Picking out wines for the Thanksgiving table can be a daunting task. There is usually a smorgasbord of food to choose from so how do you pair a wine to go with them all? Our recommendation is to have at least a couple of options since everyone usually has their own preferences on what they would like to have. All of our recommendations are food friendly wine varietals that should not overwhelm any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.
One thing to note is that we are not recommending any heavier whites or bold reds since those tend to go with other holiday meals better. However, if that is what you want to drink or is the crowd favorite, then go for it! At the very least, have those for after dinner to enjoy while sitting around in that food coma.
Riesling – This white wine is known to be a classic for Thanksgiving because of its light body, acidity and fruit flavors. Many younger examples of riesling have Granny Smith apple flavors, citrus zest and minerality. Very versatile for the table. Try to stick with the classics from Germany or Alsace, France.
Pinot Noir – This is always a classic food friendly wine for Thanksgiving. They tend to have nice cranberry and allspice notes. They are lighter bodied and have a nice acidity to go with the turkey. A classic Burgundy can never go wrong but one from New Zealand or Oregon are worth trying as well.
Chenin Blanc – This is a nice alternative to riesling. These tend to have nice stone fruit flavors and citrus mixed with a bit of spice and acidity. The classics are from the Loire Valley, France but California has some nice examples as well.
Grenache/Garnacha – This is a nice alternative red wine to try. They are usually bursting with cherry flavors plus a bit of white pepper spice. They are usually slightly heavier than pinot noir depending on their respective regions and also have a nice acidity to complement the food. The classic examples come from France and Spain.