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Best Thanksgiving Wines to Bring to the Table.
By Maren Swanson • November 13th, 2018
Thanksgiving is all about the food, but most of the time, there’s usually a lot of wine involved too. Yasss! I’ve never really thought about it too much, but it does seem like a good idea to understand what types of wine will pair better with the food you are serving on Thanksgiving. Because, duh, I want “hostess with the mostess” status, and the wrong wine can mess with the flavors of certain foods. This year, I wanted to do it right, so I found an expert; a certified sommelier!
The Food Pervert and I had recently finished a video on the Best Trader Joe's Rosé Wines under $10, so we decided to expanded our video library and do one on the Best Wines to Bring to the Thanksgiving Table. Her friend and sommelier, Pierson Ryan, loved our Rosé video and was stoked to help us pick out some great wines to pair with your classic Thanksgiving dishes. We got together, tasted his line-up of wines, and fell in love with the flavors! Check out our Best Thanksgiving Wines to Bring to the Table video.
Bonus? If you live in L.A., you can enjoy some of these at local restaurants (we tell you where in the video, but I'll let you know that they serve the Pfendler Pinot Noir at The Ivy.) If you don't live in our Los Angeles, no worries, we've provided links below for you and you can always email Pierson to get them directly from him at LA@freerunjuice.com.
Starting the festivities early? Perhaps your family helps you cook or everyone starts watching football way before dinner, but regardless, Pierson recommends starting with something light and bubbly, like Prosecco. You can drink it alone or with OJ, but it’s a nice option to get the day going and it pairs will with a many types of appetizers or salty snacks. Try this bottle: 2017 Casalini Prosecco Brut (around $13/bottle).
This sparkling wine will give you aromas of white flowers, apricot and herbs create a delicately soft bouquet. The palate is comprised of citrus, orange blossoms and stone fruits. It's an ideal apertif and the perfect choice for celebrations.
Sauvignon Blanc is always a great white wine to bring as well, but why not try bringing a Sancerre this year? FYI, a Sancerre is a Sauvingnon Blanc, but it sounds fancier and it's from France. Tres chic, plus it’s nice to switch things up once in ahwile, right? He suggests: 2017 Domaine Fournier Sancerre. This particular bottle has some soft citrus notes with nice minerality and a dry finish. This wine would go well with stuffing, green bean casserole and even hold its own with the turkey.
Want a more full-bodied white wine? Pierson opts for the 2016 Pascal Renaud Macon Villages, a white Burgundy (100% Chardonnay wine) that's crisp with ripe fruit (melon, peach) with mineral overtones. Delicious.
While white wines are always popular, so are the reds! Pinot Noir is a Thanksgiving no-brainer. This lighter bodied red wine is often a fan favorite, and when you find the right one, the turkey and Pinot pairing can be nothing short of amazing. Pierson suggested the Pfendler Pinot Noir (we had the 2014 vintage) and he was right on the money. This wine is incredible and has great value! I tasted notes of blackberry, chocolate and a baking spices.
If you’re looking for a more full-bodied option for Thanksgiving, try going with a red wine blend instead of a Cabernet Sauvignon, which can be a little overpowering when paired with turkey. The 2015 B-Wise Wisdom, was modeled after the ever-popular Prisoner, and is a Zinfandel-Cabernet blend (with a little Syrah & Merlot) with ripe blackcherry and blackberry fruits, plus touches of warm cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove (about $32 a bottle).
If you want to bring/buy just one bottle, the Prosecco or Pinot Noir will always win, but perhaps it's time to step outside of your wine comfort zone and grab a bottle that will impress and excite. Happy Thanksgiving!