One of the most challenging things about Thanksgiving is finding wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. With the sheer variety of flavors that end up on the table, how does one select a wine pairing? Even if you plan a fairly cohesive meal, anything your guests bring to add to the meal creates, on the surface, a nightmare when it comes to wine pairing. However, in truth, it’s a blessing. Here are a few wines that pair well with your Thanksgiving meal, no matter what:
This wine is known for its refreshing, fruity notes, such as melon and pear. This wine is ideal for those who absolutely need to pair white wine with poultry. The fruity notes pick up on the sweet flavors of some of the sides while being delicate enough to taste delicious with the turkey.
The character of Riesling changes according to where the grape was grown. Riesling made in Germany, for instance, tends to be on the sweeter side. If the wine was made on the western coast of the United States, it has a dry, citrusy finish. Both versions are great for Thanksgiving, but for different reasons. The sweet, slightly spicy notes of German Riesling can hold up to some of the more interesting side dishes, while West Coast Riesling wines taste great with turkey.
Champagne, which is technically a type of sparkling wine, isn’t something people normally reach for at Thanksgiving. However, it definitely fits! Champagne not only has the fruity flavors that stand up well to this meal, but it’s perfect during celebratory occasions such as Thanksgiving.
For those who love red wines, zinfandel is a perfect choice. This wine offers a perfect combination of fruity, berry notes with undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg – two spices that are fairly common on the Thanksgiving table. This wine goes with just about every dish you could serve, including roasted turkey, stuffing, and even butternut squash.
Each year, the official release of this wine falls a week or two before Thanksgiving. It’s a light, smooth table wine that is incredibly versatile. This means that it goes with just about anything! If you typically don’t like heavier red wines such as zinfandel, this is a perfect choice.
If you want to find a wine that stands up perfectly to your turkey, chardonnay is it! Look for smooth versions of this wine that have a light, refreshing oak flavor as well as notes of butter and tropical fruit, such as mango and papaya. The subtle fruit flavors will hold up to the sides well, too.
When it comes to finding wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner, there are plenty of choices. You can use these suggestions as a guide, but you should always choose the wines that will appeal to the majority of your dinner guests. Choose at least one white wine and one red wine so that you can appeal to a variety of palates.