More wine buying is done for Thanksgiving dinner than for any other holiday throughout the year. Selecting wine for Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting task considering the many flavor components of the meal. White wine for white meat? Red wine for the dark meat? Can the big flavors of side dishes be paired with sparkling wine? There are no right answers when it comes to finding the ideal wine for Thanksgiving, so here are ten affordable American wine recommendations that are safe bets on Turkey Day.
Sparkling wine is a wonderful, food-friendly option for Thanksgiving. You can serve an American sparkling wine as an aperitif as your guests arrive or pair it with just about anything at the holiday table. Here are some options:
2002 Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvee Carneros (Sonoma, California): $20 – Rich bubbly with ripe apple and toasted bread flavors.
2008 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs (Napa Valley, California): $23 – Fresh, crisp and fruity with a dry and clean finish.
Many think of white wine as the go-to match for poultry. Think of these value wines when pairing with turkey:
2009 Heron Hill Riesling Reserve (Finger Lakes, New York): $25 – Light notes of Meyer lemon and Asian pear with a high level of bright acidity.
2008 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): $10 – Honeyed citrus notes yet dry and crisp. Nice level of minerality.
2007 Wiemer Gewurztraminer (Finger Lakes, New York): $23 – Juicy peach, ripe melon, long and silky finish.
2010 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma, California): $15 – Bright citrus and a nice level of acidity – a clean, crisp, food-friendly Sauvignon Blanc.
A light-bodied, not overly tannic red wine is a popular option to pair with white and dark turkey meat and also with earthy flavors of stuffing. Here are some solid options that won’t break the bank:
2008 Mark West Pinot Noir (Sonoma, California): $10 – While lighter than many California Pinot Noirs, this wine offers ripe strawberries on the nose and on the palate.
2009 Ravines Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes, New York): $23 – Elegant, earthy notes, juicy cherry flavors and a slightly spicy finish.
2009 Calera Pinot Noir (Central Coast, California): $20 – Lots of spicy floral notes and a ripe mouthful of red berries.
2009 Benton Lane Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon): $20 – Rich wine with ripe dark cherries and juicy dark berries on the nose and palate. Earthy and delicious.
Whatever direction you go in with Thanksgiving wine, remember that both white and red are good options and that a combination of each can be the best choice for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Cheers and happy holiday,
Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County, NJ. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.