Some Not So Traditional Thanksgiving Wine and Food Pairings

I want to add a few more unique wine and food pairings for Thanksgiving so you have the chance to throw something non-traditional into a very traditional meal.  Your guests may even get a chance to try a wine that they have never sipped and it may open up conversation with some of those relatives you aren’t always super excited to sit across the table from 🙂

A great way to start the meal is to switch up the champagne with a sparkling rosé.  Sparkling rosé is a nice wine to sip alone during pre-dinner conversation or with first courses such as pumpkin soup or a salad.  One of my favorite inexpensive Sparkling Rosés comes from Santa Julia.  Their Brut Rosé is light with notes of strawberries and cherries and it is readily available for around $11 at Whole Foods.  This wine could also be sipped throughout the meal because it pairs well with turkey and cranberries.

If you are serving a smoked ham, Gruner Veltliner could be a great match.  Gruner Veltliner is a wine you may not have heard of but it is certainly worth trying.  I would recommend Grooner 2010 from Austria.  The wine has lively acidity with notes of apple, pear, and citrus.  The acidity in Gruner is perfect for cutting the fat in the ham and it a great value for around $10. (received as a sample)

If you want to skip the traditionally versatile Pinot Noir, you might want to try a Sémillon with your meal.  Sémillons are extremely food friendly and have been a surprise hit at many of my Thanksgiving meals.  One of my recent favorites is Brokenwood Sémillon 2010 from Australia.  It retails for around $18 and has soft notes of pear and citrus.

For dessert, try a Tawny Port with your pumpkin pie.  Ports are widely known but they don’t seem to make it onto a lot of Thanksgiving tables.  The spices in the port tend to go really well with the spices in the pie.  One excellent choice  that retails for around $30 is Churchill’s 10 Years Old Tawny Port.  The nose is intoxicating and appetizing with sweet, nutty notes.  The palate is rich with notes of fig, caramel, and spice.  A great finale to your Thanksgiving dinner. (received as a sample)

I hope this makes your Thanksgiving wine shopping a little more interesting.  Are there any perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings that you have been surprised by?


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