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Wine on Wednesday: Choosing the Perfect Wine for Thanksgiving

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and many of us are planning our Thanksgiving day menu.  If you serve (or want to serve) wine with your Thanksgiving feast, you might also be considering what type of wine to serve with your well planned meal. 


Here are a few tips from The Daily Dish to help you choose the right wine for the big day:

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wine for Thanksgiving: Tips from The Daily Dish


Know your audience-Do you have a cousin who only drinks Petite Syrah?  Does your sister love Gewurztraminer?  It may be helpful to know this kind of information so you have wine on hand to suit your guests.  

Serve a Variety-It’s always a good idea to have a few different wine selections on hand for a dinner party;  this way you’ll have something for everyone.  Having red and white varietals is also a good idea, in case you have anyone who has a specific preference for one over the other. 

Wines for the Course-You may want to consider having different wines for different courses.  For example, if you’re serving appetizers when your guests arrive, you may serve a different wine than the wine you’ll serve with dinner.  In addition, most Thanksgiving meals will probably include dessert, so a dessert style wine may be served with that course. 

Food Pairing-There are certain varietals of wine you might want to consider for pairing with your Thanksgiving dinner, as well as other courses like appetizers and dessert (see the tip above). 


Here are a few wine pairing suggestions for your Thanksgiving meal:  



Sparkling wine and Champagne have become a popular wine to serve at the holidays, especially with appetizers, so a sparkling wine might be a great choice to start guests off when they arrive and enjoy appetizers.  If you’re wondering about the difference between the two, it’s basically the region the wine was produced.  Champagne literally comes from the region of Champagne, France.  If it comes from anywhere else, it should be called Sparkling Wine. 


The Main Dish

If you’re serving the traditional Turkey Day meal, you’ll want to choose wines that complement your menu, but won’t overpower it.  Here are a few ideas for wines that would pair well with the main dish:


White Wine

Sauvignon Blanc can be a great choice for Thanksgiving, because the herbal and mineral undertones of the wine will complement the turkey as well as side dishes like the stuffing and mashed potatoes.  It also has a good balance of acidity and citrus undertones that pair well with Thanksgiving entrees.

Pinot Grigio is also another popular choice for Thanksgiving wines because of its versatility; this wine will work well with herbs, garlic, and other strong flavors you might have in your Thanksgiving menu. 

Gewurztraminer may also be a good Thanksgiving meal wine pairing.  It is a sweet, yet spicy wine that will balance the flavors of your Thanksgiving meal. 


Red Wine

If you’re planning to serve red wine with your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to choose milder varietals with less tannin.  Robust wines with heavy tannin may be too overpowering for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  However, if you’re choosing to serve beef instead of turkey, a richer red wine like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon might be a good choice. 

Here are a few suggestions for red wine if you’re serving turkey for dinner:

Pinot Noir is a good red wine choice because it is well balanced and the earthy undertones of the wine will pair well with the flavors of the turkey and side dishes. 

Zinfandel; while Zinfandel tends to be a heartier red wine, it has a good balance and would be a good choice if you want a more robust wine than Pinot Noir and want to enhance spicier flavors of your Thanksgiving dishes. 



Time for Dessert!

The dessert wine you choose may depend on what type of dessert you’re serving.  If you’re serving an apple or other fruity type of pie, you might consider a Moscato, especially if you’re serving it a’la mode, as this wine would taste wonderful with vanilla ice cream. Riesling would also be a good pick for fruity desserts  For pecan or pumpkin pies, you might consider a fortified wine like Port which really pairs well with almost any dessert.


Happy Thanksgiving from The Daily Dish!




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Ericka @Chef PickyKid and Me

I love to cook and entertain for family and friends, and I especially love being in the kitchen with my daughter who loves to cook as well. I enjoy making recipes that are easy to prepare and use ingredients most people have in their kitchen. Visit me at www.chefpickykid.com!

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