Thanksgiving: A Little Different Menu, A Little Different Wine

By Kori ~ November 17th, 2008.

The last thing the world needs is another article or blog post on traditional Thanksgiving meal/wine pairings where the bottom line is usually a recommendation of Riesling and Pinot Noir as the white and red wine selections.

However, the Wine Peeps are having a slightly different Thanksgiving spread this year, and we think it deserves a slightly different wine menu. Because of our Texas roots, Mom (LaGayle) is serving an apple/walnut salad, spicy braised chicken breast with a jalapeno cranberry relish, her “famous” faux sage cornbread dressing made with rice flour muffins, and sautéed green beans. Dessert is my homemade pecan pie, topped with whipped cream and/or creamy, homemade vanilla Blue Bell ice cream from Texas. In short, it’s a meal where the same old wines won’t really stand up to the rich food. (Photo by CarbonNYC)

So here are my wine suggestions for this kind of Thanksgiving meal:

  • Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, let’s have American wine.
  • Start with a toast to our forefathers with a Domaine Carneros Brut from California (widely available for around $20) or a Gruet Brut from New Mexico (widely available for around $12).
  • For the main course, go with a fruit forward Syrah if you’d like a red wine or a nice Gewürztraminer if you would prefer a white wine. If you live in the state of Washington, you might like to try the Fielding Hills Syrah that has topped our recommended list this year ($40). For a more economical choice, try either the Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz from Washington (widely available for around $8) or the Cline Los Carneros Estate Syrah from California (available for around $20). For a Gewürztraminer, you’ll be hard pressed to beat the Columbia Crest Two Vines Gewürztraminer from Washington (available for around $8) in terms of bang for your buck.
  • To complement the pecan pie dessert, I’d recommend a good port-style wine, of which there are many possibilities at reasonable prices depending on where you live. Here in Washington, I would suggest the Barnard Griffin Syrah Port (500ml available for around $16). In California, you might like the Pedroncelli Four Grapes Vintage Port (500ml available for around $15), and in the Midwest there is the Mount Pleasant Tawny Library Port from Missouri (375ml available for around $30).

Hope you have a great holiday with family and friends. And remember to give thanks for this great country which stands for freedom, democracy, and opportunity for all.


Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Dessert Wine, Food & Wine, Gewurztraminer, Missouri Wine, New Mexico Wine, Port, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. domaine547 » The Obligatory Thanksgiving Wine Post - UPDATES! | November 19th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    […] Asimov’s Thanksgiving picks in general Wine Enthusiast says…drink beer on Thanksgiving? The Wine Peeps try some unconventional menu items and wines to match and…though Jesse Porter included it in the comments, we thought we should also add a link to […]

  2. Anthony | December 7th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I paired a bottle of St. James Winery Pink Catawba ($6.99) with a brown sugar glazed ham this year. It was amazing. Here’s a link if you want to check it out,

  3. Kori | December 11th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving pairing. Cheers!