Whether it's red wine or white wine, I'll help take the guess work out of your Thanksgiving wine pairings.
Wondering what wines to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner? Here are a few of the most popular types of wines, both red and white, from which to choose.
White Wine Pairing for Your Thanksgiving Dinner
White wines are among the top choices for this holiday meal tending toward the more refreshingly bold and fruity wines, such as Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurstraminer, that will enhance the meal rather than overpower it. Here are a few selections to share with your family and friends.
- 2009 Slingshot Sauvignon Blanc (⅘ rating) – a perfect pairing of refreshing citrus, hints of honeydew and key lime with a crisp fruity finish. $15
- 2011 Glass Mountain Chardonnay (3.5/5 rating) – a smooth slightly toasty wine with delicately crisp apple and pear flavors and hints of vanilla and oak. Its creaminess and slight minerality pairs perfectly with roast turkey, seafood and white fish, creamed based pastas and vegetable soups as well as a light pre-dinner drink with appetizers or just by itself.
- 2011 Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling (⅘ rating) – Chateau Ste Michelle is the largest Riesling producer in the world, and this wine is the #1 selling American Riesling. It is a medium-dry wine with peach, pear and light citrus characteristic and finishes well. It is light to medium-bodied and pairs well with a range of foods. Perfect with roast turkey and candied yams for the holidays or Asian shrimp, Indian chicken, sweet barbecue pulled pork as well as smoked fish, grilled duck and cold cuts. $12.99
- 2011 Navarro Gewurztraminer (⅗ rating) – if you like sweet wine this is one to try, especially with a dessert of pumpkin pie. A northern coast California wine that is refreshingly citrusy and with a hint of spice. $19.
- 2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer (3.5/5 rating) a refreshing slightly sweet wine with moderate acidity and flavors of pear and melon. $10
- 2010 Casillero del Diablo Viognier (⅘ rating) - A fantastic Chilean medium-bodied wine that has aromas of rose petals and flavors of apricots, apples, stone fruit and a hint of oak and vanilla. Pairs well with turkey, root vegetables and nuts. $9
Red Wine Pairing for Your Thanksgiving Dinner
Red wines also have a place at the Thanksgiving table but they tend to be the lighter berry flavored reds such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cotes du Rhone and not your very heavy and earthy Cabernets or Merlots.
- 2010 Conte Priola Pinot Noir (⅘ rating) – this smooth and easy to drink wine has a definite earthiness with distinct raspberry and cherry flavors and a nice finish. $8
- 2011 Bowers Harbor Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé (rated as one of Gayot’s 2012 Top Thanksgiving wines with a 13/20 rating) – I haven’t tried this wine but Gayot reported that it is a very dry, low alcohol red wine from Michigan. It has strawberry, cranberry and melon flavors with a nice hint of spice. $15
- 2010 Bridgman Syrah (3.5/5 rating) - This Syrah from Washington state is a full-bodied, rich wine with a balanced acidity and a long finish. Its flavors boast those of blackberry, boysenberry and plum with notes of coffee, vanilla and pepper and comes across the palate as very clean and tangy. Pairs well with lamb, pork chops, stews, prime rib, veal and most game meats such as venison, deer or elk. A definite choice for the holidays.
- 2011 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin (⅘ rating) - A smooth tasting red with intense dark fruit flavors with hints of chocolate, spice and toasted oak. Subtle flavors and a peppery finish. Best when paired with a smoked or deep fried turkey as well as BBQ, chili, fajitas and your favorite dark chocolate. $14
- 2010 St. Amant Zinfandel (⅘ rating) - This California Lodi area wine is an assertive medium-bodied zinfandel featuring tart ripe blackberry and raspberry flavors with hints of coffee, licorice and black pepper and ends with a finish that is earthy and with the nicest touch of oak. Food Pairing: A rich Zinfandel such as this pairs well with just about any meat be it steak, barbecue pork, lamb, venison or smoked turkey. It also goes equally well with tomato-based pasta dishes, hearty soups and aged cheeses.
- 2007 Jacques LaGrange Cotes du Rhone Terminus (⅗ rating) – A food-friendly red wine from the Rhone area of France with a ripe fruit flavor of dark cherries and hints of chocolate and spice. It has a bright acidity and a medium body that pairs well with a lavish Thanksgiving dinner. Made of 80% Granache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mouvèdre grapes. $14
Check out my Thanksgiving Day Planner for step-by-step directions and some of the best recipes that will make this the best Thanksgiving feast ever!