Last-Minute Guide For Pairing Wine With Thanksgiving

 November 22, 2017
Posted by jenn

We’re down to crunch time, but if you’re heading to the store stressed over what to serve at Thanksgiving, we’ve got some last minute tips to keep in mind.

“What wine pairs best with a Thanksgiving meal?”

The above is an age old question, so naturally, there is no correct answer.

A Thanksgiving meal has a lot of flavors happening at once. So don’t match a wine to one taste. Instead, focus on a bottle that will hold up to everything your palette will encounter

What wine to get when….

You need a white option:

Gravitate towards a wine that is acidic, light and fruity. Varietals like Sauvignon Blanc will be able to carry the high notes of the meal without getting lost in the food.

Lookout for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which tends to be big and fruity.

Spanish “Rías Baixas” and Portuguese “Vinho Verde,” are very acidic, almost with a little fizz.

You need a red that will pair with the meal, but won’t break the bank:

Find an expressive wine that is big and fruity. It should cover a multitude of subtle flavors, without overwhelming the meal.

Lookout for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape from France, which are typically GSM wines -Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. The wine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be anywhere from really solid to profound, depending on who makes it.

Another great options is an Australian Shiraz, which is quaffable and fruity, and can stand up to any meal. For specific producers, seek out McLaren.

Finally, a Beaujolais from France will also carry you through Thanksgiving.  Two areas within Beaujolais to consider are Morgon and Fleurie.

You’re hosting Friendsgiving, and need to purchase many bottles:

If you’re hosting a large group and purchasing many bottles, you may need pick a general varietal to keep costs low. In that case, stick with Shiraz. It will hold up to the meal regardless of who makes it.

Alternatively, the 2017 “Beaujolais Nouveau” should pass muster if all the bottles are just going to get mixed up.

If you’re visiting your boss, and want a bottle to impress:

Start looking at Pinot Noirs. Specifically, single vineyard producers in Santa Barbara. Find a bottle from a single producer making wine in the Santa Rita Hills AVA.

These bottles may be in the $30-$35 range, but will be really solid.

Pinot Noir is a very popular grape, and it is very hard to know what you’re going to get. It is likely that an average bottle of Pinot Noir is going to taste very average. The more specific you get, in terms of producer and area, the more likely you are to have a great wine.

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