Selecting the perfect Thanksgiving wine doesn’t have to be a source of stress and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Consider starting your festivities with a sparkling brut rosé as an aperitif and then opt for a white and a red option for your main course and let your guests decide what pairing they enjoy the most.
When it comes to selecting the wines, look for a white wine with moderate to high acidity like an off-dry Riesling or an unoaked Chardonnay to cut right through the gravy and cream sauces. I also enjoy a pretty, floral and aromatic Viognier with my Thanksgiving feast. Keep in mind, you want something with some structure to stand up to the heavier dishes. I got a question this week from one of my members inquiring about Thanksgiving pairings with spicy side dishes like tamales. If your family tradition includes some spicy dishes, I would definitely stick with a Riesling.
When it comes to red, opt for a fruit forward wine like a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir with moderate tannins (Tip: Make sure to chill your Beaujolais before serving). Keep in mind, turkey is a blank canvas and is pretty lean, so something too tannic will compete against the food. Even an aged Cabernet Sauvignon can work well, since the tannins have had a chance to mellow. A Cabernet Franc can be a nice option too, with its notes of raspberry, violet and sage. This can work wonders with a sausage, sage & cranberry stuffing.
After you have spent all day in the kitchen, the last thing you want is for the wine to overpower your meal. You want the wine to become a vinous highlighter working in concert with every dish, not competing for top billing!
Here are 12 great Thanksgiving wines under $30 from around the world that are sure to please every palate!
- Gruet Brut Rose, New Mexico, USA – SRP: $16.99
- Thibaut-Jannison Blanc de Chardonnay, Virginia, USA – SRP $25
- Schramsberg Blancs de Noir, California, USA – SRP: $30
- Hi-Def Riesling, Mosel, Germany – SRP: $16
- Michael Shaps “Spring Meadow Mountain” Chardonnay, Monticello, Virginia SRP: $24
- Jefferson Viognier, Monticello, Virginia – SRP: $26
- Abiousness Rosé of Pinot Noir, Carneros, California, USA – SRP: $20
- Von Buhl Spatburgunder Rose, Mosel, Germany – SRP: $20
- Inman Family Endless Crush Pinot Noir Rose, Russian River Valley, California, USA – SRP: $25
- Siduri Pinot Meunier, Sonoma California, USA – SRP: $25
- Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve, Orange County, Virginia, USA SRP: $24
- Jean Marc Burgaud Morgon, Beaujolais, France – SRP: $25
TIP: When searching for a Beaujolais, look for appellations on the label like Morgon, Fleurie or Cote de Brouilly. You’ll find great quality in the $20-$25 price point. For old world Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers, look to the Macon area of Burgundy for some extraordinary values.
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