So what wine should you serve with the Thanksgiving feast? It’s a common question, so here are ten good thanksgiving wines. Or at least they are in my opinion!
But first, a few ground rules. Look, turkey is a weird food. Turkeys are basically stupid, oversized geese who don’t know how to fly, so the wine pairings are like the birds themselves: awkward.
I’ve googled lots of websites about what wine pairs best with turkey, asked a few sommeliers for their suggestions, and even went outside to ask the turkeys who live in the oak trees across the street (they weren’t very helpful). The consensus? Lots of fancy ideas of wines you never normally drink and can barely pronounce. Reds, whites, and everything in between.
So here’s my advice: just drink whatever you like. No wine is an ideal pairing with turkey so drink what you enjoy. I know sommeliers might shout “Sacre bleu!” but just ignore them.
Here are five red wines I think you’ll enjoy on Thanksgiving Day.
- If you want to splurge, I suggest any of the red wines by Fait-Main. The winemaker, Benoit Touquette, is a brilliant young Frenchman who has already created several 100 point wines (according to Robert Parker). My favorite from Fait-Main is the 97-point Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard ($175).
- We recently met Elizabeth Marston and James Leahy of Marston Family Vineyard and loved their Petite Sirah ($90). Here’s an up and coming winery with an under appreciated varietal. And what a fun family story about their vineyard!
- If you want a fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Petite Verdot from Napa Valley, then check out Lail Vineyards Blueprint. I was recently at Total Wine and bought six bottles at their discount price ($59).
- Want the panache of a Benoit Touquette wine without the three digit price tag? Then you’ll love Teeter-Totter Cabernet Sauvignon ($55). This is a wine we always have available in our home.
- Yet another bargain is Roberts + Rogers Cabernet Sauvignon Louer Family. I’ve enjoyed this wine for several years and the 2014 was recently awarded 94 points by Robert Parker. And get this — you can buy it at Costco ($29.99).
Now a few of you prefer white wines. Okay, I get that, even if I prefer red. It’s tempting to point to the wineries above and say “buy their white” but that’s being lazy. So here are five good white wines for Thanksgiving Day.
- Let’s start with a superstar: Realm Cellars Fidelio. Look, this wine might not be worth the price ($90 on the secondary market — the winery is sold out) but the cache of having a Realm wine on your Thanksgiving table is huge if you have somebody to impress. And the label is gorgeous.
- Even though I promised not to repeat the wineries above, I have to suggest another Fait-Main wine. Their Penhoet Toyon Farm Chardonnay is an elegant wine even the most fussy of white wine lovers will appreciate. I’ve seen it as low as $70 but as high as $90.
- If you love a good story, how about a $26 Sauvignon Blanc good enough to be on The French Laundry wine list and made by a boutique winery owned by a husband/wife team operating out of their home in St. Helena? Check out L’Atelier from DeSante Wines. All the DeSante wines are excellent, and consistently D’Aun’s favorites.
- Need an affordable Chardonnay? At the under $20 price point my favorite is Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay from Monterey County. This is a fresh, crisp, fruity chardonnay without all the oak and vanilla so many California chardonnays suffer from.
- Okay, so looking for a REAL bargain? Go on the hunt for Wente Vineyards Dry Rose’ and see if you can find it for as low as $10. The winery charges $18, which isn’t a bad price, but if you search a bit you’ll find it cheaper. And you’ll be supporting the locals here in Livermore.
So there you have it, ten wines for Thanksgiving that you’ll enjoy! More pictures below of the labels, and be sure to check out my other uncorked thoughts.