Here Are the Best Wines for Your Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving dinner is about more than how you cook the bird and who prepares the best side dishes. Foodies and sommeliers agree that what makes the meal complete is a good bottle of wine. Chestnut's own Renee Childers was interviewed by The Food Network about what she recommends you serve this year.
From the article:
The turkey is the main event at Thanksgiving, but the bottle that goes with the bird is nearly as important. “Wine is what makes the Thanksgiving table exciting,” says Henk Schuitemaker, sommelier at Angus Barn, a steakhouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, that’s renowned for its wine program. “You have your traditional spread of everything, but what’s different, what’s exciting, what’s unique? Wine can be that element that does that.”
How, though, do you pick a bottle that checks all the boxes of feeling festive, pairing with your Thanksgiving spread and satisfying a plethora of palates? Above all, experts say you should drink what you like (and remember that a great wine doesn’t have to be expensive!). But if you need a little guidance or want to branch out from the usual suspects, follow these wine pros’ recommendations to find your best bottle.
Bet on bubbles
Champagne screams celebration, but it also happens to be exceptionally food-friendly and can take you from apps to dessert.
Michael Kennedy, a vintner, sommelier and founder of the Component Wine Company, is a fan of rosé champagne. When paired with turkey, he says that it “cuts fat from the buttery, crispy skin and gravy, enhances the sweetness of the protein and plays well aromatically with winter spices."
But when it comes to bubbles, you’re not limited to Champagne. “Within the bubbles family you’ve also got prosecco from Italy, cava from Spain and California sparkling wines. If someone has sweeter tooth, try a dolcetto from Alba in Piedmont,” Schuitemaker says. He also reveals that many wine shops offer special deals on Champagne this time of year, and it never hurts to ask your local wine shop if they offer a discount for buying in bulk.
Shannon McGaughey, the co-owner of Vivian in Asheville, kicks off Thanksgiving with a brut sparkling rosé like a Spanish cava (brut refers to the level of dryness, which indicates lower levels of residual sugar). She’s particularly fond of cava from Penedès, a region in Catalonia. “It’s a great match for the wide spread of different appetizers that tend to appear before dinner, and since it maintains dryness and strawberry undertones at the same time, it tends to be a crowd pleaser,” she says.
For those whose palates skew sweeter, Renee Childers, who oversees the wine program at Chestnut in Asheville, points to sparkling reds, such as a lambrusco from Lombardy, Italy. “It’s a deep-red, sparkling wine that is fruity and rich with a balance of berries and minerality,” she says.