Gobble Up These Top Wine Picks for Turkey Day!
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Undoubtedly, hours will be spent in the kitchen preparing for the years most bountiful feast… but how long did you spend thinking about which wines you’ll be having to wash it all down? This is a holiday with a whole lot of 2 things: Side dishes and Drink preferences. How do you pick the right bottles to match with so many flavors, and keep the whole family happy? Check out our guide to Turkey Day wine pairing. You’ll be thankful you did.
First thing’s first. Get the bubbles flowing. Nothing is more versatile than Champagne, and every sip gives you something to be thankful for. It’s the ideal aperitif, pairs with every hors d’oeuvres under the sun, and helps you remember to celebrate the little things in life. Champagne is elegant enough for roasted white meat, complex enough for Grandma’s famous stuffing, and cleanses the palate after every bite of gravy soaked mashed potatoes. And don’t forget about the biscuits! Champagne has a freshly baked bread flavor that makes these two the perfect match.
Our Suggestion: Piper Heidsieck Brut NV: Classic, well-structured and fruit-forward, the Cuvée Brut is a blend of all three main grapes in the Champagne region: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. It is golden in color with delicate bubbles and flavors of pear, citrus and grapefruit – a wonderful introduction to Piper-Heidsieck Champagnes.
This is the ultimate “Crowd Pleaser” when it comes to Thanksgiving red wine. Whether you’re a connoisseur or only have wine once a year, everyone can get on board with a little Beaujolais. These reds are soft, fruity, and easy drinking. They can stand up next to candied yams, and still won’t overpower the turkey. We like ours with a little chill on it.
Our Suggestion: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages: This crisp, fruit-forward, juicy wine has expressive aromas and flavors of ripe red berries, with nice weight in the mouth.
Sometimes phrases like “No-Brainer” or “Must-Have” come up in food pairing. If there is a wine that fits the mold for Thanksgiving, its Pinot Noir. This grape has been put along side of roasted birds for hundreds of years, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. Pinot Noir has a savory quality that gets brought out with all the holiday herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary. Its red fruit flavors are also ideal for the mandatory helping of cranberry sauce. When it comes to a feast like this, you need a little endurance. Pinot Noir is light, bright, and refreshing. It makes every bite better than the last, and helps you leave your plate squeaky clean (Mom will be happy.)
Our Suggestion: Hahn Pinot Noir: This wine’s bouquet charms with scents of vibrant red cherry, red plum, and hint of spices with slightly toasty notes. On the palate, medium silky tannins with a soft, round mouthfeel and notes of earthiness.
There’s a good chance that somebody at Thanksgiving will say “I only drink Cabernet.” That’s fine, but the intense structure of a Cab is going to overpower most things on the plate. Try to steer these folks down the path of a bold and spicy Zinfandel. This will check a lot of boxes for them, but without the tannins and herbal dark fruit that’s bound to mask all of the bird’s flavor. Zins show rich red fruits with hints of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. These flavors scream Thanksgiving!
Our Suggestion: Joel Gott Zinfandel: Aromas of raspberries, blackberries and dried cranberry with notes of vanilla and spice
There’s a reason they say, “Rosé all day.” Its light, crisp, and full of energy. For the white wine drinkers out there, rosé has everything you like, plus a little red fruit (which obviously works well for this meal.) This is also a great starter for the red wine lovers, before they get into the bold stuff. Once again, a sure-fire choice for turkey, and plays nice with cranberry. Rosés are made all over the world and are hard not to like.
Our Suggestion: Ava Grace Rosé: Bright with a nose of wild roses. The palate showcases a fresh, crisp, dry style, boasting with flavors of apricot, honeysuckle, and balanced acidity. A silky, medium-bodied mouthfeel is rounded out with a delicately dry finish.
Every host needs a Riesling in their arsenal. All the wines listed above are dry, so you’ve got to have at least one with a hint of sweetness to make everyone happy (think about how many of us grew up drinking soda with our meals.) Riesling works great with most of the Thanksgiving plate, but especially with the notoriously hard to pair: green bean casserole. The sweetness tones down the vegetal flavor and keeps the mushroom’s earthiness in check. Riesling’s naturally high acidity cuts right through the creaminess of the casserole as well.
Our Suggestion: Relax Riesling: wonderful fruity bouquet and intense flavors of apples and peaches with just a hint of citrus.
Let’s face it. Some people show up to Thanksgiving just for the sweets. If there’s one wine to put on the dessert table, its Tawny Port. These wines are aged for decades, bringing out tons of caramel, toffee and sweet toasty nut flavors. Match this with a pumpkin or pecan pie, and you’ll give the family something to think about until next year.
Our Suggestion: Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny: With an intense amber tawny color, the wine has sweet, elegant apricot flavors, delicate wood notes and rich, seductive aromas of mature fruit. Full-bodied and highly concentrated.