Riesling is a white wine that can either be bone dry or fairly sweet; excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet. Whether from Alsace, Germany or Washington – Riesling wines are a top pick for a white wine for pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Riesling’s innate flavors of apple, apricot and honey and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat, and spice-laden or herb-filled stuffing.
Nothing like a great story to go with a great wine…Dave Phinney is the winemaker behind Prisoner and the Orin Swift brand. When Dave sold Prisoner, he signed an 8 year non-compete clause where he wasn’t allowed to produce another Zinfandel-based wine. This release is Dave’s return to Zinfandel. Like Prisoner, this is a red blend that is mainly Zinfandel. The reason I like this so much for Thanksgiving is due to the use of Petite Sirah and Syrah in the wine. For those guests who prefer a red wine to pair with the spices used in the traditional side dishes.
Winemaker Joe Wagner made a name for himself with the release of Meiomi Pinot Noir. Meiomi was a blend of pinot grapes from 3 different regions in California. For this higher end pinot, Joe sources grapes from the famous vineyard in the Russian River section of Sonoma County. I think that Pinot Noir is the likely favorite red wine for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir’s earthy characteristics, balanced with red fruit undertones, always pair well with turkey, stuffing and cranberry.
I know that there are some families that go turkey-less for Thanksgiving. If you go in a different direction and serve an entrée like beef wellington or perhaps short ribs, try this amazing cabernet-based Bordeaux blend from the Napa Valley.