Thanksgiving is one of the biggest wine-drinking holidays. That makes sense when you think about it, because wine is meant to be enjoyed with food – and there is usually plenty of food around at Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for ideas on what to drink with your holiday meal, I worked with Kobrand Wine & Spirits to put together some wines to suit every taste and every budget.
Thanksgiving is a celebration – and greeting your guests with a flute of Champagne is a festive way to start the meal. The bubbles and lightness of this Champagne Taittinger Brut La Francaise complement the richness and saltiness of many appetizers ranging from seafood platters to mini quiches. The higher proportion of Chardonnay grapes in this Champagne gives it an elegance and freshness. Another thing I love is that you don’t have limit Champagne to a toast or the appetizers! Champagne is also a versatile wine to sip throughout your dinner. And at $64.99, it’s also a fabulous hostess gift if you will be a dinner guest.
We usually associate Thanksgiving dinner with serving red wines. That’s because the dark red fruits in these wines bring out the rich flavors and textures of traditional Thanksgiving foods. This Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages complements the flavors of roasted turkey and, my personal favorite, savory sausage stuffing. It’s also a bit lighter than other red wines like Cabernet or Merlot, so if your menu is on the lighter side, this wine has a nice balance that people can enjoy with just about everything on your menu. This is also $14.99 a bottle, which is a nice price, especially if you have a larger family.
Side dishes at Thanksgiving definitely tend to be on the heavy side, so full-bodied red wines will be ideal matches for those. The rich ,blackberry aromas of this Bodega Norton Privada Family Blend make it delicious with buttery mashed potatoes or green bean casserole topped with those crunchy fried onions. Merlot is a classic Thanksgiving pairing, and the plum and currant flavors in this St. Francis Sonoma County Merlot bring out the smoky flavors of turkey or the sweetest of that glaze on the Thanksgiving ham. This also has just a hint of spiciness that goes with everything from those meats to roasted sweet potatoes to blue cheese.
Thanksgiving is a time when you might splurge a bit more on wine than for other occasions, especially for a small gathering, and this Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon is ideal for that. The silky texture and dark fruit flavors pair nicely with the grilled meats and heavy cheeses we tend to enjoy this time of year. If you’re looking for a versatile red wine to give as a hostess gift, at $49.99, this is a great choice for that.
Finally, creamy pastas like lasagna and risotto are also very popular at Thanksgiving. This crisp, fruity Pighin Pinot Grigio complements everything from pasta and risotto to seafood and soups. It’s kind of the little black dress of wines. It goes with everything from appetizers through dessert, so it’s a nice option to have on-hand as your white wine. The other thing I love about this is that it has a twist top on it, so if you don’t finish the bottle, it’s easy to store in the fridge to enjoy with the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Pairing wines with your meal doesn’t have to be complicated. The main thing you want to think about is matching lighter wines with lighter foods, and heavier wines with heartier foods. That way, all of the flavors work together to enhance rather than compete with each other. But, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for figuring out what you like and enjoying that with your meal.
To learn more about wine – and find local retailers for any of these wines, check out Kobrand’s website at Wine365.com. Cheers!
Sponsored by Kobrand Wine & Spirits. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.