Your Best Thanksgiving Ever!

How to Choose the Wine Pairings (Without Looking Like a Total Turkey)

There are a few simple rules to consider when planning your Thanksgiving wine pairings this year.  Start with sparkling wine as a festive treat for your guests.  Sparkling wines bring an elegance to your meal, plus they are remarkably food-friendly.  The high acidity helps to both cut through rich fatty sides like cheesy casserole and cornbread, and the minerality adds depth to meaty flavors.  The bright stone fruit and citrus notes also make it the perfect partner for turkey.

When pairing still white wines, look to crisp aromatic whites like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris.  It’s helpful to serve slightly dry but balanced whites to complement sweeter sides like sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and creamed corn.  Again, acid is the key, so look for whites with a tart freshness that also pair with those roasted root veggies, green beans, and salads.  Avoid buttery/oaky Chardonnay since it will just appear flabby up against a customary Thanksgiving menu.  

For the reds, choose wines with high-acid and low-tannins like Pinot Noir.  The bright cherry and tart cranberry notes, along with savory-sweet baking spices are the ideal accompaniment to vibrant Thanksgiving side dishes like stuffing, creamy gravy, and mashed potatoes.  The very subtle earthy and mushroom flavors found in good Pinot Noirs like the ones listed below make a great match with traditional turkey.  Fruity and lush Grenache and Zinfandel are great choices.  Our picks are softer without being too jammy or fruit forward.   

Above all, have fun with your Thanksgiving pairings this year.  Keep in mind, the wines should be easy to drink, fruity, and delicious.  Enjoy this festive season with your family and friends and if you’re a guest, don’t forget to help with the dishes!

 

Our Picks:

 

Bubbles

2013 Canals and Munne Dionysus Cava Rosé($19.99, Cava, Spain)

Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes and bursting with lush strawberry fruit on the nose, this sparking rosé is bright and pretty.  Floral notes of rose petals and herbs linger on the long finish.

Charles Clément Brut Chardonnay ($34.99, Champagne, France)

Laser focused and mineral driven, this 100% Chardonnay is fresh on the palate with crisp acidity and loaded with lemon, apple, and pear fruit.

Jean Laurent Blanc de Blancs ($49.99, Champagne, France)

Melon, toast, and sweet honey aromas mingle on the nose and palate of this beautiful, fresh aperitif style Champagne, offering tons of complexity.

 

Whites

2011 Domaine Emile Beyer Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Pfersigberg ($59.99, Alsace, France)

Made from 30-year-old vines, this spicy Gewürztraminer offers notes of white pepper, lychee, gingerbread, and honey.  Highly aromatic, it is an off-dry style with balanced, tangy acidity.  This wine is perfect for candied yams and all of the sweet treats at the Thanksgiving table.

Wunsch et Mann Pinot Gris Clotide Organic ($17.99, Alsace, France)

A dry, lighter-bodied Pinot Gris, this wine is elegant, floral, with stony minerality and crisp freshness.

2012 Schloss Lieser Riesling Kabinet Estate ($25.99, Mosel, Germany)

This wine offers notes of lime, apple, ripe white peach, and spicy earthiness on the nose.  Look for pepper spice, minerals, and hints of petrol on the long finish.

 

Reds

2013 Hatton Daniels Pinot Noir ($44.99, Sonoma Coast, California)

A light ruby color, this Pinot is so juicy and fruity with beautiful lip-smacking acidity that it’s hard to just have one glass.  The lush red berry fruit is complemented by a lovely cinnamon and clove spice on the palate, balanced by light tannins and a long finish.

2011 Kesner Pinot Noir Vadim’s Watch ($59.99,Sonoma Coast, California)

Grown on a cool site on the Sonoma Coast, this powerhouse Pinot is bold with serious backbone.  Tart black cherry and plum fruit with slight notes of baking spice, coco, anise, and vanilla appear on the palate.

2012 Freeman Pinot Noir ($39.99, Russian River Valley, California)

Very aromatic with pretty notes of red berries and flowers, this is a wine for acid lovers.  The juicy acidity, coupled with rich cinnamon spice, make it a stellar Thanksgiving pairing.  Although this 2012 Russian River is drinking well now, it will continue to improve through 2023.

2014 QUO Garnacha ($9.99, Campo de Borja, Spain)

You don’t have to spend a lot to drink good wine at Thanksgiving.  Take the QUO Garnacha with it’s fresh and exotic aromas of red cherry and strawberries.  A hint of bubble gum, spice, and a soft finish will complement T-day sides wonderfully.

2013 Barrique Cellars Zinfandel ($19.99, Dry Creek, Sonoma, California)

Our private label Zinfandel is rich, velvety, and bold with concentrated dark aromas of black fruits, fresh acidity, and a hint of minerality.  


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