With so much to be thankful during the holidays, one of our biggest treats is selecting the wine we will be drinking at Thanksgiving dinner. Our selections are based on personal preference as well as what might pair well and what we know our friends enjoy.
The number one rule when looking for wines for a special occasion: DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE!
We cannot stress this any more, open a bottle that you really want to have. Who cares if someone tells you that it will not pair well with ham or sweet potato. If you like it, drink it.
Your First Drink
You must start your day with a bubbly glass of sweetness. You need a Bellini or a Mimosa. Your Bellini is a simple combo of peach juice and Prosecco and your Mimosa is simply Champagne and orange juice.
Lillet Blanc – You’ll serve this chilled to get your palate ready for the big meal. Drop in some citrus and it adds to the crispness of this sweet wine.
- Rose – Everybody needs bubbles and even though you have started slightly sweet why not add just a bit more effervescence to your meal. Not all Rose’ are sparkling but you should consider a Rose’ from Provence if you are looking for the best.
- Pinot Grigio – This northern Italian treasure can be a crisp addition to your early wine offerings at Thanksgiving. If you enjoy dry white wines this is where you should be. The minerals and subtle fruit make this an ideal warm weather wine but you’ll be surprised how the mood brightens when the Pinot Grigio is opened on a cool fall day.
- Sancerre – This is the complex Sauvignon Blanc that you’ll become enamored with. The herbal notes give way to green fruits.
- Pinot Noir – This medium-bodied wine pairs well with so many foods and can get a bit too fruit forward. Old World Pinot Noir are a bit more earthy while New World leans toward the fruit.
- Barolo – Let me be completely honest, Barolo is on this list because this is the wine that I want to drink. I would bathe in the Nebbiolo grape if it was socially acceptable. I enjoy the big flavors and the complex structure of a Barolo. You can have with food or you can sit on the back porch and have it with a view.
- Barbera – When the budget calls for great flavor but less expensive wine Barbera is the choice. It grows in the same region as Barolo but it typically is found lower on the hill and it does not get as much of the fanfare. That’s good because your wine selection should not be based on price it should be based on what you enjoy. If you lean toward Italian reds, this is might be your go-to wine on a weeknight with friends or at Thanksgiving dinner.