The Grapevine

The Obligatory Thanksgiving Pairing Post

November 20th, 2015

As sure as the food magazines will have turkeys on their covers, we’ll have to write about what to pour alongside those birds. Here are some ideas that while perhaps not groundbreaking, aren’t just the usual suspects, either. [level-members]

First, our rule of thumb isn’t to worry about red vs. white, but to concentrate on wines that are fruity and not nearly as dry as everyone says they like. (And may very well prefer with other meals.) We also look for wines with low-alcohol content, which will work better on any number of levels for a meal and occasion like Thanksgiving.

Zinfandel is a favorite, though finding low-alcohol examples is a challenge these days. Remember that it’s fruit you’re looking for along with the spice.

On the white side, Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice, as well, and with most Thanksgiving meals, a better choice than Chardonnay. Gewürztraminer is another good choice if you stick with the dry or off-dry styles.

More whites to consider: Pinot Gris, Riesling, any lighter sparkling wine, Viognier.

Looking further afield for reds and rosés, don’t discount a decent Lambrusco, though it’s hard to find decent examples. Beaujolais is worth a look, as well.

Whatever you pour, pour enough to keep the troops happy, but not so much that they decide it’s OK to talk about the politics of religion or the religion of politics …

And enjoy the holiday, regardless of what your family may want to discuss.