Loire Valley Wine: All You Need This Thanksgiving
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving with family or do a yearly “Friendsgiving” like I do, you know your guest’s palates are as diverse as the dishes on the table. Choosing the perfect wine that will pair beautifully with as many dishes as possible can seem like a daunting task, but what if I told you that you could provide something for everyone’s taste all from one region?
The Loire Valley is France’s most diverse wine region. From Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Franc, Loire wines are beautifully aromatic with moderate alcohol and a striking minerality. Because of these traits, they are extremely food friendly.
Just as important as the turkey, or the “main show,” are the sides we serve before and during the meal. Because there are usually several, you should find a wine that compliments the majority of them. When looking for the perfect match for your sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and butternut squash soup, consider trying a Savennières from Anjou.
Chenin Blanc, the grape variety found in Savennières, has a profound nose full of pineapple, pear, honeysuckle and schist. When pairing this wine with a homemade butternut squash soup, you’ll find the zippy acidity of the Savennières cuts through the thick full-bodied soup while not over-powering it putting you and your guests straight into a euphoric state. Trust me…it’s a thing.
Want to try this pairing for yourself? Here’s what you’ll need:
1. 1 3lb butternut squash
2. 4 cups vegetable broth
3. 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4. 1 medium sized shallot (diced)
5. 3 cloves garlic (minced)
6. ½ tsp maple syrup
7. ½ tsp honey
8. 1 tsp salt
9. 1 Tbsp butter
10. ½ tsp nutmeg
11. Black pepper & salt to taste
12. Thyme to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Cut the butternut squash in half making sure to rub the insides down with olive oil and black pepper
3. Place halves face down onto a parchment paper lined baking tray
4. Roast for 45 minutes
5. Meanwhile in your soup pot heat 1 Tbsp of EVOO to a glisten and add diced shallot.
6. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shallot develops a caramel color
7. Add garlic and cook until fragrant
8. Scoop out the soft insides of your squash and add to the soup pot
9. Add vegetable broth, nutmeg, honey, maple syrup, salt and pepper and let simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
10. Once cooked, use an immersion blender to mix until the texture is smooth
11. Add butter and let it melt into the soup
12. Serve with black pepper and garnish with fresh thyme
I truly feel that the best aspects of wine are the moments and memories created while sharing it with friends and family. Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to explore the Loire region from the comfort of your own home while connecting with the people you love the most.
This article was written in paid partnership with Loire Valley Wines and Honest Cooking Magazine. All contents of this article are however, my own opinion.