Finding the ideal Thanksgiving wine can be hit or miss, with an array of flavors — turkey, coconut fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes — all vying for the spotlight. With all of these dishes competing for the grandeur, it’s asking a lot for a single wine to match perfectly with all of our Thanksgiving favorites. So when it comes to Thanksgiving wine, think versatility.
There are many wines that can manage this clash of food flavors, weights and textures. Sparkling wine and Champagne are among the most versatile, and popping a bottle of bubbly is the ideal start for your Thanksgiving Day celebration. These wines work not only for toasting but have more food-friendly characteristics than other wines, allowing you to serve them throughout appetizers, dinner and even dessert.
But if non-bubbly is desired, there are options.
For white wines, Riesling is always a favorite, with its dry, light refreshing characteristics. This grape produces many styles and levels of sweetness. Choose a German “Kabinett” or dry style from California or Australia to better complement the food flavors. Gewurztraminer’s light-bodied texture and spicy taste is a good match for the range of flavors on a buffet table. A tried and true expression of this grape is produced in France’s Alsace region, with an aromatic, clean, light-bodied style.
The key when choosing a red wine is selecting a wine with low amounts of tannin. Pinot noir, Syrah and merlot are excellent accompaniments.
- NV Gruet Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine, New Mexico (about $25 retail)
- 2007 Hayman & Hill Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, California (about $14 retail)
- 2009 Rosemount Riesling, Australia (about $10 retail)
- 2007 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge, France (about $18 retail)
- 2008 Estancia Pinot Noir, California (about $16 retail)
- 2008 St. Supery Napa Valley Merlot, California (about $34 retail)
- NV Jean Laurent Blanc de Blanc Champagne, France (about $55 retail)
- NV Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine, California (about $35 retail)
- 2007 Hugel Gewurztraminer, France (about $34 retail)
- 2006 Bell Big Guy Red, California (about $26 retail)