Amelia’s Picks: Five Wines for Your Thanksgiving Table

There’s absolutely no reason to stress about what wine to serve—or bring—to your Thanksgiving feast. While certain wines pair better with turkey than others, the truth is that there are so many different flavors on the plate, you’re bound to find a match with something. Besides, how much of the wine drinking happens before dinner while you are snacking on appetizers, or after dinner, when you are leaning back and regretting that second slice of pie? In other words, just choose a bottle that you know you like, and you’ll be happy.

If you want a few more guidelines, then try this—choose lower-tannin, fruitier wines rather than dryer, more structured ones. Pinot Noir rather than Cabernet Sauvignon, for example.

Here are a few classic choices to go along with Thanksgiving:

Red

Beaujolais Nouveau

Made to drink young at the end of harvest season, this “new” wine is a fresh and fruity, easy-to-drink gamay that often has a little bit of spritz to it due to the special fermentation process. The flavors tend toward strawberry and banana, believe it or not, so it goes really well with turkey and cranberry sauce. You can even chill it a little, which makes it a refreshingly light drink.

We are carrying the Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Nouveau, which is made from estate-grown fruit. It doesn’t have the flashy fun label that distinguishes other Nouveaus, but it tastes good!

Valdiguie

A relatively unknown red grape, Valdiguie makes a vividly pink-purple wine bursting with fruit and spice. To me, it tastes like cherries and cranberries and cloves, and like Beaujolais Nouveau can be lightly chilled for serving. Lighter in body, it won’t slow you down when you are contemplating another spoonful of sweet potatoes.

We have the J Lohr California Wildflower Valdiguie this year, which has the added bonus of coming in a pretty, gifty bottle.

White

Chenin Blanc and Viognier

Pine Ridge makes a delicious blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier. The Chenin grape makes a crisp, yet fruity wine in a variety of styles, from still to sparkling. Viognier tends to be rich and less dry. This particular blend balances a honeyed fruit with a nice acidity that pairs really well with turkey, sweet potatoes, and appetizers.

Rose

Grenache, Cinsaut, and Syrah

Cote Mas Rose Aurore is one of our best-selling roses! There are three reasons for this: 1) It’s organic, 2) It’s a liter of wine for $11, and 3) It’s delicious. Fruity, with a balancing crisp acidity, this wine will easily carry you from appetizers all the way through dinner. It’s pretty and fresh, and a real crowd pleaser.

Sparkling

Champagne

For a nice splurge, consider a bottle of “Grower Champagne” like Collet Brut Art Deco. To truly be called Champagne, a sparkling wine needs to be made from specific grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier) in the Champagne region of France.

Grower Champagne is made with the fruit of a single estate, so it tends to have a little more character and variety than the big, famous Champagne houses who need their wines to be consistent. Champagne is fantastic with appetizers and dessert, and is tasty throughout the meal as well.

Happy sipping!

~Amelia

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