E very year I get the question, “What wine should I drink with Thanksgiving dinner?”
I love the question because there is almost no wrong answer, yet there are many answers that are better than others. And the Thanksgiving wines also go well with leftovers and other holiday meals.
Here are some of my favorites:
Sparking wine. This is a great answer to almost every question about pairing wine with food, but at the holidays it’s a perfect solution.
Some good ones: Frank Family Rouge ($45) blend of mainly pinot noir with some chardonnay; Minoetto Brut Prosecco ($14); Ferrari Brut NV 100% Chardonnay ($25) Ferrari sparklers are crafted in the same process as Champagne with grapes sourced from vineyards on Alpine slopes in Trento, Italy. Your chance to have a Ferrari for the holidays; Biltmore Blanc de Noir lively cherry flavors with a pretty pink color ($25).
White wines. They usually go well with the turkey most people are having, especially if you get an off-dry white. But even the bone dry white wines are popular.
Some good ones: Treana White ($23), one of my all-time favorite wines, a Rhone-style blend of Roussanne and Vignier; Alsace Rieslings such as Helfrich ($25); Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo ($20); Clean Slate Riesling from Germany ($12); Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, the original dry Sauvignon Blanc from the king of Napa Valley ($22).
Pinot Noir also is a popular choice at Thanksgiving. It usually is rich in fruit without being too in-you-face. Tannins usually are soft, so it pairs well with ham and turkey.
Some good ones: Liberty School, a new entry from one of my favorite wineries, it offers fresh strawberry and cherry flavors with mellow tannins ($20); Artesa, strawberry and cherry flavors from the Carneros region, ($25); Failla, a small production, high quality winery in the Napa Valley ($70); Kosta Browne, one of the most famous and best Pinot producers ($100); Peter Paul Russian River, a fruit-packed elegant wine ($38).
Zinfandel is the all-American wine, grown almost exclusively in the United States. It is fresh and lively and goes well with turkey as well as a variety of grilled meats.
Some good ones: Turley, anything you can find from this former Augustan who makes the best Zinfandels on the planet, usually from old vine single vineyards ($30-80); Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin, rich dark berry flavors with spice notes ($12); Frank Family in the Napa Valley ($37); Candor from Hope Family, silky tannins and toasty spice ($20).
Other reds: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau ($11), light and fruity, goes well with all kinds of food; Xplorador Carmenere, rich, smooth, full-bodied charmer from Chile ($9); most wines from Concha Y Toro, which makes several tiers of great wine from $10 to $40. For a real splurge on a special occasion you can get their Don Melchor ($125). It’s spectacular.
Whatever you choose, I hope you will enjoy it and have a happy Thanksgiving.