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Will it pair?

I saw my first Christmas commercials on TV the other day.

OK, it was the Hershey Kisses We Wish You a Merry Christmas bell-ringing ad that's been running on TV since God was a child. No seriously! It's been running for over 30 years!

And you all are going to call me a Grinch for stealing holiday joy from people just trying to get through pandemic world, and how can I complain about that?

Well, what about robbing my holiday joy of the other most wonderful time of the year? Thanksgiving? Huh???

(Non-USAians, it's that time of year again. Yeah, I'm back on my thing. Skip ahead a bit if you like. I'll tell you when to come back.)

Is it fair, I ask you, that Halloween candy had barely expired before stores started putting out Christmas cruft? I spotted Sprite winter spiced cranberry soda the other day. No, I didn't buy any. I've tasted some funky things for you folks, but I must draw a line somewhere.

Look, Thanksgiving, like every other damn thing in this nightmare timeline, isn't going to look the same. But maybe this is a chance to honor the traditions we enjoy and skip the ones we don't.

And if y'all get to talk about Christmas for the next six weeks, I think it's only fair and balanced I get to talk about Thanksgiving for the next two!

So to that end, I want to ask the important question: Will It Pair? I'm going to try some wines from my cellar and let you know if they'd make a good pairing with your turkey dinner or not. (Non-USAians, come back! This becomes relevant now!)

First up: Turley Napa Petite Sirah 2018. Turley is one of Bill Heritage's other favorite wineries, and so far everything has been worth the hype. Petite Sirah is a different grape than Syrah, actually an offspring of it and another French now-extinct grape, Peloursin. Petite Sirah has practically vanished from its native France, with most plantings in California.

This is a powerful bold (almost 15% alcohol!) wine, with high tannins. Decanting this big boy is an absolute must. The color is velvety purple-to-almost-black. On the palate is not-overly-ripe blackberries but more fruity than green. Dark chocolate fans, this is your dream wine.

But Will It Pair with a traditional turkey dinner? No way. This will knock out anything that's too light or too creamy. The flavor profile is going to clash badly. The only thing bird-related I can think of that might work is smoked turkey legs. This wine needs something equally bold, like a grilled ribeye. Which, hey, if a steak sounds like your ideal Thanksgiving dinner, go for it. But for turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and all that, this ain't the one.

The high tannins and alcohol mean this is a great candidate for aging. I bought two bottles, and as irresistible as it is right now, I'm going to cellar the other for as long as I can stand it.

What are you thinking of for your holiday dinner? Hit me up for suggestions to pair.

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