Red, white, pink, dry, sweet or fizzy, there are many acceptable colors and flavors to uncork for your Thanksgiving feast.
While there are a few ideal wines to pair with the prized bird, there’s more to consider than the turkey when choosing bottles for Thanksgiving dinner. In fact there is much to consider:
- You may want to begin the festivities with light appetizers.
- Dinner also includes yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and other varied foods.
- Your guest list probably includes some finicky wine drinkers (the only-Chardonnay crowd or the big, bold Cabernet crowd).
- You may be on a tight budget after buying all the food.
- Ideally, you’ll be drinking all day, so buy enough for the marathon.
A few hard and fast rules
- It’s always nice to start the day with a glass of bubbly. Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, it all helps create a festive mood. And a glass of bubbly prepares the palate for all the food to come.
- Don’t break out the expensive stuff. Odds are good the majority of your guests will not appreciate your vintage Barolo, so save it for another occasion.
- Choose low-alcohol wines because through the family squabbles, football games, post-dinner naps and turkey sandwiches, it’s always a long day.
- Plan on one bottle of wine per person, which is more than enough, but will save you from a late-day wine run. And remember, there are many fine bottles at wine shops for $15 or less.
Best wine to pair with the bird Roast turkey works well with many types of wine. It’s the flavors of the gravy, stuffing, and side dishes that have a greater impact on the palate. Here are some options:
- Zinfandel is America’s sweetheart, and is an ideal wine with turkey because its lower tannins help moisten even the driest turkey. And its secondary flavors of cinnamon, clove and vanilla work well in this season.
- Often people assume red wine should be served with the Thanksgiving meal but don’t overlook light, refreshing whites. Just try new varietals, such as a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. They are light-bodied, but have nice acidity and are under-valued.
- A dry Riesling is another versatile choice. Bright acidity cuts through all the fat in the gravy, stuffing, potatoes, yams and the richness of spice in cranberry sauce. Every sip feels like hitting the reset button on your palate.
Best wine with pumpkin pie
- The best wine to pair with dessert isn’t a wine at all. A Belgian-style beer (with its essence of coriander, natural creaminess and lots of tiny bubbles) is a light option to lead into the evening’s end.