Thanksgiving dinner is one of the more challenging meals for wine matching. With menus featuring roasted, smoked, deep-fried or even barbecued meats and side dishes like fruit salad, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and rich gravy all competing for grandeur, it’s asking a lot for a single wine to match perfectly with each dish.
The most important advice for Thanksgiving wine selections is versatility. Fortunately, there are many wines that fit easily into the clashing of food flavors, weights and textures.
Riesling, though often underrated by people who still perceive this wine as only sweet, is one option when it comes to versatility. Though there are many sweet versions available, the dry style pairs well with a wide variety of foods.
For red, consider pinot noir. Pinot noir’s subtle elegance complements many dishes without the overpowering fruit bomb that so many red wines exhibit. Other good Thanksgiving wine options include sauvignon blanc with its fresh, clean, zippy taste, Gewurztraminer’s rich body and zinfandel’s spicy, peppery flavor.
- 2007 Rudi Wiest Mosel River Riesling, Germany (about $13 retail)
- 2008 Clean Slate Riesling, Germany (about $13 retail)
- 2008 Anne Amie Riesling, Oregon (about $19 retail)
- 2008 Pacific Rim Organic Riesling, California (about $19 retail)
- 2007 Irony Pinot Noir, California (about $14 retail)
- 2008 Eola Hills Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $14 retail)
- 2006 Stephen Vincent Pinot Noir, California (about $16 retail)
- 2006 Domaine Drouhin Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $34 retail)
- 2008 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $12 retail)
- 2008 Yali Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (about $10 retail)
- 2008 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $36 retail)
- 2008 Honig Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $22 retail)
- 2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztraminer, California (about $9 retail)
- 2008 Twisted River Gewurztraminer, Germany (about $12 retail)
- 2008 Trimbach Gewurztraminer, France (about $28 retail)
- 2007 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer, France (about $21 retail)