While the turkey might take center stage on most Thanksgiving tables, delicious wine is the finishing touch that can elevate the entire meal. Choosing which bottles to pour might seem daunting, with so many flavors on traditional holiday menus. However, there are options that you can pair with nearly every dish, from Aunt Rosa’s tart cranberry relish to your cousin’s beautiful, unexpected Autumn Vegetable Ombré Gratin.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have long been considered classic choices for Thanksgiving, a well-deserved reputation given their all-around appeal and versatility. Pour a glass and read on to discover why they are exemplary choices for your feast.
Lush, Complex Chardonnay
Chardonnay has many expressions and offers a balance of fruit, notes of baking spice, and a creamy texture. That mix of rich and bright allows the wine to stand up to such a wide array of seasonal flavors.
It’s a luxurious pairing with roasted or even deep-fried turkey. Chardonnay’s adaptability extends beyond the main course. It’s an excellent choice for appetizers and starters, such as artichoke dip or butternut squash soup. And when it comes to mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole, there’s no better option to complement all those buttery, creamy flavors.
We’re pouring our Raeburn High Flier Chardonnay this year, selected from our winemaker’s favorite lots of Russian River Valley fruit. It’s exceptionally flavorful and structured, with notes of apple and pear and a touch of vanilla and toasty oak.
Elegant, Silky Pinot Noir
One of the remarkable qualities of Pinot Noir is its balance of earth, fruit, and acidity. A lighter-bodied red, it is complex yet not too powerful, so it does not overwhelm the menu offerings. It’s a go-to food wine that appeals to a broad spectrum of palates.
The red fruit notes in Pinot Noir, such as cherry and raspberry, provide a lovely contrast to the savory, herb-infused stuffing and the sweet-tart cranberry sauce that is often found on Thanksgiving plates.
Meanwhile, Pinot Noir’s earthy characteristics pair exceptionally well with dishes like wild mushroom stuffing or roasted root vegetables. Its nuanced, umami-enhancing qualities make it an ideal companion to these hearty and flavorful sides, enhancing the dining experience.
Our Raeburn Pinot Noir is a beautiful expression of fruit from Sonoma County. You’ll enjoy each ripe, velvety sip from appetizers through pecan pie.
Other Interesting Bottles
You can’t go wrong with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but if you want to include other options, here are a few additional recommendations:
Sauvignon Blanc: A Crisp and Refreshing Start
Thanksgiving typically begins with a light and refreshing array of appetizers and salads. Sauvignon Blanc, known for its vibrant acidity and lively citrus notes, is an excellent choice to start the meal on a crisp note.
Rosé: A Touch of Sophistication
Another option bursting with juicy flavors, Rosé is another quintessential Thanksgiving wine, offering a bright, fruity contrast to the meal’s richness.
We have a few final Thanksgiving beverage tips. First, keep the serving temperature in mind. An ice bucket or insulated wine chiller helps keep whites refreshingly cool throughout a long meal. We always keep the wine on the table, making refilling glasses easier. And most importantly, remember wine is meant to enhance the overall experience. The most memorable pairings are the ones you and your guests enjoy – don’t stress over making sure every dish has a perfect match.
We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday feast. May your table, your glass, and your hearts be full!