For every dish, let there be a wine. You might not plan to serve enough wines to count on two hands for Thanksgiving, but use this guide to choose which wines will highlight your favorite parts of the classic Thanksgiving feast. And if you do indeed serve a different wine with every dish…how can we get invited to your table?
If You Only Have One Wine
Let Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages be your one wine to rule them all (dishes, that is). Versatile and well-loved, this Gamay-based wine can be easily paired with appetizers, both light and dark turkey, a variety of sides, and the cornucopia of carbs that laden a Thanksgiving table.
Appetizers and Champagne
Cheese boards, deviled eggs, chips and dips galore, cranberry Brie bites, stuffed mushrooms, simple veggies if you’re afraid your guests will fill up before the real show begins: the point is, even if you’re super-traditional about the rest of the meal, appetizers are where you can get creative. For that, you need a versatile wine, and Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française is the ultimate bubbly. A delicate blend of 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, and 25% Pinot Meunier, its aromas of peach, white flowers, and vanilla will complement a huge variety of flavors.
Stuffing and Côtes-du-Rhône
You might be camp crispy or camp laden-with-turkey-juices, you might add Brussels sprouts, bacon, chestnuts, and more—but whatever your recipe, you can count on stuffing to turn out fragrant with herbs, bready by nature, and flavored with turkey. La Nerthe Les Cassagnes Côtes-du-Rhône Villages is well-balanced yet complex with expressive notes of floral and spice. It’s all but guaranteed to be a great match with your stuffing.
Turkey and Tavel
You can argue over whether dark meat or light meat is the choicest turkey serving, but you cannot argue over turkey’s place at the traditional Thanksgiving feast. For a wine that pairs well with both cuts, Château d’Aqueria Tavel Rosé is highly recommended. Rosé with meat? you might be wondering. Tavel isn’t just any old easy-drinking rosé; it is a full-bodied, ageable beauty from France with enough heft and complexity to pair beautifully with your main bird.
Roasted Squash and Merlot
How far we’ve come. Roasted squash started out as a teeth-aching, marshmallow-and-sweet potato casserole with brown sugar, and has graduated to stuffed delicata, roasted kabocha, sautéed butternut, and so many more excellent, non-offensive dishes. Much like Merlot has overcome a stint on the bad rap side of things, today it is an elegant, juicy, soft wine that pleases everyone. Incidentally, its layers of red fruit flavor and savory spices are the perfect pairing with your many squash sides. Try St. Francis Sonoma Valley Merlot for a great match.
Green Veggies and Vermentino
The greens might be simply an excuse to tell yourself that you didn’t overstuff solely on carbohydrates. Or, maybe your Thanksgiving table has a delicious bounty of the many flavorful dishes that can be created with veggies. Either way, a Bolgheri Vermentino from Campo al Mare will be zesty, herbaceous, and mineral, not overly aromatic to distract from the vegetables’ delicate flavors, and as refreshing as the salad you’re noshing as a palate cleanser in between rolls and gravy.
Carbs and Pinot
They say turkey is the Thanksgiving diva, but carbohydrates in all their glorious forms have been accused of stealing the show (and who’s complaining?). Buttered rolls, mashed potatoes, fresh-baked bread, French onion galettes—carbs always have a welcome place on the table. For such comforting delights, Pinot Noir has the special ability to swing both complex and universally-loved, full-flavored yet medium-bodied. However you prepare your carbs, a Craggy Range Martinborough Pinot Noir will answer the call.
Pie and Port
Break out the Fonseca 40-Year Tawny Port with apple pie, or Fonseca Bin27 Ruby Port with pumpkin or berry pie. Or, mix and match—that’s what you do with the pies at the end anyway, right? A little sliver here, a little sliver there…the sweetness and spicy notes in either Port will be an excellent match for all the little triangles you arrange on your dessert plate.