As you prepare the Thanksgiving feast, stuff the turkey, peel the potatoes, create the casseroles, and bake the pumpkin pies, it is sometimes easy to forget the wine, beer, and cocktails. Many hosts don’t automatically think of a wine that goes with turkey, as it is not the usual combination. However, if you are going to have your whole family over to celebrate the holiday, you are definitely going to need some libations! Along with beer and mixed drinks, wine makes a lovely accompaniment to your Thanksgiving table, as long as you know how to pair it properly with all the Thanksgiving favorites.
Syrah is an economical red wine that has strong flavors of red ripe raspberries with peppery aftertones. This complexity of flavors will meld well with either the dark meat or the light meat at your table, as well as dishes such as herbed stuffing. Matching flavor for flavor is a great idea with this pour.
Pinot Noir is an earthy wine featuring gentle wisps of fruits. This is one of the world’s lightest red wines, and it will be a great addition to your holiday feast. This goes with moderate foods like turkey, and the subtle fruit flavors will pair well with a sausage stuffing or bacon topped brussels sprouts. The loamy qualities of a pinot noir mesh well with mushrooms, whether in stuffing or in another dish at the holiday.
Beaujolais Nouveau are light-bodied French wines released in November each year, just before Thanksgiving, so your holiday table will be a great time to serve them. Because of its light body, this is a reasonably discreet wine and will go well with a variety of side dishes on the table. Whether a green bean casserole or a turkey tetrazzini, your guest will delight in these light French wines.
With its boldness of flavors, zinfandel can hold up well next to all the holiday favorites. The zinfandel you choose could have spicy, berry, and pepper hints for a deeper flavor at the finish. And just like many guests like cranberry sauce with their turkey, the fruity taste of your zinfandel will match up nicely to the white or dark meat you serve, as well as any of the moderately flavored side dishes.
Rosé sparklers will make any gathering a celebration. Acidity and bubbles are great palate cleansers. And let’s face it, your palate works overtime on a day like Thanksgiving! By sipping a rosé or any kind of bubbly between courses, you will get your taste buds ready for the next round of food. Prosecco and champagne are also fun choices for a festivity.
Riesling is your go-to white wine for a Thanksgiving table. With its sweetness, it works well with a dish that is spicy, salty, or sweet. For instance, it is a good match for sausage stuffing or sweet potatoes. Just remember to serve chilled. The white fruitiness and the spice and low alcohol content of a Riesling make this an excellent choice for your holiday table.
Chardonnay offers a buttery flavor with hints of vanilla and caramel. Although some would not choose this white for a full course Thanksgiving meal, this mixes well with your side dishes that include cream sauces or cheese. Think broccoli casserole or creamed mixed vegetables, and you’ve got a great match.
Sauvignon blanc is a light white wine with herb and citrus notes. Because it is gentle on the palate, it is a great wine to pair with Thanksgiving favorites like vegetables, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. And by keeping the wine light in intensity, your guests will also be able to save room for dessert.
How to serve
Setting up a beverage table at your holiday meal is a great way to let your guests enjoy what they want. Having an assortment of reds and whites allows guests to sample various flavors and mix them with the flavors of the foods they plan to eat. Make sure that the white wines are served chilled, while reds are served at room temperature. Wine glasses usually get filled two-thirds of the way to the top.