“I’m sure you’re asked this question every year,” the email began, “but this is our first year hosting the big family Thanksgiving dinner, and we were wondering: What kind of wine should we serve?”
The emailer’s assumption was absolutely correct; we do get this question every year. But the topic is worth exploring because the Thanksgiving meal is like no other the rest of the year.
The challenge comes from the wide variety of foods you’re likely to serve. Even though we tend to focus on the main course, this isn’t just about selecting a wine to pair with turkey.
The first thing to keep in mind is that Thanksgiving is one day to keep the big, bold, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon sealed, and to opt for wines that are lighter in style.
Among white wines, solid choices are off-dry Riesling, Albarino and Vinho Verde.
Among reds, Pinot Noir, various Spanish varieties and Sangiovese all work very well.
Thanksgiving also is a great day to uncork rosé-style wines, as well as sparkling wines. Both are inherently food-friendly, a good trait to have for such an eclectic meal.
Ultimately, we suggest opening up several different types of wine, and letting your guests figure out their favorites.