Did you know that Americans buy wine for Thanksgiving more than they do for any other holiday? The Turkey Day meal consists of so many conflicting flavors that it can be a challenge to select just the right bottle…red, white, both!? The answer is that whites and reds should grace your Thanksgiving table this year. Having a selection of both ensures there’s something for every guest and every palate.
Following are some favorite, all-American wine varietals and suggestions at various price points for Thanksgiving 2019.
Sparkling Wines for Thanksgiving
Great as an aperitif before dinner or paired with even the trickiest, richest foods, sparkling wine is a perfect choice for Thanksgiving. Sparkling wine is fun and festive—get a few!
Gruet Winery Blanc de Noirs NV – $13
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs NV – $22
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV – $22
Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé NV – $36
2012 Roederer Estate – L’Ermitage Brut – $48
Best Thanksgiving Whites
Riesling is perhaps the top varietal served at Thanksgiving dinner. The lovely apple and honey flavors and the great acidity of this varietal make it a fantastic pairing for white and dark meat and for the sweet and spiced flavors of candied sweet potatoes and stuffing.
2017 Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling – $10
2016 Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewurztraminer – $13
2016 Ravines Riesling Dry – $16
2016 Chateau Ste Michelle & Dr Loosen Eroica – $18
2017 Miner – Simpson Vineyard Viognier – $19
2017 Herman J. Wiemer Dry Riesling– $20
2017 Teutonic Riesling Pear Blossom Vineyard – $20
2016 Smith-Madrone Riesling – $30
Gewürztraminer, Albariño, and Viognier
Gewürztraminer with its boldly-aromatic aroma and spicy flavors is a clear winner for Thanksgiving as it pairs well with even the big flavors of turkey, rich casseroles and gravy.
While not as mainstream as Gewürztraminer, Albariño and Viognier, with their floral notes and big flavors, also shine bright on Turkey Day.
Sokol Blosser Evolution White Gewürztraminer Blend – $15
2017 Balletto Vineyards Gewürztraminer – $15
2017 Fess Parker Santa Barbara Viognier – $21
2017 Alban Viognier Central Coast – $25
2017 Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma Coast Gewürztraminer – $27
2018 Stags’ Leap Viognier – $28
2014 Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard Albariño – $30
2018 Meadowcroft Wines Louvau Vineyard Viognier – $34
Best Thanksgiving Reds
As far as red wine is concerned, Zinfandels are ideal at Thanksgiving. The spicy flavor of Zins are a good match to the spiced flavors of this holiday meal, especially nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. These high alcohol wines also add a bit of smokiness to the foods they’re paired with.
Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Sonoma County NV – $12
2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Zinfandel – $17
2016 Bedrock Wine Company Old Vine Zinfandel – $25
2017 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel East Bench – $29
2017 Hartford Family Winery Old Vine Zinfandel Russian River – $35
2016 Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel – $40
2014 Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel Jack’s Cabin – $55
Pinot Noir is king at Thanksgiving and undoubtedly the most versatile to pour as it pairs well with most foods. The cherry/raspberry/blackberry fruitiness of the wine is a nice match for cranberry sauce/sides, mushroom dishes and pairs incredibly well with white and dark turkey meat.
2018 Sean Minor Wines Four Bears Pinot Noir – $13
2017 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir – $16
2017 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir – $28
2015 Robert Sinskey Pinot Noir – $50
2016 Hirsch Vineyards – San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir – $70
2018 Tensley – Syrah “Lite” Santa Barbara County – $15
2017 Klinker Brick Winery Syrah Farrah – $17
2017 Stolpman Syrah Para Maria – $27
2016 Melville Syrah Santa Rita Hills – $30
2014 Wilde Farm Syrah Cardiac Hill – $38
Just as you wouldn’t want to run out of food, you wouldn’t want to run out of wine at Thanksgiving. Plan on one bottle of wine per adult with more just in case.
Shop for wine at some of our favorite New Jersey retailers:
Amanti Vino – Montclair
Bottle King – Multiple locations statewide
Gary’s Wine & Marketplace – Bernardsville, Madison and Wayne
Joe Canal’s – Multiple locations in South Jersey
Princeton Corkscrew – Princeton
Sterling Fine Wines – Sterling
Tewksbury Fine Wine & Spirits – Oldwick
Wine Library – Springfield
Prices are approximate.