California Wine Regions
Browse Wineries

Thanksgiving Wine Guide

Winery Search
Napa Valley Wineries
Paso Robles Wineries
Santa Barbara Wineries
Sonoma Wineries
San Luis Obispo Wineries
Mendocino Wineries
Monterey Wineries
Santa Clara Wineries
Santa Cruz Wineries
Sierra Foothills Wineries
Temecula Wineries
Lodi Wineries
Livermore Wineries
Lake County Wineries
Ventura & Malibu Wineries
San Joaquin Valley Wineries
San Diego Wineries
SF East Bay Wineries
CWA Poll
What’s your #1 Tasting Room Pet Peeve?
Limited wines to taste
Not greeted promptly
Tasting room too crowded
Aggressive wine club pitches
Slow or inattentive service
Tasting fee too high
Staff not well-versed on wines
other
Food & Wine
How To Match
Pairing Cheese & Wine
Wine Country Recipes
Wine Shop
Napa Wine Bargains
Deals at Wine.com
Wine Stuff
Wine Glossary
Wine Grape Varieties
Taste For Free Maps
Ask the Winemaker
How To Technically Taste Wine
Sulfites In Wine
Tasting Room Etiquette
Advisor Favorite Videos
Seven Tips for Wine Events
Santa Barbara and its 100 wineries
Father of California Wine
Taste The Stars
How To Read A Wine Label
More Stuff
With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away the challenging task of matching a wine to the traditional feast should be by now well under way.
 
Thanksgiving challenging? Not just because it’s a big chore to put on and one must deal with numerous friends and relatives vying for an enviable seat at your table, but because the traditional meal does not lend itself easily to one particular Thanksgiving wine. You need a Thanksgiving wine guide.
 
Here is the challenge. You’re having turkey (with both white and dark meat) or maybe a ham, along with a savory stuffing, spicy potatoes, rich dark gravy and a tangy cranberry sauce. Maybe you rub your turkey with Creole butter, or rosemary sprigs or prepare it with an orange glaze, or deep fried with brown sugar. The point being there are many ways to prepare the traditional bird, and the meal itself can have a diverse mix of sweet, sour, salty, savory and spicy components.
 
So what to do? Here are some recommendations to attempt to cover all the bases. If you tend to cook with more seasoning and spices the red wines might work the best. We do suggest that you offer both a white and red options for your guests.                                                                                                          
White Wine Varieties
 
Pinot Gris – A light refreshing wine with pear, lemon and tropical fruit flavors. It can be overwhelmed if your food is overly seasoned.
 
Dry Riesling or Dry Gewürztraminer - the right balance of a slight sweetness and aromatic, spicy and floral fruit makes a lovely compliment to roasted turkey.
 
Chenin Blanc – Semi dry wine with floral, grass and honeysuckle aromas. Sometimes has a pleasant mineral or herbal quality that can add complexity.
 
Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc – Flavorful with flinty and fruity aromas made medium body and dry. These wines can stand up to well seasoned poultry. Finding one with little or no oak may work best with turkey.
 
Red Wine Varieties
 
Gamay Beaujolais – (or Beaujolais Nouveau) These wines are often made in a white wine style where the juice has little contact to the grape skins. These light wines are served cooled and exhibit fruity, sometimes strawberry flavors.
 
Pinot Noir - The earthy, cherry, olive and raspberry flavors of this grape tend to match well with seasoned poultry and meats. Good with savory stuffing.
 
Merlot – A medium bodied Merlot with its peppercorn, green olive and earth and coffee flavors can often match well seasoned poultry and even ham. (Some might consider it a more risky choice.)
 
Zinfandel – Medium bodied Zin will stand up to spicier dishes. The ripe plum and blackberry fruit flavors along with a peppery finish works well with those more exotic poultry preparations. Also pairs well with ham.
 
 
Advanced Winery Search
CWA Members





Free Membership
Recent Newsletters

Wine Country
Sponsors
Sales Training
About CWA | Contact Us | Advertise with CWA | List Your Winery | Site Map | Privacy/Affiliate Policy | Promote Your Winery on CWA