Wines For Thanksgiving Dinner - News Blog at - 256668 News

Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner 
Nov. 11, 2011 4:42 pm 
Updated: Nov. 12, 2011 1:21 pm
By Carl Hanson 

Beautiful roast turkey is the star of the show at Thanksgiving! But it’s a humble headliner, actually, content to stand back and let others shine. 

You see, at Thanksgiving, the fowl is mainly a foil for other, more assertive flavors—the sauces, sides, and gravies; the sweet and tart cranberry sauce, roasted herbed vegetables, savory stuffings, vinegary green beans, and creamy gravy. Turkey is the blank canvas on which everything else gets to express itself.

(Carl is on the right.) 
Frankly, there's so much going on with this meal, it's tough to pair it with any single wine. Which is why I like to break out several different bottles and sample away until I hit upon a favorite. (If you’re new to wine varietals and wine pairing, get the basic scoop in Allrecipes’ Wine 101 article.) In general, though, there are some safe wine bets for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few favorites I’ll recommend and descriptions giving you a snapshot about each wine.

The Reds

Beaujolais (gamay): A light, food-friendly red you can serve just slightly chilled.

Oregon Pinot Noir or French Burgundy: Earthy, fruity Pinots often work well with the meal's many competing and contrasting flavors.

Italian Reds: Chianti can have an earthy quality and a good amount of food-friendly acidity, which makes it a terrific Thanksgiving wine. It's not just for pasta anymore! The same goes for Barbera from Piedmont. These are excellent, versatile food wines.

Zinfandel: Fruity Zinfandel shows many personalities; it's also an American original, and so a fitting choice for America's favorite feast. Choose a lighter style that's not booming with alcohol—no point in pitching forward asleep into the gravy midway through the meal.

Note: If you're like me—always looking for the path of least resistance to enjoying red wines—try pouring some port into your simmering gravy along with the stock!

The Whites

Chardonnay: The Thanksgiving table is loaded with rich food. It’s the right time to break out a rich, round California Chardonnay with ripe fruit balanced out by refreshing acidity.

Riesling: With so many flavors competing for attention, Riesling's acidity and touch of sweetness should complement them all, offering the right counterpoint to salty gravy-slathered turkey and taters, plus pleasant companionship for sweet cranberry sauce. Riesling also complements Thanksgiving spices such as cloves and nutmeg.

Champagne/Sparkling wine: Often forgotten once the toasting's done, Champagne and sparkling wines can be a fun alternative for dinner. You might pop a bottle before sitting down for dinner and find that you're enjoying it clear through to dessert. A sparkling rosé would be equally welcome because it's fruity, food friendly, and the sparkle washes the palate clean leaving you prepared to greet new flavors. 

Sauvignon Blanc: This wine's lively acidity and herbal characteristics make it another terrific choice for Thanksgiving dinner.

These are just a few suggestions. Truth be told, because Thanksgiving is a challenging dinner to pair, it's a great opportunity to simply drink your favorite wine. Nothing too fancy or expensive. Go with what you know and love. For more wine information, check out Allrecipes’ articles loaded with tips and info about wine tasting and cooking with wine
Nov. 11, 2011 5:50 pm
The first time I had Beaujolais was on my honeymoon in France. It was wonderful! Our waiter called us Ken and Barbie and gave us the bottle for free for a gift. We now get the new Beaujolais every year. Tomorrow we celebrate our 12th year! YIP-EEEEE!
Nov. 12, 2011 1:21 pm
Great suggestions! I tend to go for white with turkey, but maybe I will try a red this year.....or BOTH! :)
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Living In
Seattle, Washington, USA

Member Since
Jul. 1997

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Scrapbooking, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing, Needlepoint, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Biking, Walking, Fishing, Hunting, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting, Charity Work

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Crunchy Kale Snacks
Crunchy Kale Snacks

Kale is the healthy, green leaf that transforms into a crunchy snack chip in your oven.

So Many Pork Chop Recipes
So Many Pork Chop Recipes

You can't go wrong choosing from over 400 pork chop recipes with ratings and tips!

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
Calling all cooks. All kitchen shakers, biscuit bakers and casserole makers. Calling all cooks in search of the next incredible dish or 15 minute meal. Calling all adventurous and everyday cooks. all vegetarians and gluten-free cooks. Everyone who's ever scrambled, sauteed, substituted or started from scratch. Calling all cooks in every home kitchen- your meals bring us together and your food makes the world go round. Which is why we created the first social community for the cooks, by the cooks. A place that inspires home cooking, celebrates the food you make and lets you share your successes with your friends, family and followers.
My favorite things to cook
Everything and anything! Allrecipes community is an amazing resource for discovering all types of dishes and treats
My favorite family cooking traditions
All of them! How could anyone choose? All year long our community is cooking and celebrating seasonal holidays and special family occasions. Even the dinners we all have to get on the table every night can be a cherished tradition—or will seem so once the kids are grown.
My cooking triumphs
The millions of recipe choices, the tips and advice, the support and encouragement to try new things or rediscover old favorites make using this site a constant joy.
My cooking tragedies
Who doesn’t have these? Too many to tell really, but from each disaster there’s something to learn and laugh about. Cooking is meant to be an adventure!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States