There's a little-known secret about wines for Thanksgiving: Not everything goes with turkey. So when good matches are found—such as Riesling and pinot noir—hosts often stick with them. Ready to escape that tradition? Read on.
White wines sporting a combination of mouth-filling body in a tantalizing dry, tangy, and refreshing package can be superb Thanksgiving choices. Try Australian blends featuring the refreshing Sémillon grape to get a sense of this serendipitous balancing act. Often, you'll find Sauvignon Blanc in the blend, which tosses zippy citrus flavors into the mix.
If you're holding out for American wine on this American holiday, just grab a gris — pinot gris, that is, from California or the Pacific Northwest. These too can give you Thanksgiving-perfect poise and panache.
For some folks, if it's not red, it's not wine. But to achieve turkey-day success, consider reds that are somewhat on the light side and definitely fruity, maybe even a tad tart.
One wine you may not know, but which is tailor-made for holiday tables, is Carmenère. This French exile has lately taken root in Chile, yielding exciting, medium-bodied red wines, with loads of fresh, red fruit flavors and soft, ripe tannins.
For an atypical red wine option, perhaps consider another Old World import: Sangiovese, from Italy. The California versions of this bright, shining star of Chianti can be sumptuously juicy and mouth-watering, matching up well with all sorts of Thanksgiving fare, and keeping your food-wine pairing from turning into, well, a real turkey.
Whether you'd like to try something different or stick to tradition, this month you should try the Meiomi Pinot Noir
or Korbel Brut Sparkling
. And if you're looking for multiple options that will make all of your friends and family members happy, check out our Top 10 Thanksgiving Wines list.