Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Dinner
Join us in the store on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 4:30 – 6:30, to taste four excellent Thanksgiving wines.
The traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be challenging to pair with wine because of the wide range of flavors — herby gravy, tangy cranberry sauce, savory dressing and sweet potatoes, which are sweet even without marshmallows. Here are some suggestions of Thanksgiving wines that are up to the task of complementing your dinner.
The fine bubbly bite of a great sparkling wine makes any event more lively and special. Serve a flute or two as a starter as guests are arriving — or at the table; they’re wonderful companions for food. If you’re serving a sparkling wine with dinner, be sure it is labeled brut (which means it is dry) and not a sweet sparkling wine such as Italy’s Asti Spumante.
Though the standby of white Thanksgiving wines for many is Chardonnay, generally, the oakiness and intensity of most Chardonnays is not ideal for the Thanksgiving feast. Consider instead:
- Sauvignon Blanc: Light and crisp, with grassy or herbaceous flavors and higher acidity.
- Riesling: Can be dry or sweet; spicy, fruity flavor with touches of peaches or apricots.
- Gewurztraminer: Can be dry or sweet. The German word gewurtz means spiced. These wines are highly aromatic with floral touches and spice notes such as cloves or nutmeg.
- Viognier: Floral and fruity, with essences of peach, apricot, and pear. Low acidity.
- Chenin Blanc: Spicy and slightly sweet with high acidity.
Yes, you can serve red wine with turkey breast. In fact, it is a red wine that has long been the classic choice for Thanksgiving because its light berry brightness contrasts well with the heartiness of the traditional menu.
- Pinot Noir: Younger wines are fruity with essence of plums, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries, while older wines have a smoky edge to them.
- Syrah: Strong spice and black pepper qualities. Older Syrahs are fruitier, with some smokiness. Also called Shiraz if it comes from Australia.
- Zinfandel: Lots of intense, plummy, jammy flavors with spicy or peppery notes.
Between Red and White
- Rose: Crisp, light and fruity, this lovely light pink wine might be just the thing to serve with a hearty meal. Serve it chilled.
- Port: Sweet, fairly heavy fortified wine. Younger ports are fruitier, and older ports are less sweet, tawny in color, and have a nuttier flavor from longer aging in wood.
- Riesling or Gewurztraminer: Choose sweeter incarnations if you served them with dinner, or break out a new bottle with the pumpkin pie.
- Asti Spumante: A sweet or semisweet sparkling wine from Italy. Serve it well chilled.
We’re thankful every day for your friendly faces and the support of our New Castle, Colorado, community. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Scott & Mandy Gauldin