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How to Pair Champagne with Thanksgiving Dinner

By Olivia Cuccaro

dom pérignon 2009 champagneNo celebration is complete without champagne, and that especially goes for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Sure, you can greet guests with a flute or even raise a glass to friends and family before dining, but we think it’s much more fun to sip champagne with your Thanksgiving spread. The right champagne can delightfully bring out the flavor in the food as a perfect complement to the traditional dishes of the season. We spoke with iconic luxury champagne house Dom Pérignon to determine the best champagne pairings for an elevated Thanksgiving dinner.

“The broad variety of flavors in the traditional Thanksgiving feast, from the earthy notes of autumn vegetables to the richness of turkey and gravy, gives the perfect opportunity for Dom Pérignon to show its diversity with respect to food pairings,” said David E Cohn, US ambassador for Dom Pérignon, in speaking to Elite Traveler. “The initial citrus notes, backed by a briny salinity, will cut through the weight of the heavier meat dishes, while the mineral-driven finish of the champagne will also partner well with the earthy, autumnal notes of classic sides containing pumpkin, squash, mushrooms and cranberries.”

Dom Pérignon released its vintage trinity earlier this year, and each of the three champagnes brings something unique to the Thanksgiving table. The collection comprising Dom Pérignon Blanc 2009, P2 2000 and Rosé 2005 harmonizes with different elements of a three-course holiday meal to complement cuisine served during the celebration, from start to finish.

dom pérignon 2009 champagne

Dom Pérignon 2009

This versatile vintage can both introduce and close out Thanksgiving dinner. Dom Pérignon 2009 features silky, salty, bitter and briny notes that are ideal to pair with seafood hors d’oeuvres. Try it with raw bar favorites such as crab legs, shrimp or oysters to highlight the saltiness and bright citrus character of the champagne. After dinner, this champagne is superbly suited for a cheese plate, pairing in place of chutney or dried fruits. Hints of guava, white peach and nectarine stone fruit balance cheeses with rich flavors following the main course.

dom pérignon p2 2000 champagne

Dom Pérignon P2 2000

Aged for the past 17 years in Dom Pérignon cellars, Dom Pérignon P2 2000 is a special vintage, but all the more befitting of a food pairing because of its maturity. The champagne is recognized for its freshness — surprising for a champagne of this age — and features a rich mouth-feel that wonderfully accompanies opening dishes. Pair it with a first course of squash, pumpkin or root vegetable soup, or with sides such as glazed carrots, mashed potatoes or classic green bean casserole. The velvety nature of the P2 2000 even partners well with melted butter cornbread.

dom pérignon rosé 2005 champagne

Dom Pérignon Rosé 2005

Turkey is undoubtedly the main event at any Thanksgiving dinner, so it’s Dom Pérignon Rosé 2005 the brand recommends to enhance the experience. The pinot noir blended back into Rosé 2005 exposes an earthiness and ripe tannin structure that is an excellent companion to the carved turkey course. The flavors in the champagne evoke those found in mushrooms, truffles and other forest ingredients for a truly autumnal taste complementing stuffing and gravy. Dom Pérignon Rosé 2005 alternatively pairs well holiday ham for a twist on traditional festivities.

And finally, no need to panic if you find your champagne supply to be running low when you host a holiday soiree. Dom Pérignon recently launched its 1H delivery service, bringing bottles to your door in just 60 minutes. For more information, please visit domperignon.com.

Find out which cuisine pairs best with vodka, tequila and more unexpected beverages in the November/December 2017 edition of Elite Traveler.