It’s that time of year again – our favorite American culinary holiday! Each year, I strive to take the guesswork out of your Thanksgiving wine pairings. My list features an array of styles to complement each dish of your feast; and I don’t repeat any wines from my previous Thanksgiving articles. This year, I’m showcasing 14 versatile, food-friendly wines to expertly match all of the poultry, salads, sides, and sauces featured on your holiday menu.
From our family at Schneider’s to yours, we wish you a delicious and inventive Thanksgiving feast, and I hope these wines will inspire you in the kitchen.
Lillet Blanc, Bordeaux, France ($23.99):
Greet your guests with a light, refreshing, and dry aperitif. An aperitif sparks the appetite and while it can be as simple as a glass of Champagne, a beautiful wine-based aperitif like Lillet Blanc is a unique alternative. An infusion of flavors like orange citrus, anise, peaches and mint with an herbaceous character explode from the glass. Serve it over ice with an orange peel for a classic French palate teaser.
For salads and sides:
2015 Bichot Saint Veran, Burgundy, France ($19.99):
This classic, unoaked Chardonnay is crisp and refreshing, loaded with bright acidity and nectarine. An affordable white Burgundy, that offers lively citrus and white peach, characteristics that are expressive of the Saint Veran growing appellation, along notes of tart green apple. It expertly pairs with green beans topped in almonds and crunchy, fresh salads.
2011 von Hövel Kabinett Oberemmeler Hutte, Saar, Mosel, Germany ($19.99):
This balanced Riesling is bright and zippy with notes of green apple, Thai basil, and lime. Slightly sweet with a honeyed aroma, spice, and a round texture. This is a pronounced and full-bodied wine to balance sweeter sides like sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and creamed corn.
Lustau Light Fino Jarana, Jerez, Andalucia, Spain ($19.99):
Delight your guests with a special treat they won’t expect. The quintessential Fino Sherry, it is dry, light and aromatic with notes of almonds, hazelnuts citrus, and briny salinity. It pairs beautifully with a range of classic Thanksgiving dishes for the traditionalist.
2017 Sonrío Cuando Llueve Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain ($19.99):
For the Spanish wine lover, serve Albariño. Aromas of green apple, lemon, pear, and pineapple burst from the glass. The palate has a creamy and round texture along with racy acidity to create a balanced and lively white wine.
For the Turkey and meats:
2009 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, CA ($79.99):
This iconic Sonoma estate is a master at crafting lush and hedonistic Pinot Noir. We only have a case of this mature and dramatic holiday red in stock. Pinot Noir and turkey with cranberry sauce are a match made in heaven and this bottling, loaded with fall spice, will give your guests the royal treatment.
2015 De Lancellotti Vineyard Lachini Mountain Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($59.99):
Deep ruby-red with a firm, earthy structure, notes of tart red cherry and violet with white pepper spice and a long finish make it a natural pairing for poultry.
2013 Broman Proprietary Red, Napa Valley, CA ($34.99):
60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Franc from two small vineyards in Napa Valley make up the blend. Aged in French oak for 22 months, it has amazing structure and backbone. Red plum, black cherry, racy acidy, firm tannin, and peppery notes make it ideal for dark and light meat turkey.
2016 Venge Scout’s Honor, Napa Valley ($39.99):
A powerful jolt of blackberry, back raspberry, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick. Spicy nuances and jammy fruit flavors allow this Zinfandel to stand up to the rich Thanksgiving classics.
2015 Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy, France ($36.99):
Cru Beaujolais is the perfect partner for tart fruit sauces and chutneys. It’s medium bodied, low in tannin, and has tons of baking spice and black pepper. This is a serious Gamay loaded with lush and sweet red fruit.
2014 Ferragu Valpolicella Superiore, Verona, Italy ($49.99):
This is an outstanding example of Valpolicella, the dry alternative to Amorone. It is deep, rich, super concentrated, and offers floral aromas with hints of sweet blackberry jam, prune, cinnamon, anise, and clove. Extremely velvety and supple, this is the perfect partner for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
2013 Pégaü Cuvee Reservee Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France ($69.99):
Full-bodied with layers of ripe black fruits like plum and blackberry, with pepper, tobacco leaf, and smoke. Domaine du Pégaü is one of the finest producers in the region, setting a benchmark for quality. It complements sausage or savory beef stuffing.
2016 Barrique Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Rockpile AVA, Sonoma County, CA ($29.99):
Aromas of ripe black cherry, black currant, vanilla, and spice box on the nose. The palate offers fresh, juicy red and black fruit notes along with savory black pepper, clove, cinnamon, cedar, licorice, and violet. Our private label Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied with smooth tannins. This is a round wine with ample structure, so it pairs beautifully with roasted beef tenderloin if you choose to break with tradition.
2013 Casas del Bosque Late Harvest Riesling, Casablanca Valley, Chile ($19.99):
Fortified and late-harvest wines like this gem from Chile, offer sweetness and weight to complement the sugary and robust flavors of Thanksgiving desserts like pumpkin and pecan pie. This offering showcases citrus, ripe cantaloupe, and honey flavors along with rich viscosity.
Visit Elyse Genderson at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill to discover wines you love.