Choosing Wines For Thanksgiving Dinner

The year is flying by quickly. Halloween is past us and Thanksgiving is coming on quickly and you know what that means – the hefty, delicious Thanksgiving Dinner. Ah, but wine are you going to drink?

As you probably know by now, wine goes well with food. That being said, only certain wines go well with certain foods. A white wine, for instance, is usually not a good choice for red meat meals because the wine tends to get overwhelmed by the flavor of the meat and any sauces used. In contrast, a red wine tends to be more hearty and flavorful, which makes it a better wine for red meat.

The unique thing about Thanksgiving Dinner is the meal is layered. Although meat is a staple at the end of the meal, the initial appetizers and such can be much lighter. This means most people will mix wines throughout the dinner. Depending on what you are eating, there may be one wine that can handle each stage, but you are usually looking at a mix of vintages.

White wines tend to be complimentary to pointed, fruity tastes. For Thanksgiving, a good white wine would be palatable with appetizers and, perhaps, the desert depending on what is served. For appetizers like stuffed celery, a Sauvignon Blanc would be a good choice. It is a white wine with more of a crisp taste, so it can handle heavier tastes without getting overwhelmed. You can even serve it as a compliment to your red wine for the white meat of the turkey.

Red wines are a staple of Thanksgiving. Let’s face it, the foods we eat during Thanksgiving tend to be heavy and very hearty. From mashed potatoes to stuffing to the dark meat of the turkey, a classic red just makes sense. A Pinot Noir is going to go well with this meal, so pick a favorite or two and offer them up.

If you just want to stick with one vintage for the entire meal, the clear choices are either a Riesling or a Pinot Noir. Each of these wines has then necessary strength and versatility to work throughout the full meal. The have average bodies, but less tannin which means they compliment just about anything you are going to serve.

So, are there specific vintages you should go with? Yes. Thanksgiving is not a time to experiment because it simply is not a wine tasting party. Refer to your wine tasting journal or memories to find particular choices you tried and loved in the past. These should be your choices for this years Thanksgiving Dinner.

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About The Author, Nomad Rick
Rick Chapo is with - makers of wine tasting journals that make great wine related gifts for wine affectionados.