10 Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Dinner

There is nothing like the sight of a Thanksgiving table full of harvest favorites like turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and sides. With a multi-course meal like Thanksgiving dinner, it can be hard to decide on what wine to pair with dinner. Brahm Callahan, MS, Beverage Director Himmel Hospitality Group and brand ambassador for Ribera y Rueda has his favorites for the Thanksgiving table and shared some ideas on what to pour for dinner.

So if you’re feeling lost in the wine aisle, here are 10 wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner.

Pre-Dinner

Tied with a bow and ready to sip. #ClassicBeautyBottled

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Sparkling wine is a great way to welcome guests to your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a celebratory sip that stimulates your appetite. A fruit-forward and sparkling Prosecco is both a delicious and affordable choice.

While Champagne can ring in at around $40, most Italian sparkling wines come in at under $20. Chloe Wine Collection created a Prosecco that is both fruit forward with notes of peach, green apple and citrus and slightly minerally.

Appetizers

Don't mind if I Luna.

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If your holiday travel doesn’t include a trip to northern Italy or you just want the perfect wine to complement the start of your meal, the award-winning Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio Italy is the ideal wine to have on hand or bring as a hostess gift.

Get a taste of the region’s saw-toothed ridges, snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, glittering waterfalls, and immaculate medieval towns in your backyard by indulging in a glass of Luna Nuda from Alto Adige, the country’s premier site for Pinot Grigio.  Crisp and balanced with a lean mineral edge, Luna Nuda is an ideal wine to celebrate the last days of 2016!

Turkey

You can pretty much guarantee this is going to make it to your dining room table this Thanksgiving, so what do you pair with it?

Brahm Callahan, MS, Beverage Director Himmel Hospitality Group and brand ambassador for Ribera y Rueda has been pairing wine with dinner for years and his go-to for turkey dinner is always Cru Beaujolais. “There is enough fruit to satisfy everyone, but they generally are bright and refreshing and can help cut through heavy gravy. One of my favorites is Charly Thevenet’s Grain & Granit 2013.”

All-in-One

Kate Arends from Wit and Delight knows a thing or two about entertaining. Instead of working a wine in for each course, she opts for one selection for the entire meal:

When I’m hosting a crowd for Thanksgiving, our go-to wine pairing is Black Box Pinot Noir. It’s medium-bodied with soft tannins, a perfect selection for traditional dishes. One box is the equivalent of four regular-sized bottles, which makes my job as hostess a bit easier. You can’t beat the convenience!”

The best part? It’s easy to find in most liquor and grocery stores.

Stuffing

Reliving my travels to St. Émilion. #stemillion #france #lescadransdelassègue #grandcru #wine #winesnob

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If you’re serving a meat or sausage-style stuffing, you can expect a lot of fall flavors in one dish. “I love a white that can tame some of the spice,” says Callahan. “Try Marques de Caceres’ Verdejo 2013 from Rueda. It has great fruit and is balanced by some lovely herbal green notes.” A full-bodied Rioja would do the trick, too. 

Another option would be a  2012 Les Cadrans de Lassègue from Château Lassègue. The wine  is a blend of 90 percent Merlot, 7 percent Cabernet Franc and 3 percent Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 10 months in 20 percent new French oak.

According to Pierre Seillan, Les Cadrans is a new style for the estate – a little less traditional with a stronger effort on the fruit. “It is a wine to be appreciated at a younger age than Lassègue acting as a ‘welcome’ to the estate, Les Cadrans is an introduction to the symphony between Merlot and Cabernet Franc from our limestone soils.”

Sides

Callahan considers mashed potatoes to be their own food group and consequently he eats them a lot. “Seriously, a lot. One of my favorite pairings is white burgundy, the creamy rich notes of the wine play off the butter flavor and creamy texture in the potatoes. Try Olivier Leflaive’s les Setilles 2014 Bourgogne Blanc.”

Sweet potatoes walk the line between a healthy vegetable and a Thanksgiving all-star starch. If you’re serving them casserole- style,  they are a great pairing with a fruitier red as they tend to balance out a lot of the earthy notes we find in sweet potatoes. Try a Hacienda Monasterio’s 2012 Crianza from Ribera del Duero. “Lots of fruit and just enough oak make this a great pairing.”

You’ve got to have a green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. “Green vegetables are sometimes a tough wine pairing, but my go to is always Gruner Veltliner,” says Callahan.  “It will mirror the green notes of the vegetables but it won’t make them taste bitter. Great Gruner will also cut through the richness of the casserole. Try Domaine Wachau’s Federspiel 2014.”

If you’re hoping to showcase a standout American wine, then the California Pinot Noir from Au Bon Climat would be a great choice. Lots of fun fruit notes like cherry and plum makes it ideal alongside cranberry sauce, but it will easily complement the entire meal. 

Read More: 5 Host and Hostess Shopping Tips for the Holiday Season