LOS ANGELES, November 22, 2017 – All too many people make the mistake of trying to “pair wine with turkey” , rather than pairing their Thanksgiving wine with the meal. While there are certainly some fun benefits to having choices of wines, there’s really only one wine that will literally go with the entire meal – a sparkling Rosé
Following we will review a variety of Thanksgiving wine as well as wines for those who opt for other proteins other than turkey.
While the task of choosing wines to go with your meal can seem daunting, what you typically want to aim for is something that has enough acidity to help cleanse your palate between each bite of food. Ideally, it’ll also have some flavor profiles that are complimentary of the food as well – for example, many Pinot Noir wines have a cranberry note which obviously leads them to go very well with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that includes cranberry sauce.
However, if you can only pick a single bottle or style of Thanksgiving wine, go with Rosé, preferably a sparkling one. The wines we picked for this guide have good nationwide availability so you should be able to easily find most, if not all of them close to you.
Thanksgiving Wine – Whites:
2013 Famille Hugel Estate Gewurztraminer: $34
The all-time classic pairing for many people is Gewurztraminer and unfortunately for this wonderful grape, Thanksgiving seems to be the only time of the year it’s highly considered. The fact of the matter is, it’s one of the most aromatic varietals you can buy – especially from the Alsace region in France.
Notes: First off, you’re hit with that amazing minerality that the Alsace is known for and it’s quickly followed-up with notes of melon, petrol, grapefruit, mandarin peel, passion fruit, and cardamom.
2016 Sawtooth Riesling: $14
While Germany has established itself as the world-leader of amazing Riesling, the Pacific Northwest- yes even Idaho is producing some great Rieslings.
Notes: Apricot, dried ginger, pear, lemon-drop and a lingering finish that has a nice hint of key-lime. A no-brainer wine for the money.
2016 Browne Family Chardonnay: $26
A wine that has a splash of Viognier blended in, to help “round out the palate” a bit – this is a very food-friendly Chardonnay from Washington State.
Notes: A ever so slight hint of butter that’s far from overwhelming and includes generous amounts of green apple, pear, river rock
Gruet Blanc de blancs – Non vintage: $19
This “white of the whites” sparkler from the great state of New Mexico is from award-winning producer of American sparkling wine, Gruet and is produced “Methode Champenoise” or in the method of Champagne. It’s 100 percent Chardonnay and can carry many of the items on the table:
Notes: Somewhat straw in its color, this gorgeous wine has flavors of green apples, citrus zest, kiwi, a splash of mango and lingering, dry finish that makes it an easy pick for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Wine – Rosé:
2016 Domaine Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé: $21
Some of the better wine values from France are coming to us from the Sancerre region, located just 120 miles south of Paris. With a good amount of altitude, the grapes for this wine enjoy a near-optimum growing region.
Notes: A gorgeous combination of fresh strawberries and some herbaceousness that linger around far longer than you might expect. A total no-brainer for everything on the table.
2016 Hecht et Bannier Cotes de Provence Rosé: $18
From Provence, the heart of Rosé country comes this delicious bottle of wine that’ll have you clamoring for more of its tasty goodness:
Notes: Long, drawn-out flavors of fresh cherries, strawberries melon and stone fruits lead to a beautifully long, dry finish.
Bervini 1955 Spumante Rosé: $19
This sparkling Rosé from the heart of Italy is done in the Charmat method and unleashes a beautiful mixture of flavors across your palate:
Notes: Raspberries, cherries, and hints of light strawberries combine with a hint of rose petals into a well balanced finish.
Gruet Brut Rosé – Non-vintage: $19
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer on this entire list if you had to only pick one wine and that’s because it’s the only sparkling Rosé produced Methode Champenoise. This wine will literally carry every dish on the table:
Notes: Long, lingering notes of fresh strawberries, rainier cherries, pears and raspberry taunt your sensibilities to simply pound the hell out of it.
Thanksgiving Wine – Reds:
2015 Castello Monaci Artas Primitivo: $38
Forget most of those high-octane bottles of kool-aid bottled as American Zinfandel you see in so many grocery stores and move into Primitivo from Italy! They go great with the turkey, stuffing, gravy and even splashes of cranberry sauce.
Notes: Gorgeous flavors of black cherry, black raspberries, peppercorns and spiced beef jerky make me want to slam this easy drinking bottle all the way back until every last, tasty drop is gone.
Stephane Aviron Morgon Cote Du Py: $24
The Gamay Noir wines from the Beaujolais region of France are always an easy, go-to selection and this gem from Stephane Aviron is stellar.
Notes: Bring on some of that forest floor funk or as others call it, wet moss or mushroom earthiness. Layers of fresh berries, Earl Grey tea and floral action help round out the finish.
2015 Pendulum Red Blend Columbia Valley; $16.99
An affordable, tasty red blend from the heart of the Columbia Valley in Washington State, this fun bottle has a lot of decent complexity going for it that will help cater to those who want a bit of a more rich mouth-feel. Varietal Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 14% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Notes: A generous amount of plum sauce, peppercorn, dark cocoa, raspberries and baking spice make a great tasting red that’ll be a crowd favorite
2015 Attitude by Pascal Jolivet Pinot Noir: $22
Ahh, Pinot Noir – perhaps the most complex red varietal out there and while the French region of Burgundy is king, there are great values coming out of Loire Valley like this tasty bottle.
Notes; Blackcurrants, cherries, red plum, cherries, and cassis. Well balanced with a solid mid palate transition that goes into a long finish.
2015 Battle Creek Cellars Pinot Noir: $19
Not to be outdone by Burgundy, the Willamette Valley in Oregon has been producing world-class Pinot for decades and has garnered international acclaim.
Notes: The main reason to love this wine is due to its abundance of Christmas spices that come ripping out of the glass, enticing you into it and creating visuals of those great holiday aromas. Lingering notes of black cherries and bramble keep things interesting – a great value for Oregon Pinot.
For additional pairings, check out these from Larry Baker (www.larrythewineguy.net)- certified level 2 sommelier: