Mrs. B is six months pregnant which means she’s been on a comfort food tear lately, especially with pasta. She whipped up this Thanksgiving themed Ravioli dish with turkey and cranberry after seeing Giada De Laurentiis make something similar on the Food Network last year.
Our original goal was to find ways to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in something other than another turkey sandwich. As with most recipes, we like to keep the core idea in place but modify to pair with a specific wine we have open.
Speaking of wine, there’s two key pairing elements to look at with this dish. First is the palate weight—the tasty little ravioli’s with gravy aren’t too heavy. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the heaviest) I’d say this dish is around a 5. It’s got plenty of flavor, but it’s not too heavy. So we want a wine that’s a 5 so it has a similar weight on your palate. The other thing to look at is the cranberry note. The turkey and gravy are savory, but for wine pairing, I’m looking for a wine that will compliment or contrast with the cranberry without being too tannic.
A new Pinot Noir producer from Russian River called Thralls Family Winery makes a few single vineyard Pinot Noirs that really work well with the dish. Thralls style is to impart a soft kiss of oak integration rather than overwhelm the delicate Pinot Noir fruit with too much oak—that keeps the tannin lower which is preferred with leaner proteins like turkey (Tannin levels should match fat levels). The Thralls Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir is lower in alcohol with a beautiful expression of fruit from that vineyard site. There’s pronounced earthiness and vibrant aromatics coming out of the glass that’ll marry nicely with the cranberry, while cutting through the gravy with solid acidity.