Pairing the Right Wines with Thanksgiving Dinner

Brought to you by JJ's Wine Bar

wine at thanksgiving

This year, Thanksgiving looks and feels a bit different than usual as we strive to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe. Maybe your holiday gathering is smaller this year. Or maybe you have devices streaming online meetings at the table in order to be “together apart.” But even in the strangest of times, we can still find things for which to be grateful.

JJs Wine Bar knows even with the adaptations necessary this year, the Thanksgiving holiday is all about the meal. Let us help you find the right wines to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Hard and Fast Rule

The hard and fast rule of wine is pretty simple: drink what you like. Seriously. If you absolutely hate reds, nothing about the rules of your meal is going to make you like it. If whites will NEVER be your thing, don’t pour yourself a glass with arguably the best meal of the year.

If you have a broad range of preferences or are open to new suggestions, here are some ideas.

Pair with the Whole Meal

Most sommeliers recommend ignoring the turkey itself and instead aiming for a wine that can complement the entire meal. And with the variety of textures and flavors found at Thanksgiving, that is a big ask of a wine. As much as wine connoisseurs often seek complexity in wine, this meal actually benefits from lower complexity wines. And aim for a lower alcohol content in your wine.

Red Wines

If you lean towards reds, a nice Pinot Noir is a very food-friendly wine. Gamay is another delicate red that is an excellent option for enhancing a meal. Both of these reds feature intense fruitiness, a balance of acid, and an avoidance of heavy use of oak. If you like a heavier red, Zinfandel is a great pairing option that won’t overpower your meal.

White Wines

Whites work remarkably well with the variety of foods often found at a Thanksgiving feast. Sauvignon Blanc is always a popular choice, with its high acidity, herbaceous notes, and crisp, light feel and finish. It works well with rich meats and gravies as well as pairing well with the scrumptious side dishes. Another great white option is a Riesling, whether it finishes dry or sweet. And if you’re looking for something different, try a German wine called Gewurztraminer. Its tangy flavor works well with spicy and sweet dishes.

Finishing the Meal Well

The food has settled, the conversation flows and the desserts are coming out. Why not break out a great dessert wine to enjoy and balance the pumpkin dishes, the apple pies and more? Port is always a delightful dessert wine. While it is available in both a sweet and a dry, sweet ports would be the better option with autumnal desserts. Another delectable choice is Muscat. The citrus notes pair beautifully with the spices of pumpkin pie. And if you prefer fruit-based desserts, a Sauternes has a distinct acidity featuring peach and vanilla notes.

For more ideas or to stock up for your accompaniments to your feast, visit JJs Wine Bar, at 206 E Main St. in downtown Franklin. Come by or call us at 615-942-5033!