In just a few weeks you’ll be serving up your 2016 Thanksgiving dinner, but what’s a dinner without some Thanksgiving wines to pair with the meal? By selecting the right wine to go with your Thanksgiving dinner, you can really enhance your friends and family palettes, enriching their experience.
When it comes to wine, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. From red to white— and even rosé—the possibilities are endless. There’s wine for those with a sweet tooth and American sparkling wines, so narrowing in on the right Thanksgiving wine is all part of the meal planning.
Did you know that wine sales are at their highest for Thanksgiving? It’s true, and finding the right wine may be a challenge since there are many different flavors and courses to consider throughout a Thanksgiving dinner. If your friends and family aren’t wine connoisseurs, then you may not be worrying too much about what to serve. The list below will give you some guidance on which direction to go when picking a wine to pair with your meals.
Wines come with different names, but if you don’t know what they mean, you could be shopping blindly. Here is a quick breakdown of wine labels to consider, which you will want to look out for, as they best pair with a turkey dinner with all the fixings.
- Viognier – Floral and fruity in flavor
- Chenin blanc – Spicy and slightly sweet with a hint of acidity
- Riesling – Can be dry or sweet with some fruity notes
- Gewurtztraimer – Can be dry or sweet with some spice and florals
- Pinot Noir – Younger varieties are fruitier while older ones are smoky
- Syrah – Strong spices like pepper combined with smokiness.
- Zinfandel – Plummy, juicy, and spicy notes.
- Beaujolais – Light and dry with fruity hints; serve slightly chilled
- Muscat – Slightly sweet, orangey, and musky
- Port – Heavily fortified wine; can range from fruity to nutty depending on age
- Sauternes – Sweet vanilla, pineapple, and peach varieties
- Riesling or Gewurtztraimer – Both can be quite sweet
- Asti Spumante – Sweet or semisweet variety from Italy
The good thing about wine is that there are varieties at all price points, so you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy some good wine. Here are some great wine options for less than $20.00:
- Cremant de Bourgogne (Vincent Chaudray) – Cremant refers to a sparkling wine produced outside of Champagne. This wine works well with turkey or can be enjoyed on its own
- Acrobat Pinot Gris, 2014 (King Estate Winery) – This white wine has notes of tropical fruits which makes it an excellent pair for turkey dinner
- Riesling Reserve, 2014 (Albert Seitz) – In this French Riesling, you will uncover flavors of mango, ripe comice pears, and pineapple
- Pinot Noir, 2015 (Julia James) – Tart cherry flavor, darker fruits, and slight oak makes this a great Pinot Noir option for your Thanksgiving dinner
- Menguante Garnacha Selection, 2012 – This Spanish wine gives off hints of earthy tones and offers bright and crisp flavors
- Rockbridge V d’Or, 2014 – This dessert wine will compliment any type of pie you serve up at the end of your Thanksgiving dinner
This guide can help you better choose the perfect Thanksgiving wine to pair with your upcoming feast. Even if you’re not a wine expert, you can feel like one now that you know what to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner. Who knows, you may even surprise some of your guests with your newfound knowledge of wine.
“Thanksgiving Wine Guide,” Better Homes and Garden web site, http://www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/recipes/thanksgiving-wine-guide/, last accessed November 10, 2016
Passmore, N., “6 Best Thanksgiving Wines Under $20,” Forbes website, October 30, 2016; http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickpassmore/2016/10/30/six-must-have-bargain-wines-for-thanksgiving/2/#3376c5af5942, last accessed November 10, 2016.