LifestyleTurkey Day: A Guide to Choosing Wine for Thanksgiving

Turkey Day: A Guide to Choosing Wine for Thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving—the time for family, friends, and feasting! While the star of the show is undoubtedly the turkey, don’t underestimate the role of wine in elevating your Thanksgiving dinner experience. But with so many wine options out there, how do you choose the perfect bottle? Fear not, because we’re here to guide you through this delightful dilemma in a fun and approachable way.

The Wine and Gravy Connection:

Let’s kick things off with the key to Thanksgiving success: gravy. This savory elixir deserves a wine that can hold its own. We’d like to opt in for a white, like a complex Chardonnay or Viognier. These wines provide a smooth balance to the richness of the gravy and complement the turkey’s flavors as well. 

All About That Baste – Poultry Pairings:

Turkey’s flavor varies based on how it’s prepared. If your turkey is traditionally roasted with herbs and spices, a Pinot Noir with its red berry flavors and earthy notes could also be a crowd-pleaser.  Opt in for a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Not only will the flavors match the traditional turkey but, if the turkey comes out dry – and let’s be honest, sometimes it does, it will give you a palate cleanser and make you crave more.  For a smoked turkey, go for a hefty wine like a Zinfandel or Syrah to match the essence and bring brightness to the dish. 

Sides Matter – Match ‘Em Right:

Thanksgiving tables are often a cornucopia of flavors, from marshmallow topped sweet potatoes, to cranberry sauce, to bacon braised green beans, and mashed potatoes. For sides, choose a slightly sweet Riesling or Gewürztraminer. They’ll complement the sweet stuff and contrast the savory, giving a wonderful mouth-watering experience. 

A Fizzy Touch – Sparkling Wine Delight:

Who says sparkling wine is just for toasting? A glass of bubbly, like a Prosecco or Champagne, can be the ultimate palate cleanser between bites of turkey and all the fixings. Plus, the effervescence adds a touch of festivity to your meal. And even better – if your family deep frys turkey, this is the best pairing to contrast the crispy bites! 

Don’t Forget the Veggie Lovers:

If you have veggie-centric dishes or vegetarian guests, consider a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a versatile Pinot Grigio. These whites complement vegetables’ fresh flavors without overpowering them.

Dessert Dreams – Sweet Wine Finale:

The sweet ending to your meal deserves an equally sweet wine. Pair your pumpkin pie or apple tart with a late-harvest Riesling or a luscious Port from Portugal. The sweetness of the wine will enhance the dessert’s flavors and make it that much more decadent. 

Keep It Cool:

Remember, serving temperature matters. Whites should be chilled but not ice-cold, while reds should be lightly chilled for optimal enjoyment. Your guests for the holidays will notice the difference!

Sip and Savor:

Finally, let go of wine snobbery and enjoy the experience. We’ve listed a lot of wines here that can possibly go with your meal, but really, just be thankful that we have so many delicious options when it comes to wine pairing! Drink what you love, and what makes your experience personally better. Thanksgiving is about gratitude, so savor every sip, every bite, and every moment shared with loved ones.

Choosing the right wine for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be intimidating; it’s all about enhancing the flavors and creating these memorable moments that you can’t get back. So, whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just someone looking to enjoy a great meal, these wine tips will make your Thanksgiving celebration even more delightful. 



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