BSG’s 2018 Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Tips

Saying there’s only one good wine for Thanksgiving is like saying there’s only one good candy for Halloween. With a variety of different palate types and choices of food, one wine usually won’t serve the whole meal. Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks to aid your wine-picking process this holiday.

  • Don’t hold out; provide guests with an option of both a red wine and a white wine. Thanksgiving meals have so many different foods to choose from that one wine on its own most likely won’t win with everyone. Once they find what they prefer, they may stick with that for the meal.
  • Knowing your guests tastes and favorites helps in your quest for the best wine pairings for your feast. While some guests prefer drier wines, others, especially new wine drinkers, prefer sweeter wines. Having several options for guests brings enjoyment to everyone.
  • For a red wine, find something with soft tannins to yield to and blend with the dishes. Examples include: Pinot Noir, Syrah, a fruity Zinfandel, Merlot, Beaujolais Nouveaux or a (more expensive) Beaujolais Grand Cru.
    • Zinfandel red wine is a great match, as Thanksgiving Day is an explosion of flavors, tastes, and aromas, so is Zinfandel.
    • Pinot Noir goes well with almost everything, given its earthiness that pairs well with the herbs in many Thanksgiving dishes.
  • For a white wine, look for something with well-balanced acidity. Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, an unoaked or low-oak Chardonnay, or Viognier.
    • Riesling is a great white wine to bring, as it brings out the sweetness in desserts and brings balance to savory and/or spicy foods. Especially fantastic with a turkey seasoned for the spicy-food-lovers.
    • Unoaked Chardonnay is a fantastic choice, given that Chardonnay is a holiday specialty, but getting an oaked one will confuse your palate and leave you with a oaky taste in your mouth with your meal.
  • Start with drier wines, end with sweet wines. White to red, light bodied to full bodied, dry to sweet (aka- dessert wines).
  • Finally, it’s hard to go wrong with a Sparkling Rosé, some even may prefer it as their sole wine for the evening! From the appetizers all the way through dessert, Sparkling Rosé will hold steady as a delicious wine for the whole course.

Happy pairing, and Happy Thanksgiving!