Most Thanksgiving tables are filled with an array of textures and tastes. From appetizers to turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, cranberries and stuffing all the way to desserts like pumpkin pie. It’s a lot to ask of a wine to match each of these traditional favorites. The answer is discovering a versatile wine and not trying to match each dish to a bottle.
There are many wines suitable for the Thanksgiving table. In the white category, Riesling is always a favorite with its dry, light refreshing style. This grape produces many different styles and levels of sweetness, so be sure to choose a dry version such as German “Kabinett” or Australia’s dry versions.
Gewurztraminer’s light-bodied texture and spicy taste is perfect for the variety of flavors found on buffet tables. A triedand-true expression of this grape is produced in France’s Alsace region, with an aromatic, clean, light-bodied style.
Pinot noir’s subtle elegance can complement any meal. This grape’s best expression can be found in its classic home of Burgundy and in California’s Carneros region and Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
And don’t forget syrah with its spicy-peppery flavors, merlot’s crowd-pleasing, low-tannin structure and sauvignon blanc’s zippy, refreshing taste, all excellent accompaniments for the meal.
If you find yourself still laboring over what wine to serve, consider one of my favorites for any occasion — bubbly. Traditional sparkling wine, either a white or a rose blanc de noir, is easy to find and offers an elegant touch to Thanksgiving festivities.
- 2006 Piesporter Michelsberg Kabinett Riesling, Germany (about $13, retail)
- 2006 Mark West Pinot Noir, California (about $12, retail)
- 2006 Clean Slate Riesling, Germany (about $12, retail)
- NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine, Washington (about $15, retail)
- 2006 Yalumba Y Series Merlot, Australia (about $9, retail)
- 2006 Wolf Blass Red Label Merlot, Australia (about $10, retail)
- 2005 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $22, retail)
- 2005 King Estate Winery Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $38, retail)
- NV Gruet Estate Brut Sparkling Wine, New Mexico (about $22, retail)
- Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France (about $30, retail)
- 2006 Anne Amie Cuvee “A” Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $32, retail)