Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

With only a few days left until Thanksgiving, finding the perfect wines to pair with your Thanksgiving feast is likely at the top of your list!  We have made it easy for you by sharing some of our favorite red and white wine pairings for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Thanksgiving

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classic Thanksgiving wine pairing and is truly one of our favorites for the holiday.  There are plenty of great Burgundies around but lately I have been impressed with cool-climate Pinot Noir coming out of California.  Look for Pinot Noir from wineries like Failla and Red Car in local, specialty wine shops.  They are fantastic wines for your Thanksgiving table!

Gamay

Gamay is often overlooked for Thanksgiving but we love it paired with turkey and stuffing!  We are obsessed with Le Telquel Gamay and it is an obvious choice for the holiday.  Le Telquel is from the Loire Valley and has tastes of juicy red berries and spice entwined with racy acidity.  Pure, unadulterated, and best served slightly chilled.  This is one of the best Gamays you will find for under $20 and it is a great Thanksgiving wine!

Riesling

Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines and is a great pairing with many Thanksgiving dishes.  We recently tasted 2014 Famille Hugel Riesling and discovered it’s not only delicious, but it’s also a killer value at $12.  This dry Riesling from the Alsace region of France is filled with tastes of lemon and orange blossom along with naturally bright acidity and hints of minerality.  Pair with everything from yams to mashed potatoes to turkey & stuffing!

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is one of our favorite white wines so it is always included at our Thanksgiving table.  Chenin is made in diverse styles so look for a dry Chenin Blanc to pair with turkey or yams.  Leo Steen Saini Valley Dry Creek Valley Chenin Blanc is a fantastic deal for under $20.  Sweeter styles can be a nice pairing with Thanksgiving desserts.

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Best Red Wines For Thanksgiving!

Stressed out about which red wines to sip with your Thanksgiving feast?  Wondering what wines go best with turkey and stuffing?  Great news…you don’t have to worry because we did all of the hard work for you!  Here are some of our favorite red wine picks & pairings for your Thanksgiving meal!

Happy Thanksgiving!

California Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classic Thanksgiving wine pairing and it is also one of my favorites.  There are plenty of great Burgundies around but lately I have been impressed with cool-climate Pinot Noir coming out of California.  A lot of the bottles would be nearly impossible to acquire in time for Thanksgiving (think mailing lists, limited allocations, etc.), but lucky for all of us, Small Vines 2013 Estate Cuvee Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is available for purchase on their website.  The wine is bright, well-structured, and perfect with turkey and all of the fixings.  A fantastic wine for your Thanksgiving table! ($55 including shipping)

Gamay

Gamay is often overlooked for Thanksgiving but I love it paired with turkey and stuffing!  Since I am obsessed with Le Telquel Gamay, it is an obvious choice for the holiday.  Le Telquel is from the Loire Valley and has tastes of juicy red berries and spice entwined with racy acidity.  Pure, unadulterated, and best served slightly chilled.  This is my all-time favorite Gamay for under $20 and a great Thanksgiving wine! ($16)

Carignan

A bottle of Carignan will undoubtably make it to my Thanksgiving table this year.  Lioco Indica Carignan from Mendocino County is a definite crowd-pleasing pick.  The wine has harmonious tastes of raspberry, cranberry, spice, and herbs with bright acidity.  A fantastic pairing with most traditional Thanksgiving fare, including turkey! ($22)

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White Wines For Thanksgiving!

It seems like so many people I know serve the same wines with Thanksgiving every year.  When I dine with friends or see pictures from Thanksgiving tables, Chardonnay seems to be the overwhelming white wine choice.  While I do enjoy a well-made Chardonnay, most people opt for a bottle that overwhelms the meal with oak, butter, and alcohol.  I recently tasted through almost a dozen white wines (tough job, I know) and came up with a few favorites for your Thanksgiving meal!

Narrowing down the choices…so many great white wines to choose from for Thanksgiving!

Riesling

Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines and is a great pairing with many Thanksgiving dishes.  I recently tasted 2013 Famille Hugel Riesling and discovered it’s not only delicious, but it’s also a killer value at $12.  This dry Riesling from the Alsace region of France is filled with tastes of lemon and orange blossom along with naturally bright acidity and hints of minerality.  Pair with everything from yams to mashed potatoes to turkey & stuffing! ($12)

Chenin Blanc

One tradition we keep at our Thanksgiving table is making sure there is a place for seafood.  Oysters and Dungeness Crab always seem to work their way into our meal.  Dry Chenin Blanc is one of my favorite pairings with shellfish.  Chenin Blanc is made in many styles so look for a bottle that has nice acid and texture.  One bottle that recently grabbed my attention is 2014 Lo-Fi Chenin Blanc from the Jurassic Park vineyard in Santa Barbara County.  With bright citrus, stone fruit, and a rich mouthfeel, this wine is a great match for shellfish! ($26)

White Rhone Blends

If you come to our house for Thanksgiving, you will always find a White Rhone Blend poured with your meal.  One of my favorite domestic bottles is 2013 Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc, a blend of 50% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne, 13% Viognier, 6% Grenache Blanc, and 6% Grenache Gris from the Russian River Valley.  The wine is beautifully balanced and bright with incredible texture.  It will really brighten up heavy dishes and is a staple at our Thanksgiving table. ($30)

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Three Great Thanksgiving Wines For Under $20

Thanksgiving is next week and it can be tough to find enjoyable wines that won’t drain your bank account.  Good news – we did the work for you and found delicious, affordable wines that will pair really well with your Thanksgiving meal!  Here are three wine picks that we feel deliver a lot of bang for your holiday buck!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

NV Domaine Brazilier Méthode Trad Brut

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a great bottle of sparkling wine.  One excellent choice for under $20 is NV Domaine Brazilier Méthode Trad Brut.  This blend of Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis from the Loire will draw you in with aromas of fresh baked bread and baked apples.  The palate is equally delicious with tastes of apples and nutmeg along with vibrant acidity.  Easy to sip throughout the meal! ($15)

2013 The Pinot Project Pinot Noir

Need a solid Pinot Noir to pair with your turkey for under $15?  Look no further than The Pinot Project.  It’s not complex but the medium-bodied wine offers enjoyable tastes of cherries with hints of earth and spice.  A definite crowd pleaser! ($12)

Marcel Lapierre 2013 Raisins Gaulois

Marcel Lapierre 2013 Raisins Gaulois is 100% Gamay and a perfect Thanksigiving wine. Your palate is met with a medley of raspberries, cherries, and cranberries along with hints of pepper and lively acidity.  Light-bodied and pairs wonderfully with turkey and stuffing! ($13)

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Thanksgiving Wine Pairings with Turkey

Tired of pairing your Thanksgiving turkey with Pinot Noir year after year?  This Thanksgiving, try some wine pairings that are a little less traditional.  Here are a few of my favorites that are just as delicious as Pinot, yet not on everyone’s radar.  Plus, the wines generally make great conversation pieces since many people around the table will not have tried them before.

Grenache 

Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir
Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir

Grenache is one of my favorite Thanksgiving wines.  It not only pairs well with turkey but also with side dishes like stuffing.  Look for a bottle with low alcohol, healthy acidity, and ripe berries.  One of my favorite picks is Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir.  Refined tastes of cherries, cranberries, and strawberries are met with hints of spice.  Elegant with vibrant acidity, this is sure to be the highlight of your meal! (13.3% alcohol, $38)

Cinsault

Several weeks ago, I participated in a Cinsault tasting and all I could think about was how well the wines would pairing with turkey.  Turley 2014 Lodi Cinsault is an excellent option and is also a great value.  The wine offers layers of red fruit with bright acidity and excellent texture.  There are also savory and earthy notes to go along with the tart fruit.  A perfect match for turkey! (13% alcohol, $17)

Gamay

A well-made Gamay is pure, fresh, and delightful with turkey.  Martian Ranch & Vineyard “Absolute Magnitude” 2013 Gamay Noir is a great choice.  This Santa Barbara County Gamay is light-bodied with bright tastes of raspberries and strawberries along with hints of violets and spice.  A great addition to your Thanksgiving meal! (13% alcohol, $24)

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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Before I take a few days off from reality and spend them amongst the vines with family and friends, I want to take a minute and wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I have so much to be thankful for this year and I am really excited to take a few days to reflect over the incredible blessings in my life!  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday feast surrounded by family, friends, and great wine!

Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving!
Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving!

 

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A Place for Rhone Wine at the Thanksgiving Table

We all tend to sip the same types of wines at our Thanksgiving dinners. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Champagne seem to be abundant this time of year and a lot of people never really think about introducing a few new bottles to the table. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to stray from the traditional pairings and open up your meal to new varietals. There are many interesting Rhone wines that will really elevate the flavors in your holiday dishes. Here are the Rhones that will definitely be accompanying our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Old-World Style Grenache 

I love an elegant Grenache with so many Thanksgiving dishes. It pairs very well with turkey, cranberries, and stuffing. Look for a bottle with low alcohol, healthy acidity, and ripe berries. A Tribute to Grace Grenache is an excellent choice with beautiful flavors that are both balanced and vibrant.  (http://gracewinecompany.com,  $44)

A Tribute to Grace Grenache...a wonderful Thanksgiving wine!
A Tribute to Grace Grenache…a wonderful Thanksgiving wine!

White Rhone Blends

When many people think of pairing wine with dishes such as buttery mashed potatoes and turkey, they often reach for a rich, buttery Chardonnay. Sometimes, an equally rich wine really overpowers both your palate and the food. I usually pair a White Rhone Blend instead. Make sure the wine has plenty of acid to cut through the richness of the food yet enough texture to complement the rich flavors. I really enjoy Pastoral Blanc from Two Shepherds. The blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc will really bring to life (and not weigh down) heavier dishes.  (http://twoshepherdsvineyards.com, $28)

Rosé of Syrah

Rosé of Syrah can be an excellent, food-friendly Thanksgiving wine. It pairs well with ham, turkey, and cranberries and also makes an excellent aperitif. I prefer a Rosé aged in stainless steel to oak as I find they tend to have cleaner flavors. Ampelos Cellars has a great Rosé of Syrah you can pick up for well under $20. Full of red berries, watermelon, and a refreshing finish makes it a nice Thanksgiving pick! (http://www.ampeloscellars.com, $15)

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Thanksgiving Wine Picks!

In just a short time, we will all be gathered around the table feasting on my favorite meal of the year, Thanksgiving.  In my family, we happen to have a wonderful tradition of spending Thanksgiving in Napa or Sonoma…just one of the many things I am thankful for each year.  No matter where your Thanksgiving plans takes you, here are some excellent wine pairings for your turkey day!

Rosé and Turkey

Château Bonnet 2012 Rosé
Château Bonnet 2012 Rosé

Rosé is an excellent match with turkey and most of the traditional Thanksgiving spread.  Look for a Rosé that features dry flavors of cranberry or cherry and a little spice. I recently sipped a bottle from Chateau Bonnet.  The 2012 Rosé is a blend of Cabernet and Merlot with bright tastes of cranberry and grapefruit. Beautiful acidity makes it extremely food friendly and a great choice for your entire meal. ($15)

Grüner Veltliner and Ham

Birgit Eichinger 2011 Grüner Veltliner
Birgit Eichinger 2011 Grüner Veltliner

Looking for a wine that enhances the flavor of your juicy ham?  I would reach for a bottle of Grüner Veltliner.  The lively acidity in Grüner cuts the fat in the ham and helps bring the flavors to a whole new level.  One bottle that works really well is Birgit Eichinger 2011 Grüner Veltliner.  It features crisp acidity and plenty of flavor to stand up to any Thanksgiving feast! ($15)

Tawny Port and Pumpkin Pie

Quinta do Infantado Medium-Dry Tawny Port NV
Quinta do Infantado Medium-Dry Tawny Port NV

For me, dessert can be one of the trickiest wine pairings of any meal.  Generally, a lot of wines don’t work well with sweet flavors.  So, when our dessert course comes around, I generally reach for a beautiful glass of Tawny Port.  Look for a bottle with a balance of sweetness and spice to pair with the sweet and spicy flavors in pumpkin pie.  If you want something a little lighter, opt for one of my favorite ports for under $20, Quinta do Infantado Medium-Dry Tawny Port NV.  If you want something a little sweeter (and relatively easy to find), grab a bottle of Churchills 10 Year Old Tawny Port ($30).  Either way, both of these picks will make dessert a great finale to a delicious meal!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I want to take this time and wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone has great family and friends to spend this holiday with and plenty to be thankful for.  I am so thankful to you guys for making my posts on Thanksgiving wine suggestions my successful posts ever.  During the upcoming month I am going to do a series on wines for Christmas and hopefully you guys will enjoy them just as well!

Sonoma Thanksgiving 2010

Now get off the computer and go enjoy some football, family, friends, food, and amazing wine!

Cheers~ Bella

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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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