Thanksgiving is one of the toughest meals to pair with a single wine. At a traditional meal you have savory elements (stuffing/gravy), and sweet elements (cranberry dressing), as well as a good amount of fat (flavor) but also delicate white meat.
In addition, throw in some items that are hard to pair with anything (Brussels sprouts, turnips) and you have a challenge on your hand.
First off, Thanksgiving is really about your loved ones, around the table, and you should serve wines that your family/friends enjoy drinking. Secondly, the food is really the star, and in my opinion wines should take a backseat.
Safe Bets for Thanksgiving if you can only serve ONE wine…
Here are wines that typically go well with a traditional Thanksgiving Meal
(Hint) Looks for wine descriptions that are similar to the food on the table: cranberries, black/white pepper, allspice, cinnamon…
Sparkling– Always a good way to introduce any meal- look for one that is not too complex, something that is light-medium bodied, with good fruit. I like this one from Long Island’s Sparkling Pointe.
Riesling– with nice acidity, and some sweetness, Riesling pairs well with most food. We just enjoyed this one recently, with our weekly Thai takeout routine.
Gewürztraminer (qewürz=spice in german)- this type of wine goes really well with hard to pair foods like Brussels sprouts and asparagus. It is perfect with turkey stuffing. Usually from Alsace, France- I like this one from Long Island.
Beaujolais (Gamay)- you can toast before the meal with a lighter Beaujolais but I like them to be a little more substantial if you are drinking them with the turkey. There are much better Beaujolais wines but I think this one is a great bargain, and is easy to find. Click on photo to find it near you.
Pinot Noir– fruit, spice and low tannin make Pinot Noir a perfect red wine for most of the meal. New World wines (non European) will have more fruit, Old World wines (Europe) will be more earthy and have more spice. Your choice. This is a Pinot I buy by the case because I like the winemaker (Pascal Marchand).
Please share your Thanksgiving favorites!!