The traditional Thanksgiving meal brings a high-powered spotlight on the turkey, yet most Thanksgiving Day gatherings yield a diverse host of flavors, seasonings, and sauces that extend way beyond white and dark turkey meat. Picking a single Thanksgiving Day wine to go the distance in a meal as varied as Thanksgiving requires a wine that can handle the demands of sweet and savory, protein and fat, butter and cream, spice and sauce all with a food-friendly grace and well-maintained acidity.
My favorite wine varietals for Thanksgiving Day tend to be Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir is a no-brainer when it comes to red wine picks for Turkey Day, the subtle, silky tannins and characteristic balance of acidity in many of today's solid Pinot Noir offerings have an uncanny ability to handle an assortment of food. From fresh, full-flavored herbs and earthy mushroom infusions to the actual turkey meat, stuffing, and traditional sides of cranberry, roasted vegetables, and potatoes with gravy; hands down, Pinot Noir is the red wine winner for Thanksgiving Day.
Sauvignon Blanc brings a healthy dose of acidity and often an innate herbal quality to the Thanksgiving table, giving it an edge when it comes to savory, seasonal stuffing and dishes that are veggie-heavy.
Check out our Top Picks for Thanksgiving Day Wines here. Curious about how to pair various wine varietals with your favorite Thanksgiving Day dishes? Get the skinny on Thanksgiving Day wine pairings here.
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