Tips and Tricks to Find the Perfect Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner
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Tip 1: Keep the Alcohol Levels in Check
Thanksgiving is a marathon not a sprint. Starting the party with a low alcohol wine will bring a festive mood and set the right pace. Cooler climate wines like those from the Loire Valley, Burgundy and Germany can be a good match. Off-dry wines like Riesling, or low alcohol Vino Verde can work great. When in doubt, sparkling wines and rosés can be a great lower alcohol fall back.
Welcome Guests with a Sparkling Wine-based Cocktail
Our favorite way to start the evening on the right pace is with a flavor-packed, low alcohol sparkling cocktail. Mixing Prosecco with juices and sodas cuts the alcohol by volume even lower, while still delivering a palate-readying flavor punch. Click Here for our Prosecco-Pear-Ginger Cocktail Recipe and Click Here for our Prosecco-Blood Orange Cocktail Recipe, two of our favorites!
Tip 2: Look for Wines with High Acidity
Cranberry sauce not only makes a great flavor component to your Thanksgiving meal, but it also serves as a tart, high acid palate cleanser between rich, buttery bites. High acid wines can work the same way, keeping your palate lifted and ready for the next bite.
Tip 3: Think About Complementary Flavors
Red fruits like pomegranate, cranberry and red cherries make a great complement to Thanksgiving dishes. Similarly, dried herbs like sage and rosemary can be found in the stuffing, turkey, gravy and more, enhancing the meal. It's no surprise then, that wines with bright red fruits and savory herbal notes also make a good match for traditional Thanksgiving fare.
Skip the Cabernet Today
With high alcohol, flavors of dark fruit, cassis and cedar, low acidity and drying tannins, Cabernet Sauvignon is a mis-match for turkey dinner. Go with Prime Rib if you want to grab a Cab.
Specific Wine Recommendations for Thanksgiving Dinner
Reds for Thanksgiving
Pinot Noir and Gamay are two classic reds with elevated acidity. All the better that their red fruit and savory notes make a great flavor complement as well. Another great match is Cabernet Franc, especially those from cooler climate appellations in the Loire Valley. Grenache, with its red fruit, savory herb and pepper notes can also work, but just be careful as many Grenache-based wines can have elevated alcohol and only moderate acidity, both of which are not an ideal match for a rich meal.
Whites and Other Wines for Thanksgiving
Sparkling wines and Rosés are often made with grapes picked on the early side, ensuring their acidity is intact, with the added bonus of usually being relatively lower in alcohol. It's no surprise that these wines have a great place at any dinner table. High acid wines such as Chenin Blanc, Vino Verde, Grüener Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc can also work great. Grüener's peppery bite and the tarragon notes in Sauvignon Blanc's like those from Sancerre in the Loire Valley can make as especially great match.
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