While hosting Thanksgiving can be great fun, it can also create a ton of stress and anxiety. Having to manage friends, family, the menu and when to serve everything is enough to worry about without also having to think about the wine. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the 6 essential wines for Thanksgiving. Stick with these and you can check the wine off of your to-do list.
- Cabernet Franc
Cab Franc is a deliciously peppery wine that just screams Thanksgiving. Cab Franc is usually utilized as a minority grape in creating the French Bordeaux blend, but when the wine is allowed to stand alone, it really sings. It will go well with all of your dishes. One of our favorites would be the Cab Franc made by Bedell Cellars.
One of the easiest ways to get your through the day is by welcoming your guests with a glass of sparkling wine. Since you’re probably going to be hosting a large group of people, there’s no need to splurge. Our choice is Jaume Serra Cava, which you can find for around $10.
- Pinot Noir
Pinot is a light enough red to be drunk throughout the entire meal, from the soup to the pie. For Thanksgiving we love Pinot that comes for the Fingerlakes region of New York. We’d recommend the Pinot made by Heart & Hands Winery.
A Chardonnay with a light amount of oak is perfect for this time of year. The kiss of vanilla on the wine helps it go well with both the meat and the vegetables. To us, this style of Chardonnay just makes us think of fall. A Chardonnay that we think exhibits this style well is Domaine De Brau Chardonnay.
Unless you’re planning to deep-fry your turkey this year, the main course can often wind up incredibly bland. A great way to deal with this is by pairing your bird with a wine that has lots of umami, that fifth and elusive taste chefs are always trying to capture. Syrah is a wine that often contains umami, so make sure there are plenty of bottles of it on the table; it will be a great foil for the bland bird. We recommend Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Poussuer.”
- House Wine
Toward the end of the meal, as groups start moving from the table to the couches, you want to have a wine people can still sip on as they continue to visit. By this time, people are going to be pretty overwhelmed from all the flavors the meal had to offer, so we like to go with a wine that is easy to drink and easy on your wallet. Our Pick: La Vielle Ferme, a great easy-drinking wine from the Rhone region of France.