So we all know the basic guidelines: a nice steak deserves a big Cabernet Sauvignon, fish goes nicely with Sauvignon Blanc, and pork and Chardonnay can compliment each other nicely. But what about turkey and dressing and all other sumptuous delights of a Thanksgiving feast?

Taking the Mystery Out of Thanksgiving Wine Choices

Wine with Mashed Potatoes? No Problem!

It goes without saying, but a nice way to start off any special dinner is with something bubbly. The sky’s the limit here but you can’t go wrong with a Brut Champagne or a Cava from Spain.

turkey-with-wineWith the main meal, we’ve found a nice dry or slightly sweet white works well with most Thanksgiving repasts. Our choice: a Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Germany and the Alsace region of France are famous for both of these varietals but Washington State and other places also produce outstanding examples.

Interpreting German wine labels is an article topic in itself but the level of sweetness can be determined if you know which words to look for. If you see the word Kabinett, that indicates a wine that is crisp and semi-sweet. If you want something a bit sweeter, the next level is designated Spätlese.

Other white wine options that can work well with turkey are Pinot Grigio or Viognier. The clean and crisp flavors usually associated with these grapes can be a nice compliment to dishes commonly found on a holiday table.

If you’re set on drinking red, pick one that is light and fruity so you don’t overpower the food. Beaujolais and Syrah are possible options. If you’re serving ham as part of your meal, we think you’ll find that Pinot Noir pairs well.

Whatever your choice of wine with the main meal, a wine aerator can really help bring out flavors when serving wine at the table.

When you get to the pumpkin pie part of the meal, you can’t go wrong with port (we’d choose tawny). Or, perhaps, try French Sauternes for a perfect way to wrap up your dinner. If you really want to impress your guests with your worldly wine knowledge, look for a bottle of Pedro Ximénez from Spain. Exotic and intensely sweet, it is a dessert all in itself.

Of course these recommendations are just that. The most important thing is always to drink what you enjoy!

Turkey_coasters

 

P.S. If the dinner is not at your house, don’t forget a gift for your host or hostess. Combine something fun like this trivet  or wine towel with a bottle of wine. But then nothing says Thanksgiving like turkey stemware coasters!