One of our favorite local bars is the cozy downstairs wine bar at St. Helena’s Martini House. There’s just something about it–the look and feel of the room, the warm, brightly lit fire, everything that just seems to make the place call out for you to kick back with a nice glass (or bottle) of wine.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Wine Director Rob Renteria boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the entire valley–with somewhere in the range of six hundred different bottles of wine from all over the world for you to choose from.
We posed our Thanksgiving wine pairing questions to Renteria–read on to see what he had to say…
CB: In your opinion, what’s the single biggest myth around pairing wine with a Thanksgiving feast and why?
Renteria: The biggest myth about pairing wine and thanksgiving is that people tend to focus on the turkey and not take into account the various side dishes.
These tend to be sweet or tart. I like to keep it simple.
CB: We’ve heard all kinds of advice about which wine goes best with the traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc. Some suggest that Pinot Noir is the best option due to its ability to compliment a wide variety of flavors, while others say a nice, solid Sauvignon Blanc pairs best with turkey and stuffing. What’s your advice to someone looking to find the ideal wine to go with their Thanksgiving meal?
Renteria: Think about your budget. How many people will be attending? Will there be socializing before dinner? If so, those wines can carry over to dinner.
Or separate wines can be served. Keep it simple. Cooking and entertaining is stressful enough! Zinfandel! Everybody likes Zinfandel. Ultimately, drink what you want and don’t worry if it goes with food or not. Be sure to provide beer!
CB: Which wine (or wines) do you expect to have on the table during your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration?
Renteria: I’ll be drinking fruit driven wines. Beaujolais for red. German Riesling in terms of RS level. And of course, Champagne.
CB: Thanks so much Rob–hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!