Wine & food pairings to make your Thanksgiving a little less stressful


If the Pilgrims had any foresight at all,

the featured courses at the first Thankgiving meal

would have been dishes that we

regularly make and routinely master. 

Like scrambled eggs.   

Or chili. 


But no.


Instead, the menu is replete with


because-I-haven’t-cooked-it-since-last-Thanksgiving items

such as turkey, stuffing, yams, pumpkin pie, etc. 


As if you needed more pressure,

everything better be perfect. 

It is, after all, the most anticipated meal of the year.


It’s enough to make the Thanksgiving Day cook

pour themselves a tall glass…maybe a tumbler…of wine.




Let us offer some assistance.   

We can’t help you avoid making gummy mashed potatoes. 

We can help you cut through the clutter

on the dreaded wall of wine

with some sure-fire pairings that could/should

divert attention from any lumpy gravy or stiff pie crusts.


Rather than calling out specific wines,

we’ll make your shopping even easier

by recommending varietals…types of wine…

that will work seamlessly from start to finish

as the big feast unfolds.




Complex canapes or carrot sticks.

  Whatever your appetizers might be,

this trio works with any and all. 


Sparking wine is a terrific choice to get things started. 

The bubbles complement most every flavor

while launching the festivities on a very festive note.


A savory rosé is remarkably versatile

and may not enhance every flavor but it won’t get in the way. 


You’ll likely find viognier

in the “miscellaneous white” section. 

It’s worth seeking out. 

I love viognier’s crisp, fruit-forward character.


By the way, if you’d rather stick

with just one type of wine all meal long,

you’d be fine to just keep pouring

either or all of these three types of wine.

main course


We’re going to assume

 your main meal features the usual suspects…

turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and the like. 

If so, go pinot. 

 Pinot noir…especially Oregon pinot…shows flavors

of cherry, raspberry and cranberry,

making it completely compatible with cranberry sauce. 

It also works quite well with savory foods and roasted dishes…

covering a lot of territory included in the Thanksgiving spread. 


 For your white-drinking guests,

a dry to semi-dry riesling is a good choice. 

A quality riesling will be bright and zesty

with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. 

Like pinot noir, it will mesh well

with the wide variety of Thanksgiving dinner food flavors. 

Notice we said “quality”. 

An inexpensive overly-sweet riesling won’t do the trick.




When you move on to dessert,

fight fire with fire

or, in this case, sugar with sugar. 


A fortified sweet wine, Port can taste like

caramel, chocolate, almonds or cinnamon. 

Any and all of those flavors go perfectly

with dessert’s sweet onslaught. 


For something completely different,

try a dessert wine.   

There are plenty to pick from

including late-harvest riesling, Vin Santo,

Sauterne and ice wine. 

They’re all rich, semi-to-super sweet

and can all hold their own

with the gooiest, stickiest dessert

that comes their way.




But the #1 rule to remember

about the Thanksgiving meal and wine,

regardless of what wine you serve,

don’t run out! 


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!