Selecting the right wines for Thanksgiving

November 12, 2018

Selecting the right wines for Thanksgiving

One of the biggest and most anticipated meals of the year needs to have the wines to live up to the occasion, right?  Well yes, sort of.  Is Thanksgiving the meal to trot out your best bottles?  Sure, as long as you’re O.K. if Aunt Martha tosses a few ice cubes in her glass and your brother-in-law has a polite sip between downing a few beers.  And then there’s always the challenge and debate on which wines to pair with this complicated menu.  Turkey is a lean, white meat, while the components of the meal (gravy, stuffing or dressing and mashed potatoes) are much richer and heavier. Ultimately, I like to make sure gravy gets sauced on everything on my plate, hey, it’s Thanksgiving! So how do you pick the right wine? 

First of all, if you follow the wine pairing “golden rule,” there is no wrong wine.  Meaning, first and foremost, you should drink what you like.  There’s no sense in pairing a wine with a meal that you just don’t like.  With that said the magic of pairing the right wine with the right food is that it makes both the food and the wine taste better than if you ate / drank them by themselves. That’s the ultimate goal.

For Thanksgiving, I like to pair wines that align with the sides and gravy, but also have enough acidity (freshness) to remain lively or vibrant with everything like cranberries and steamed veggies. I would avoid highly tannic wines that would certainly clash with delicate white meat.  Any wine that’s too big and tannic will overpower everything rather than match it - sort of like dancing with someone who demands that they lead all the time!

Reds like Pinot Noir, Gamay (Beaujolais) or a Cotes du Rhone all work well. Even a well-balanced Zinfandel can be nice. For whites, unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Gris from Oregon, White Bordeaux or even a dry Riesling are all good choices.  All of these styles or regions offer very nice options that are easy-drinking and are generally crowd-pleasers, from hors d’oeuvres through the big meal.  We offer several options to match your budget or audience, from under $15 to over $50, so you and your potentially wide and diverse range of guests can all enjoy (Aunt Martha too) this Thanksgiving.

Click here to see our Thanksgiving selections.





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