When it comes to selecting the best wine pairing for Thanksgiving Day it’s truly about what you prefer and what your guests will enjoy. There are no hard and fast turkey pairing rules, just plenty of pairing options to experiment with and see what works best for you and your guests.
Can one type of wine take you seamlessly from appetizers, all the way to pumpkin pie? Of course this can work, if thats your preference but what about having some fun selecting various wines to accompany each component of your meal. The art of pairing wines with food is largely a matter of personal preference; however, some safe bets for Thanksgiving wines are Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel for red wine lovers and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier for those who prefer white wines.
Best Thanksgiving White Wines
Riesling: A white wine that may either be bone dry or fairly sweet, excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet. Whether from Alsace, Germany or Washington – Riesling wines are a top pick white wine for pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Riesling’s innate flavours of apple, apricot, honey and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat and spice-laden or herbed stuffing.
Gewurztraminer: This white wine tends to have the aromatic gusto and spicy palate appeal that give it a solid standing with turkey and gravy, bringing out the best in both. Gewurztraminer offers a delicious white wine option for Thanksgiving Day.
Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavours that can be surrounded by herb or mineral undertones, making it a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes.
Pinot Grigio: Capable of handling garlic and onions, herbs and rich, flavorful, high-fat dishes, this white wine is a natural for the demands of Thanksgiving Day.
Albarino and Viognier, while they may not boast the initial name recognition of say…Chardonnay, these white wines offer the perfect opportunity to shake up the Thanksgiving table and take your guests on a little wine adventure, while still maintaining perfect pairing power.
Top Red Wine Thanksgiving Options
Pinot Noir: This red wine is a traditional favorite for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir’s subtle earthy undertones and often mushroom inspired flavors surround the fruit features of the wine and tend to show well with the traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing.
Zinfandel: A fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity from a Pinot Noir, but still maintains a balancing effect on many traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. This would be a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine with the capacity to accommodate spice, bitter and sweet flavor profiles.
Syrah/Shiraz: The Syrah grape can bring a spicy edge or a meaty character to the table often increasing the complexity, while graciously handling the cornucopia of flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The prevalent peppery notes of Syrah will partner well with the herb-infused stuffing and both the white and dark turkey meat.
Beaujolais Nouveau: A light, fruity red wine, from the Gamay grape, that goes quite well with turkey and all of the fixings. This wine is released from France on the third Thursday of November, just in time to highlight your Thanksgiving feast!
Rosé and Sherry wines, along with the sparkling wine are also worthy of consideration for Thanksgiving wine pairing potential. They all provide a capable go between for those that are not firmly camped in either the red or white wine trenches. If you are considering a sparkling wine you may choose one labeled as “extra dry” – which will offer a touch more fruit flavor than a “brut.” As for rosé wines, a drier selection will be the most versatile for pairing with virtually any part of the Thanksgiving feast. Keep in mind that if you are hosting 5 or 50 guests this Thanksgiving that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to offer a lovely selection of wines. There are many well-received, well-rated value wines that you can obtain for $10 or less.
For those of you who prefer to leave the wine selection in our hands, not to mention all the dishes too, treat your family to our delicious traditional Thanksgiving Feast with our Brunch Buffet or the fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet at the Old Mill Toronto. Prepared by our talented culinary team, dedicated to making your family get together a joyous Thanksgiving gathering.