Jill Weber, spearhead of Sojourn Philly, shares her expertise on wine pairing. Well-traveled restauranteur, co-owner of Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, and Café Ynez, and a Ph. D in Anthropology, are the accolades that have cultivated the expert wine connoisseur that is Weber.
Jet Wine Bar, Philadelphia’s “global vineyard” encourages people to think globally and drink locally. Stocked with an around-the-world inventory of diverse wines, Jet Wine Bar’s cellar holds the perfect match to any dish near or far- and this time, we’re going to find your perfect, personal Thanksgiving dish duos.
The way Weber boils down the odds while deciphering the pairing is by framing the wine as if it is a complimentary side dish, or even a garnish. Do you prefer a nutty flavor of sprinkled sliced almonds to compliment your string beans? Or do you prefer shredded parmesan? Based on your answer, you’ll unveil which fermented grape you’d enjoy most alongside.
For nutty flavoring, Weber recommends something with “green” notes, which in layman’s terms, translates to a “young, fresh grape.” The pro’s favorite being Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano. For cheese, Weber advises Arnies, a softer and nuttier option. If you were a guest at Weber’s table, she’d undoubtedly be pouring you a glass of Ceretto Blange Arneis.
Let’s talk main course. Perhaps the most unarguable is the turkey pairing. Turkey and cranberry sauce go hand in hand, in fact, according to traditional beliefs, people have agreed on this pairing since Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Weber suggests, and we agree, a tart and juicy wine is the way to go. Admitting most people serve gamay, she suggests some tempting alternatives. Portuguiser, Weber says, has a fresh, juicy feel specifically naming a bottle from Serbia, Agrina Doo. For “wild, brambly, juicy blackberry notes and good acidic tartness,” opt for Pennsylvania’s Chambourcin. If you’re not a cranberry sauce fan, never fear, coming in hot with a bit more tannin and spice, is Galen Glen’s, Blaufrankisch, Blau, Strehn, or Weingut Heinrich.
Additionally, Hungarian white wine, like Juhfark, is a must-try, Weber urges, no matter what you are eating. Lucky for you, Weber has included Juhfark in one of the two pre-packaged bottles of three ($80), with a range of flavors so each of your dinner guests will surely be satisfied and satiated. Packaged orders must be placed by November 19 and can be picked up between November 11 to November 27.
For a glass, pre-packaged bottles to-go, or a flight (of wine that is, although the flavors will transport you), dinner, or a small bite, take a trip and visit Jet Wine Bar at 1525 South Street to explore the endless options.
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- Agrina Doo, Portuguiser, Serbia, 2018
tart, juicy, dried cherry, dried herbs, a red plum finish
- Ca’Lojera, Lugana, Veneto Italy, 2018
light gold, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, a touch of mint
- Carpinus Winery, Tokaji Hárslevelú, Tokaj 2017
pale gold, garden blossoms, honey, preserved lemons
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- Cesani, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2018
Ripe, fresh grape, wild herbs
- Weingut Heinrich, Neusiedlersee Blaufränkisch 2016
Dark skinned grape, red berries, soft tannins
- Csetvei Pincészet, Mór Juhfark 2015
Stone fruits, rhubarb, mineral, oak
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