We start planning our Thanksgiving spread weeks in advance. We order our turkey, select our recipes, and prepare our shopping list. The wine isn’t as much an afterthought as it is something we take for granted. Wine is wine, right?
Well, certain wines pair better with particular foods. What we often call “turkey wines” are wines that help bring out the flavor of the turkey, without overwhelming it. The good news is that you’re not limited to one particular variety.
Here are Amelia’s top four picks for your Thanksgiving table.
Chardonnay is a classic Thanksgiving wine. We prefer French varieties that are lighter on the oak and don’t overpower our turkey. Burgundy, the birthplace of Chardonnay, produces white wines that are restrained and pair well with food. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months alongside Colin’s top growths, Bourgogne delivers a blast of tropical fruit notes, with hints of vanilla and a toasty aroma.
Originally from France’s Rhone Valley, this unique variety has been catching on in California over the past decade or so. Once again, it’s a great choice for your Thanksgiving feast because it won’t overwhelm the meal. Wild Thing Viognier has a beautiful nose of white flowers (jasmine, gardenia, and honesuckle) mingled with aromas of green tea, grapefruit and orange zest, finished with a light kiss of creamy, vanilla oak toast. Super crisp acidity without being puckery tart.
Gruner Veltliner is a dry white wine that you can find almost exclusively in Austria, making up a third of the country’s grape varieties. It’s a great choice for Thanksgiving, because its spicy, mineral flavor pair well with turkey and vegetable sides. Aichenberg is a well-balanced wine with peppery aromas and delicious apricot, lemon, and apple flavors.
So many of the components of our Thanksgiving feast are grown and made right here in Vermont. Why not the wine, too? Iapetus Subduction from Shelburne Vineyards is the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal. This varietal wine is 100% Marquette—it’ll remind you of pinot noir. Marquette grapes grow well in cold climates like ours and produce a fruity wine that’s low in tannins, making it a great match—not overpowering and super drinkable—for turkey and vegetable dishes.
Looking for a full-bodied red? Amelia recommends Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a ruby-red colored, fruit-forward wine, from Italy’s Tuscany region.
It’s Winestock! Get 15% off cases of wine throughout the month of November.