We are about a week out from one of the biggest food fests of the year. To help with your beverage planning, here are some of the best Thanksgiving wines for your holiday table. It’s also Wine Wednesday so timing is near perfect.

It’s a hot topic this time of year for foodie folk, what wine to serve with your Thanksgiving meal. Why is it so hard you might ask? Well, some people get great enjoyment over finding foods and wines that fit like a glove. The flavors of each not only compliment, but also enhance each other. When that happens, it is magic for the sense of taste.

Perfect pairings are easier at dinner parties where this is one main course and side dishes to match. For simplicity sake, think a steak and baked potato with a big red wine. It’s almost always a home run.

Now picture your Thanksgiving table. It’s usually a sea of sides and sometimes several proteins. How in the world do you pick a wine to compliment everything?

Thanksgiving wine

Vinho Verde is a great wine to start your Thanksgiving festivities with

Basics for Thanksgiving wines

Fatty foods need acidic wines. Salty food are good with fruity wines and bubbles. Actually bubbles are good with just about anything in my book. Big, tannic wines might not be ideal with typical Thanksgiving fare.

To cover all bases, I like to buy bottles of several kinds of wines. Finally, at the end of the day, uncork the wine YOU like. It might not be a perfect pairing, but if it’s perfect to you, then the meal is a success.

I have a story published today in The Fort Myers NewsPress and Naples Daily News with more wine ideas. Read it here in addition to these ideas.

  • Take a chance on whites

    I put white wines in one category for a couple of reasons. If I just put riesling or Gewürztraminer in the title, you might scroll past. Those names can both scare and turn off people but they are  both such great food wines and go with many things on your table. Take a chance on them. Just make sure that riesling is a dry one.

    Sauvignon Blanc

    The wine pictured about is Ameal Vinho Verde from Portugal. Vinho Verde wines are light, fresh, effervescent and often lower in alcohol. They are perfect for sipping while you are cooking, they go with a variety of vegetables and even turkey. This is such a delightful wine and in the $10-$12 range, it’s an outstanding value.

    Chardonnay. It’s popular but tricky.  The oak and butter in many of the popular brands can be too much for turkey day. An unoaked chard is a better option. Many have nice flavors of apple and citrus.

    Sauvignon blancs can be tricky too. Some of the New Zealand brands can be a little too citrusy and acidic. But this wine is really good with many vegetables and dishes with goat cheese. Try a sauv blanc from California like Charles Krug. It has fresh citrus but is tempered with hints of pear and guava. It goes down pretty easy. $23


  • Pinot Noir

    Pinot NoirThis wine is ideal for Thanksgiving for so many reasons. Generally speaking, pinots have nice acid, herbs, earthy characteristics and bright fruit. They’re good with a variety of foods. However, some can be big and dense. I recently reviewed La Crema’s Pinot Noir and for $28 it is a great value. One sip and I can picture it with turkey and cranberry.

    For a pinot with a little more body turn to Hahn from Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, California. It’s another brand you will likely find in many retailers. The SLH Pinot Noir 2019 is full of blackberry, even some flavors of espresso and cherry with a bit of celery on the finish. Good with grilled meats and stuffing.  $30

    One step higher on the chain is Ram’s Gate Bush-Crispo from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. It’s a special wine made from old vines, elegant and seamless. It’s both floral and savory, with a hint of lavender.  $75

  • Bubbles

    Frank Family bubbles
    You can never go wrong with sparkling wine: Champagne, cremant, cava, sparkling wines from all over the world. They are so versatile, they are festive and many of them can stand up to main courses. Just stay away from the sec, demi-sec, anything sweet. Stick to brut, blanc de blanc and blanc de noir.

  • Rose

    Just because it is pink doesn’t mean it is sweet or insignificant. There are so many great rose wines made from all varieties of red grapes. Some are delicate, some are bold. These are an ideal for those who aren’t sure if they want a red or a white.

    Fontenille, Luberon Rose is a blend of syrah and grenache that has lots of red fruits and herbs. From the Rhone Valley in France, it is crisp, fresh and affordable. $14

    Thanksgiving Wine

  • Zinfandel

    ZinfandelIt’s an often overlooked Thanksgiving wine, but Zinfandel works so well with the ham, cranberries and other fruit compotes. With big juicy fruits and spice, it’s Zin for the win. I was recently introduced to Truett-Hurst.

    The 2019 Red Rooster is from Dry Creek is from in Sonoma and it’s full of aromatics, spices, strawberry, and dark fruit. It needs to open a bit. $49

    The 2019 Estate Zinfandel smells like holiday spices. It warms you up with fig and blackberry but still has some zip to it. Balanced with a pleasing finish it’s a near perfect example of a Thanksgiving wine. $69


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