kitchen.
“Thanksgiving looks very traditional,” Kristen says. “I really love Nebbiolo, so that’s a go-to.” Nebbiolo is indigenous to Piedmont, Italy, and can be found in two of the world’s most treasured wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.
“I want to be drinking Barolo,” she says. Her pick? The Barolos of A&G Fantino, made by brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale who farm an incredible vineyard in the historic Bussia cru of Monforte d’Alba. The town of Monforte d’Alba is picturesque — a hilltop settlement of cobblestone streets and terracotta roofs — and the brothers’ vines are some of the oldest in the region. The wines feel deeply connected to that sense of family and history. “Drink this with any sort of truffle pasta, or some kind of mushroom risotto,” Kristen says. Piedmont is known for truffles, so it’s a classic combination.
Giulia Negri is another Barolo producer I’m particularly excited about. She took over her family’s estate at the age of 24 and since then has been turning out stunning minimal intervention Barolos that would be exceptional with Thanksgiving dinner. We’re lucky to have a line on her wines and to have secured a good amount of them before the surge of national acclaim rolling her way leads to less availability.
Ashley Bryant, our marketing director, says that a natural choice would be cheese from Giulia’s alpine region of Italy. “We are always flush with cheeses from Piedmont this time of year,” she says. “There’s a very special leek bound Ribiola and our signature profile of Parmigiano Reggiano — that will truly blow your mind — from the mountains surrounding Bra that would pair beautifully with her wines.”
Punch it up with Beaujolais
Invite Beaujolais to every party. It’s the social butterfly of red wines and plays well with pretty much every dish on the table. The style was reinvigorated by a group of friends who wanted to get back to doing things the old-fashioned way: making authentic, beautiful wines that will show you exactly who they are and where they come from.
Beaujolais should be on every Thanksgiving table. It’s a wine that everyone on our team brings at least one bottle — or Magnum! — of to their celebrations. Think of it as your cranberry sauce equivalent. “The whole reason you have cranberry sauce on the table,” Ashley says, “is so that the tart fruit can punch through all the rich, dense flavors of those traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Beaujolais is that cranberry sauce.”
This lifting, balancing effect works incredibly well with creamy mashed potatoes and turkey slathered in gravy, or with crispy, caramelized roasted vegetable sides. It’s also great for drinking as you sit around snacking on cheese and catching up with long-lost cousins or friends. It is light and juicy enough to harness the enthusiasm of folks who normally don’t drink white wine, and complex and aromatic enough to engage those who prefer more structured bottles. As Kristen puts it, “it’s the opposite of a polarizing wine.”
Beaujolais might be versatile, but that’s just about the only box this wine fits in. “There’s a lot of different styles within Beaujolais,” Kristen says. She uses the wines of Domaine Jean Foillard as an example. “If you like more structure and tannin, grab a bottle of Foillard Morgon. Or lighter, brighter, juicer styles, like Foillard Morgon Cote du Py.”
Bubbles, always bubbles
Sparkling wines make an excellent party starter — or closer, really — and pair well with salty snacks. Our collection of Grower Champagnes doesn’t just suit the celebratory aspect of Thanksgiving, but also the focus on agriculture and the harvest. These wines are made by farmers who take pride in their land and its ability to create unique sparkling wines.
Sometimes, the little moments before or after the Thanksgiving meal are what make it most memorable. Kate Angus, a retail sales associate, says that “on my grandma and dad’s side, we always have Ruffles potato chips and onion dip, like the canned onion dip — it's so salty and wonderful.” Her go-to pairing for this classic pre-party snack is Champagne or sparkling wine from another zip code.
She’s particularly excited about the producer Thierry Germain from the Loire Valley and says that his sparkling Chenin Blanc would pair perfectly with salty chips and onion dip before the meal or with pie for dessert. “My dad makes a chocolate pecan pie that it would be really good with.”
When it comes to sparkling wine, Champagne is always a great pick, especially a Grower Champagne — a Champagne that is grown and vinified by the same domaine. Most of the experts in our shop mention Tarlant as an excellent example of a Grower Champagne that is perfect for occasions like Thanksgiving, especially with those creamy, cheesy, salty snacks we reach for during the early afternoon hours as the meal comes together.
“I always think of cheese and sparkling wine,” Ashley says. “This is my favorite time of year to pop by the cheese counter, where those special seasonal cheeses arrive just in time for holiday celebrations.” Her favorites are made with high-fat, late-season milk that is perfect for making super soft, gooey cheeses bound in spruce.
Her tip? Remove the top of one of those soft, rich spruce-bound cheeses and pop it in the oven. “Stick a clove of garlic in the center, and it turns into this perfect bubbling fondue. Dunk some crusty bread in and enjoy with a glass of Champagne. Tarlant is a go-to because it spends extra time on the lees and so you get this gorgeous savory, brioche-y profile.”
Rosé is more than a summer wine. It’s the true star of the Thanksgiving table and will work nonstop to refresh palates between bites of rich foods.
Hear me out: rosé isn’t just a summer wine. It’s a year-round wine. For whatever reason, it’s received a bad rap as a single-note, sunshiney, poolside party starter with about as much range as a Nerf gun.
We’re here to tell you that is decidedly not true. “I think people need to get as excited about rosé as they do about red or white wines,” Kate says. “There’s a lot of variety within the style.” And it is truly the most versatile style of wine in terms of pairing.
Her pick for Thanksgiving? Provencal rosés from Bandol. “The whole thing about Thanksgiving,” Kate continues, “is it's a lot of different foods, so you want to pick something that stands up well to a lot of different flavors and textures, and a Bandol would do that well.”
Some of our favorite Bandol producers right now are Domaine de la Tour du Bon and Domaine du Gros’Noré. The former is run by Agnés Henry, who after years of working with a hired winemaker to create acclaimed rosés, finally set out on her own. Her wines are powerful and precise, as charming as she is, but with none of her self-deprecation. Gros’Noré is produced by Alain Pascal, whose wines are all heart, just like him. He also had humble beginnings — he and his father would make wine for the family but never sell it. When he started the domaine, it was a true gift to the world. We’d been let in on something so special, so evocative of this family and place — it’s a truly irreplaceable wine.
Kristen likes the Gros’Noré for salads, and as the option for “the person in the family that doesn’t drink red wine.” In addition to pairing well with lighter fare, these rosés cut through the complexity of Thanksgiving classics; they balance rich gravy, sausage-laden stuffing, and creamy mashed potatoes. The lift and acidity of a Bandol rosé definitely serve as something of a karate-chop through the rich foods we love to pile on our plates. A palate refresher, if you will.
For that effect, we’re also particularly enamored with Domaine Comte Abbatucci and Yves Cannarelli in Corsica. Kristen speculates that she’ll open a bottle of Abbatucci specifically for her family’s sweet potato recipe, which is topped with bacon.
Jean-Paul Abbatucci and Yves are pillars of Corsican wine culture. They are two of a handful of producers who, quite literally, saved indigenous grapes and traditional winemaking practices from commercial wineries that washed out the beauty of the island — its mountainous green interior, the aromatic maquis of the flatlands, the rocky shoreline teeming with life and the scent of the sea. Drinking their wines is a wild experience.
And that’s what wine should be. Wild. Engaging. An experience that connects you to people you’ve never met, places you’ve never been, winds and waters, and soils that you haven’t touched yet but that you can somehow feel when you taste a great glass.
Having that experience with friends and family only heightens it — illuminates the connections we have with the people we choose to be by our side at the table. The wines we bring with us to these occasions, or that we pull out for guests, should be just as complex and storied as we are.