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Thanksgiving Wines

by Staff Writer - R. Meoki | April 03, 2011

Traditionally white wine is served with poultry such as turkey. But there are many more options available to you that you might want to consider. You can choose a robust wine, like Merlot to go with the gravy and meat. An overall good red wine choice to consider is a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. Chardonnay has long enjoyed a prime place at the Thanksgiving table, and is a safe option. Some aromatic white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Riesling.

White Thanksgiving Wines

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White wines have long been a traditional choice to be served with a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. A dry and fruity Chardonnay can be served with anything from appetizers through the entire meal. If you would like a white wine that has a lighter flavor then you might prefer a Riesling. Riesling wines have a lighter floral aroma and softer fruit flavors which will blend well with various traditional seasonings. If you prefer a more crisp white wine, then then you may want to serve Sauvignon Blanc which has a stronger fruit acidity for a stronger character thanksgiving wine. Another white wine that is sometimes harder to find is Gewurztraminer. It has an intense aroma but can be perfect alongside cranberry sauce, stuffing and spicy side dishes.

Red Thanksgiving Wines

Much of the enjoyment of Thanksgiving dinner is the wonderful aromas found throughout the house while the meal is being prepared. To add to that delight, Pinot Noir is a very aromatic red Thanksgiving wine that will add its own appeal. Pinot Noir usually has a light body and a soft texture and will complement many flavors of Thanksgiving dinner, and has been the more traditional red wine served with turkey at Thanksgiving. Another red Thanksgiving wine to consider is Beaujolais. Beaujolais is the first wine of the harvest in November in the Beaujolais region in France. It is a fresh and appealing wine that is made from the Gamay grape. It is served slightly chilled and would go along well with all dishes of a Thanksgiving meal. If you prefer a more heart, full-bodied red Thanksgiving wine then you may want to select Syrah or Zinfandel. These two flavorful red wines can help balance the more spicy dishes that are served alongside a Thanksgiving dinner.

Rose Thanksgiving Wines

If you prefer a wine that complements, but will not overpower the Thanksgiving meal you are serving, then you may want to select a dry Rose Thanksgiving Wine. Rose Wines tend to go well with almost any dish served and they are a light, crisp and flavorful wine. A dry Rose Thanksgiving wine from California is Grenache, which has a light oak and vanilla flavor. You might consider White Zinfandel, which is light and sweet.

Sparkling Thanksgiving Wines

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Sparkling wines have always been a tradition to serve around the holidays. Champagne is a good standard choice. A sparkling wine that is “extra dry” and not “brut” (the driest) should be pleasing to everyone. “Extra dry” means that the sparkling wine will have fuller fruit flavors and be a little softer than the “brut”. You may choose a less expensive sparkling wine option, so rather than selecting Champagne, choose a California Sparkling Wine. If you prefer a flavor that is fruitier and slightly sweeter, then a White Zinfandel is a good choice because it will blend nicely with cranberries, sweet potatoes and stuffing.

The best idea may be have a small selection of Thanksgiving wines available, one from each category of red wine, white wine, rose wine and sparkling wine. Even if it is only one bottle from each category, it allows your guests to make their own selection for which flavors they enjoy best with their Thanksgiving meal.

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