If you’re encumbered by Thanksgiving wine anxiety, you’re not alone. Picking the right bottles for the holiday can be more stressful than cooking the turkey! The wide variety of flavors and side dishes in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can make choosing the right wine to serve a little confusing. There's no one perfect wine, and fortunately, lots of picks will do the job. The thing about pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner is that the turkey itself goes with just about anything! The important thing is to drink what you like (especially on Thanksgiving)! Here are some of our favorites:
2015 Domaine Jules Desjourneys St. Veran $42
To stand up to the fullness of roast turkey and pair with all the trimmings, I look for a Chardonnay that has intensity of rich fruit with some toasty oak and a kiss of vanilla. The mix of body, weight, and rich fruits in this white Burgundy stand up well to the abundance of flavors on the table. Domaine Jules Desjourneys consists of 7 hectares of Gamay in Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent, plus 10 hectares of white vineyards that he shares with another winegrower in the Macconnais. He made his first wines in 2006, when his production was just 500 magums of each wine. The wines have intensity, but also lovely purity.
2016 Domaine Weinbach Riesling "Reserve Personnelle" $36
Riesling makes a nice alternative to Chardonnay. Its crisp acidity and flavors of apples, citrus and stone fruits pair well with such a wide variety of foods, it will be right at home on your Thanksgiving table. Domaine Weinbach produces richly concentrated, fragrant dry Rieslings and were certified organic in 2010 (by Demeter/Ecocert). The wines are made in old oak vats with indigenous yeasts, with temperature control.
2015 Sandrone Barbera d'Alba $38
Luciano Sandrone is one of the most iconic producers in Barolo. His wines are sometimes described as straddling the modern and traditional styles in the region: elegant, attractive and easy to appreciate right from their first years in bottle. This is a richly extracted expression of Barbera with plump richness and succulence. It’s cherry, plum and blackberry flavors and subtle notes of spice pair nicely with turkey (particularly dark meat), cranberry sauce, stuffing and herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme.
2014 Joseph Swan "Cuvee des Trois" Pinot Noir $37
A spicy pinot noir is everyone’s default Thanksgiving red for good reason. The spice, red fruits, earthy tones, and floral aromatics of this Pinot Noir makes it a perfect pairing for turkey. Joseph Swan Vineyards is a small family owned winery located in the heart of Sonoma County’s famed Russian River Valley. This pinot is a blend of Swan’s vineyard designated Pinot Noirs made to represent the whole of the Russian River Valley.
But what if you're not a wine drinker on Thanksgiving? Not to worry, our beer pairings have you covered.
"The Märzen and Oktoberfest styles are functionally identical and are characterized by toasty malt dominance. Moderate in alcohol and low in bitterness, these beers are an ultra-safe but satisfying play for your Thanksgiving table—there's nothing here to throw your food out of balance, great examples can be had for cheap, and your guests will probably be at least somewhat familiar with beers of this style already. Dunkel lagers and drier doppelbocks feature a similarly malt-forward flavor and will function in quite the same way."
Brewery: High Water
Beer: Tranquil Eyes
Type: Scotch ale
"Scotch ales are all about smooth, caramelized malt character. Red grape, toffee, and peat smoke flavors are par for the course here, offering savory and sweet complements to your plate. These beers carry some heft, weighing in with enough ABV (think 6-9%ish) to hang with the richer dishes. They can be great with dessert too, but reserve that for sweeter examples."
Brewery: Glazen Toren
Beer: Jan de Licthe
Type: Dubbel Witbier
"The light body and citrus characteristics of the wit complement the spices you often find in stuffing,” says Jared Rouben, the owner and brewer at Chicago’s Moody Tongue Brewery. Witbier also has the minerality that you’d find in oysters, Rouben says, so it’s a perfect pairing with oyster stuffing. Stock the fridge this Thanksgiving with these Belgian-style wits, which are so light in body, effervescent, and refreshing that they’ll pair with most of the other items at the table."
And after dinner, why not settle down with a nice bourbon or rum...
PlumpJack Copper & Kings Pear Brandy
This is one of the most unique brandies you are going to find. Its like smashing a Bartlett pear on top of an oak barrel! Comprised of aged brandies between 8-20yrs old and vatted into a brand new charred American Oak, there is nothing else like this available. Perfect digestivo for after a large meal.
PlumpJack Copper & Kings Brandy
Two years in Woodford double oaked casks followed by two more in Oloroso sherry butt make this a full flavored high octane brandy that makes quite possibly the best Old Fashioned cocktail you will ever have. Its got just the right balance of sweet, spicy and oak. Perfect for the bourbon drinker who is looking to branch out.
Rhum Clement Jonone
Ever tried Agricole Rhum? NO? Then try this! Agricole isn't your average run of the mill, commercially produced, molasses based rum. Made from fresh cane juice in the style of French Armagnac and aged delicately in French oak, this is the Rhum for Single Malt Scotch drinkers. Perfect pairing with pecan or pumpkin pie after dinner.