Wine Pairing Your Thanksgiving Feast

The aromas and flavours of a Thanksgiving feast are as varied as the guest list.  So why not have an offering of varietals that compliment the diverse fare as well as individual tastes?  Take a look at our run down of Thanksgiving wine pairing options that will delight your party and enhance the outstanding flavors of your meal to boot.


Champagne/Sparkling Wine:

Thanksgiving is a holiday to be celebrated with loved ones so it only makes sense to kick off the festivities with a sparkler.  Its light, crisp quality plays nicely with a variety of foods and cleanses the palate between bites while the bubbles only enhance the textures of the meal.

Venturi Schulze,Brut Naturel, Vancouver Island, BC

This dry bottle-fermented, sulfite-free Canadian sparkler is a Pinot Gris blend that will compliment the food with notes of fall fruits and honey while the soft acidity and bubbles will cleanse the palate and balance the richness of the meal.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label NV, Champagne, France

When planning to splurge on a fantastic champagne under three figures, Veuve Clicquot will always be my go-to.  With ample yeast balanced with fresh acidity and subtle minerality, the long lasting bubbles and clean, yet creamy nectar will carry you through a festive Thanksgiving meal and even a Fitzgeraldian night of revelry. 



A dry Riesling is refreshing accompaniment and palate cleanser for your turkey day feast.  The light bodied white typically imparts floral and citrus aromas and notes, then finishes off with crisp acidity that balances the buttered yams and dripping-soaked stuffing, effectively cleansing the palate for bite after delicious bite.

Mission Hills, Martin’s Lane Riesling, Okanagan Valley

This significantly drier Martin’s Lane Riesling is crafted in a German style from estate grapes on Mission Hills’ steepest hillsides and is as delightful as it is economical.

Chateau Montelena, Potter Valley Riesling

This classic style, dry Riesling opens with rose, peach and apple before it tangos with mineral, apricot and white peach across your tongue then takes a bow with a long, crisp finish. 



Chardonnay can be a magnificent addition to your Thanksgiving table.  That said, going with an oaked chardonnay, like a Sonoma, Napa or Russian River Valley, California chard is a must.  The essence of fall fruits, honeysuckle, vanilla, butter and pie crust, imparted by the full-bodied, oaked chardonnay, will not only stand up to the smorgasbord of flavors on the table, it will mimic the butter and nuttiness, add richness to the fats and elevate the flavors of sage, caramel and drippings of dark meat in your stuffing.  To create an unforgettable Thanksgiving dance in your mouth, check out these recommendations:

Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

There is a reason this California chard beat the French at their own game in 1976.  This exquisitely complex wine has the perfect balance of oaked creaminess and firm acidity that will offer your guests an unparalleled treat!

La Crema, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

This economical Chardonnay is widely available throughout Canada and won’t drain your wallet.  You’ll get more of a butter blast with this wine, but will be rewarded with nice citrus notes and acidity.


Pinot Noir:

Pinot Noir is an exquisite grape with orgasmic subtlety, which is significantly impacted by terroir as well as climate.  For an ideal Thanksgiving pairing, opt for a more fruit-forward Pinot from a warmer climate like California.  Although the northern Pinot Noirs from Canada, Oregon, Washington or Burgundy are magnificent, they are possibly too subtle to stand up to the wide array of flavous at the Thanksgiving table.  The light body, low tannins and explosive flavors of cherry and cranberry are an uplifting experience when paired with glazed ham and cranberry relish.  Further, the natural spice and earthy quality to this red gem with make the herbs and spices in your turkey and stuffing tantalize your taste buds.

Hahn Estate Pinot Noir, California

This bold Pinot delivers cherry and black fruits on the nose then delights your palate with fruit forward flavors of red plum, allspice and a rich, fuller bodied texture.

Sanford Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California

This winery, featured in the film Sideways, offers a vibrant Pinot Noir with aromas of bing cherry, raspberry and rhubarb, topped off with spicy herbs and white pepper.  The silky palate slips you spice and raspberry alongside light, ripe tannins and dazzling acidity. 

Tags: champagne, chardonnay, Diet, pinot noir, riesling, sparkling wine, thanksgiving wine pairing

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