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The Obligatory Article on Thanksgiving Wines


thanksgiving wines, choosing wines for thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there's no way any wine commentator can get away without talking about how to pick wines for this Holiday. And truly - wines for the day are a must - most people are spending the day with family and require a bit of alcohol to make it through - and selecting the right wine presents some challenges. Your Thanksgiving wine must meet a few key criteria:
    1) it has to be something that everyone at the table will like
    2) it has to go with the bird AND all the fixin's
    3) it has to be special enough for a celebration

Depending on the size of your group, my first recommendation would be to serve at least two wines, including at minimum a white and a red. The variety makes it fun, and if you have family or guests that just won't drink one or the other, you're set. And if someone only drinks White Zin, just suck it up and grab a bottle of Sutter Home. This isn't a time to get wine-preachy.

My second recommendation is to choose wines that are as versatile as possible. This is not the occasion to bring out a fruit bomb or some big, tannic behemoth. Turkey is lean and light in flavor, so these type of 'extreme' wines will overwhelm the bird and don't have the range to go with all the other accompaniments. Some varietals to look for are Pinot Noir, Riesling (dry or just slightly off-dry). If you opt for one of the more full-bodied varietals, such as Chardonnay or Syrah, look for choices that aren't too oaky and that still have a good backbone of acidity.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can find 'special' wines at all price points. What you pick doesn't have to be expensive for you to get something your guests will enjoy!

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