Uncork a great Thanksgiving feast this year with wine. Whether you tend toward reds, whites, or bubbly, there's something here for everyone and everything -- even dessert!
By tradition, more wine is sold for Thanksgiving Day dinner than for any other meal of the year.Plan ahead what wines you will serve right along with your Thanksgiving meal to get the best value for this spectacular day.
In some ways, choosing a single wine for Thanksgiving dinner is difficult, given the great variety of foods and flavors. There's white and dark meat. There are sweet and rich yams, tart cranberries, buttery mashed potatoes, stuffing made with any number of ingredients, and spiced pumpkin pie for dessert. You may want to serve a little of several different types of wine so guests can taste a wine with each dish. Or you may want to pick one good all-purpose wine.
The most important consideration is the wine's taste, how it complements what you're serving, and what you like. There are no hard-and-fast rules for picking the right red or white wine. Whether you favor whites or reds, lighter, livelier, less complex wines go better with the traditional Thanksgiving feast than heavier, more complicated ones. (After all, you don't want everyone to be asleep by 3 p.m.!)
Here's a rundown of wines that are perfect with turkey and all the fixings.
The fine bubbly bite of a great sparkling wine makes any event more lively and special. Serve a flute or two as a starter as guests are arriving -- or at the table; they're wonderful companions for food. If you're serving a sparkling wine with dinner, be sure it is labeled brut (which means it is dry) and not a sweet sparkling wine such as Italy's Asti Spumante.
Though the standby white wine for many is Chardonnay, generally, the oakiness and intensity of most Chardonnays is not ideal for the Thanksgiving feast. Consider instead white wines that are refreshing, tangy, and fruity, such as:
Yes, you can serve red wine with turkey breast. You may not want to serve Cabernet because it is generally too tart and high in tannins to match well with turkey, but you can serve a lighter red. In fact, it is a red wine that has long been the classic choice for Thanksgiving because its light berry brightness contrasts well with the heartiness of the traditional menu. But red wine doesn't stop there. Consider any of the following: