Thanksgiving is the best dinner of the year which means you better make it count. Family and loved ones will soon find themselves crowded around a table overflowing with a savory feast. The comforting smell of turkey or the mouth-watering spicy aroma of pumpkin pie wafting out from the warm kitchen filling their noses. So, when the time comes for them to fill their glasses, you want your wine pairings to be just as good as your Thanksgiving meal.
To help with your Thanksgiving dinner wine pairings, we’ve created a guide that will ensure everyone leaves talking about the elegant way you mixed and mingled flavors. You don’t have to be a sommelier or to spend a lot of money to wow people’s palates. You just have to make a few smart decisions.
Every celebration deserves a glass of something sparkly to toast with, and every meal is better started with a bit of bubbly. Which is why sparkling wine is an absolute must when planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you start the meal with it or serve it throughout, you will find your guests happily reaching to refill their glasses. When picking a sparkling wine look for a blend with a higher ratio of Pinot noir to chardonnay for a selection that will pair well with each course.
If, on the other hand, you have a large party coming to the feast there’s no reason why you couldn’t choose a selection of wine pairings for each course of your Thanksgiving dinner. In that case, prosecco is the perfect aperitif — its sweet yet crisp flavors will open up everyone’s palates for the meal to come.
Whether you’re a red or white lover, it’s essential to have white and red wine pairings to appeal to everyone’s preferences. A good host considers each of their guests when planning a meal. While chardonnay may be the most popular white wine, it can be a bit intense to pair with a Thanksgiving dinner.
Rieslings on the other hand pair great with turkey. They have a fruity flavor with a bit of off-dry, tartness that will go well with cranberries and sweet potatoes as well. Which means that a good Riesling will take you through your entire Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re planning for a bottle of wine for each course, on the other hand, try a Chenin Blanc for your appetizers. This rich white wine is the perfect comforting companion to your buttery mashed potatoes.
As previously stated, you must have red and white wines if you’re going to be wowing each of your guests with your wine pairings. When selecting a red wine, you’ll want to look for selections will lower tannins as they will pair better with your feast (and appeal to more guests).
For a red wine that is well-loved and pairs with a turkey feast try a red Pinot noir. It is known for going with poultry so it should be no surprise that it’s the perfect Thanksgiving wine. The wine’s fruity flavors and hints of earthy spice will liven up even the driest of turkey breasts.
If you’re looking for a bottle of wine for every course, a Freisa d’Asti or red zinfandel make for great dessert wines. They vary the spectrum of sweet red wines — zinfandel being on the sweeter end. Either of them, however, will make for the perfect finale to your Thanksgiving dinner.