Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner: "Just bring the wine..."

Have you ever been asked to "just bring the wine" for Thanksgiving dinner? If so, admit it, you probably spent days researching and trying to figure out which wine to bring to the table, literally...Thanksgiving dinner can be a pretty tough wine pairing task.  Between the turkey, sides, creamy gravy, roasted veggies, stuffing and the sweet dessert pies, choosing the right wines can be a daunting assignment, especially with the thousands of choices available out there. Because Thanksgiving dinner has so many different elements, I don't believe it necessary to break the bank and buy expensive wines, because frankly, it would be tough to appreciate them fully with so much going on on the table. From the Hors d'oeuvres and starters, to the main entrée and dessert, I have made a list of good options for wines, at affordable  prices. I'll save you all the details of each wine (you can always look that up on the Internet) and will list some favorites. I also avoided the wines that are impossible to find in store and that can only be purchased online, because I believe in instant gratification :)

Toasting/Hors d'oeuvres:

A bubbly is definitely the way to go:

  • Roederer Estate Brut, California sparkling wine ($19)
  • Korbel Brut – Made with Organically Grown Grapes ($16)
  • Mumm Napa Brut Prestige ($20)
  • Korbel Sweet Rosé ($14 ~ I am not a Rosé fan but some people will certainly enjoy this one if they are not into the Brut kind of bubbly)


A brightly flavored white will work best for starters, such as:

  • La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon Blanc 2010 ($8)
  • Francis Ford Coppola Bianco Pinot Grigio 2010 ($13)
  • Hugel Classic Pinot Gris 2007 ($20 ~ Very fun label too!)
  • Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($11)

Main Course:

Choose a fruity red wine with lower tannin levels. Good examples of that are Pinot Noir, Beaujolais (serve slightly chilled) and the all-american Zinfandel. Also on my list is Italian wine like a Sangiovese wine.

  • Pennywise Pinot Noir 2009 ($11)
  • Duboeuf Beaujolais Village 2009 ($12)
  • 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2008 ($19)
  • Terra d'Oro Sangiovese 2007 ($22)


The most important part of a meal, in my humble opinion :) , a dessert wine is a great way to end a meal or pair with cheese.  A sweet Riesling, a Moscato, sherry or port, should do the trick:

  • Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2010 ($17)
  • Cupcake Vineyards Riesling 2010 ($13)
  • Osborne Pedro Ximenez 1827 Sherry Spain ($19)
  • Dow's Fine Tawny Port ($15)

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