Pair Your Thanksgiving Feast
November is upon us, and the upcoming holidays call for wine! Since most Americans get together on this holiday with family and friends to enjoy turkey and a wide variety of side dishes, it’s a meal most of us enjoy with a glass of wine.
First of all, let me say that you can choose whatever wine you like to drink and throw all food/wine pairing notions out the window. The art of wine and food pairing is a matter of personal preference. However, if you wish to explore wines that complement and enhance your Thanksgiving dinner, here are my top picks and recommendations.
This is a widely popular and approachable wine, but it’s important to choose the right one for a Thanksgiving feast. An unoaked, light Chardonnay pairs well with the flavors of Thanksgiving.
Available in the Market – Le Grand Cheneau Macon Verze, Burgundy FR | $32
The great minerality and acidity of these wines make them capable of handling the rich, bold flavors (think garlic and onions) of a Thanksgiving meal. I recommend a Pinot Blanc from Alsace.
Available in the Market – Zinck, Pinot Blanc, Alsace FR | $15
A Thanksgiving classic, Riesling wine can be made bone dry to sweet, with everything in between. Choose one you like! I recommend an off-dry style with just a little residual sugar. Riesling’s natural flavors of apple, apricot, and honey and its crisp acidity make it a great compliment to the heavy dishes typical of a Thanksgiving meal.
Available in the Market – Prum Essence, Riesling, Mosel Germany | $16
Another Thanksgiving classic, French Chenin Blanc is also available from sweet to dry. I like the dry style myself, and it’s a great Turkey wine thanks to its delicate floral aromas and bold taste.
Available in the Market – Champalou, Vouvray, FR | $38
There are many to choose from, at all different price points. From Cava and Prosecco to Champagne. The bubbles add a festive note to your meal, and their acidity makes them pair great with a variety of dishes.
Available in the Market – Domaine St. Vincent, Sparkling Brut, New Mexico | $12
This is a very versatile food wine, and I would enjoy this with Thanksgiving food (especially from Provence). I recommend a drier Rosé for a more versatile pairing range for your holiday meal.
Available in the Market – Perrin, Reserve, Côte du Rhône, Rosé, FR | $18
If you like a little sweetness in your wine, a Lambrusco is a great choice. Its bubbly fizz makes it a great palate cleanser.
Available in the Market – Cavicchioli, Lambrusco Dolce, Emilia Romania, ITA | $13
The ultimate Thanksgiving red wine. Its light, fruity notes pair perfectly with Thanksgiving foods such as squash and cranberries, while it’s earthiness balances out sweeter foods, such as yams.
Available in the Market – Chateau De Jarnioux, Beaujolais, FR | $16
There are many styles of this varietal. A lighter style Pinot Noir pairs well with a richer Thanksgiving meal, while a bolder Pinot Noir is a great choice for a Thanksgiving meal with simpler spicing. Pinot Noir’s red fruit and spice flavors, in additions to its more subtle earthy tones, make it a natural pick for Thanksgiving.
Available in the Market – Zorzal, Terrior Unico, Pinot Noir, Argentina | $14
Côtes de Rhône Rouge
This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre work nicely with the flavors of a Thanksgiving meal. Bolder varieties pair well with smoked turkey, subtle flavors of fig and dried berry complement roasted squash and stuffing, and the earthy notes accompany savory elements of a Thanksgiving meal.
Available in the Market – Vidal – Fleury, Côte du Rhône Rouge, FR | $24
November wine quote
“This may be the wine talking but I love wine!”
November Wines of the Month
White Wine of the Month – 2014, Guilhem Blanc
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Terret Blanc, this wine has fresh flavors of yellow flowers and yellow fruit, from Languedoc, France
Red Wine of the Month – 2016, L’Arnot Negre
A Garnacha, Syrah blend, from the Alta Terra region of Spain, it has great berry fruit, medium body and a little pepper on the finish.
Wine Club members, please come in and pick up your wines before they’re gone.
Sommelier, Maynards Market and Kitchen