​5 Foolproof Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

Wine has always been the best drink to have on Thanksgiving. Beer is too heavy, and cocktails can be potentially disastrous in a room full of estranged relatives.

But, with a wide array of flavors and dishes, picking the right bottle can pose a real challenge. To help navigate all the tastes on the table, here are 5 foolproof wine pairings for classic Thanksgiving dishes. Bon appétit!

1. Glazed Turkey + Pinot Noir or Barbera d’Alba

A slightly sweetened turkey will thrive alongside a medium-bodied Pinot Noir or Barbera d’Alba. Both balance acidity and fruity notes that will compliment the sweet and savory nature of your home-cooked bird. And because they’re lighter in body, you’ll leave plenty of room for…

2. Sweet Potato Mash +Riesling or Gewurtraminer

When these spuds are left to their own devices, they’re actually more savory than sweet. Enjoy a mouthful of this classic side dish with an off-dry white wine like a Riesling or Gewurtraminer.

3. Stuffing + American Chardonnay or Viognier

There’s no Thanksgiving dish that symbolizes the American way of eating quite like stuffing. This medley of carbs, fruits, vegetables, and meats is a bit gluttonous, but oh-so delicious. Wash it down with a full-bodied white wine, like an American Chardonnay or Viognier.

4. Cranberry Sauce + Zinfandel or Rosé

All of the above pairings become meaningless when you douse everything on your plate in cranberry sauce like I do. Compliment its tart and tangy flavors with a Zinfandel or a dry Rosé.

5. Pumpkin or Apple Pie + Riesling or Champagne

Assuming both pies are sweet and sugar-laden (and if they’re not, you’re doing it wrong), they’ll only be more enjoyable with a hefty glass of Riesling or an off-dry sparkling wine, like Cava. If you’re feeling generous—it is Thanksgiving, after all—splurge on a bottle of Champagne or a late-harvest Riesling.

Leora Kalikow is a freelance writer and full-time wine drinker. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.


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