Thanksgiving 2020 will certainly be different than years prior. Many of us won’t be going home for the holidays, while others will be lining up for Covid-19 tests . A few of us may be celebrating “friendsgiving” with our pods, and the bravest among us will go virtual this year.
But no matter where we are or who we’re with — whether we’re eating Mom’s roast turkey or turkey sandwiches from the corner deli — great drinks are sure to be part of the festivities, especially for the VinePair team.
From family favorites to special-occasion bottles, here’s what the VinePair team will be sipping on Turkey Day.
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“When it comes to Thanksgiving, I really love Gamay, that grape made famous by Beaujolais. You may have had it before in Beaujolais Nouveau (the fresh, first pressing of newly harvested Gamay that’s become sort of a gimmick during this holiday), but that is not what I am advocating bringing to the Thanksgiving table. I’m talking about bringing Cru Beaujolais, the complex, interesting wine made from the grape that pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving fare and won’t break the bank. And because it’s an American holiday, I’m not just going to bring a bottle of French Cru Beaujolais, but an American version of the wine as well, because I find it’s always fun to compare wines at a dinner like this. For the Cru Bojo, I love Chignard Juliénas ‘Beauvernay’ 2017. It’s a great example of Cru Beaujolais at only about $25 a bottle. I’ll grab a couple of bottles of it from Astor Wines; a few I’ll open and a few I’ll save for later. Cru Bojo ages really nicely if you’re into that sort of thing. Normally I’d buy the American version I plan to bring, Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Gamay Noir 2018, from Astor, too, but it’s currently sold out. So I’ll place that order through Wine.com. Evening Lands is a project of celebrity somm Rajat Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman, and this Gamay they make in Oregon is absolutely delicious, crushable, and perfect for the holiday.” —Adam Teeter, co-founder and CEO
“This Thanksgiving, I plan on drinking a 2010 Monteviejo Lindaflor La Violeta Malbec. It’s a bottle I’ve been holding onto for a special occasion for a few reasons: I first became interested in wine when I was living in Argentina, and I received this as a gift a few years ago just after I moved to New York. Now feels like the perfect time to open it — and Malbec is so food-friendly, it promises to pair well with all the flavors on the Thanksgiving table.” —Tim McKirdy, staff writer
“On Thanksgiving, I usually bust out a few special bottles … of beer, of course! Although I’m not sure they’ll make it out of my apartment this year, I have two picked out: For dinner, I’m looking at a 2019 bottle of 3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek, an extremely special sour cherry lambic from Belgium (from a town called Beersel; can’t make this stuff up). For dessert, I have a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout from 2019, Cafe de Olla. It’s aged in bourbon barrels with cold-brew coffee, cassia bark (cinnamon), and orange peel. The base beer is rich and chocolatey, and it’s almost 14 percent ABV. At first, I figured it’d be my best bet for warming up while standing six feet away from my parents’ house, but if Covid foils our plans, it’ll pair really well with watching my husband play the new ‘Assassin’s Creed,’ too. And oddly enough, we bought both bottles at Wegmans!” —Cat Wolinski, associate editor
“I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but I finally got to celebrate with my friends last year. Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I always picture wine. It just feels right, and how I always imagine what an American Thanksgiving looks like. This year, I’ll be bringing the Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2017 from the Catena Zapata winery. I’ve been holding on to this for a special occasion, and I think Thanksgiving would be the perfect occasion for this wine.” —Gerry Selian, junior designer
“I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with my brother and his fiancée this year, so I have a feeling we’ll be drinking Pinot Noir from their favorite vineyard, Gundlach Bundschu in Sonoma.” —Katie Brown, editorial associate
“Being Canadian, I celebrated Thanksgiving last month and drank a Syrah from the southern part of the Okanagan Valley. This one from C.C. Jentsch was incredibly versatile with brambly blueberry, dark cherry, and plum flavors. The richness and complexity was perfectly comforting in these strange times.” —Nicole McKay, editorial intern
“My family and I go through a lot of wine during holidays, so my approach is always versatile wines that are crowd-pleasers and reasonably priced enough to buy a few bottles. This Antonio E Raimondo Barbera is my top wine of the year — it’s an absolute banger at $12, and will be poured en masse at Thanksgiving. It’s vibrant and refreshing with a slight chill, but fantastic and juicy at room temp when space in the refrigerator is nonexistent. I get it locally from Wi(not) in Brooklyn.” —Jeff Licciardello, director of marketing
“This Thanksgiving, we’ll kick things off with French 75s made with Tanqueray 10 to get us in the festive mood. When the food is ready, we’ll be opening The Discussion from Duckhorn to accompany the conversation around the table. We’ll wrap things up with a glass of our favorite dessert wine, Royal Tokaji. It reminds us of spending New Years in Hungary … you know, back when traveling was a thing.” —Jason Russell, senior director of brand partnerships
“My family treats Thanksgiving as an ‘open-that-bottle’ type of night (the bottles you are ‘saving’ for a special occasion but haven’t gotten around to enjoying yet). This year, I’ll be contributing with this bottle of Xinomavro from Naoussa, Greece. It will be a unique add to the table for my family, and the notes and aromas are sure to be a real treat!” —Jenny Riddell, director of brand partnerships & events
“On Thanksgiving, I’m going to drink this Syrah from Frenchtown Farms. Awesome organic producer, and I love a bold red unfiltered/unfined. Picking it up from Starr Wines.” —Emma Cranston, editorial intern
“It’s just a few of us gathering, so we’re opening bottles from a trip to Napa and Sonoma we took together and to celebrate a time when we could travel. In the spirit of the holiday, we will specifically be giving thanks to all of the firefighters and first responders in the region for their bravery and keeping these national treasures safe. We’ll be drinking what we picked up directly from the vineyards: a Blanc de Blancs from J Vineyards and a 2015 Clos du Val Estate Pinot Noir from Carneros, Napa Valley.” —Liz Cronin, VP of brand partnerships
“My family has this really weird tradition of making Piña Coladas on Thanksgiving. I grew up with huge gatherings, so obviously this year will be a bit different, and we won’t need to break out a punch bowl. I’ll likely end up buying a pre-made Piña Colada mix at the supermarket, but for the liquor — probably Cruzan Aged Light Rum.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director