Thanksgiving can be a high pressured event for a host. From menu selection, preparation, cooking the perfect turkey, to guest preferences…
Choosing the right wine can also cause some stress when the price of turkey and everything else starts to stack up. So how do you save a few dollars in the wine department but still serve something worthy? And on top of that every family member has their own opinions and preferences…from your uncle who thinks he’s a wine connoisseur…to your aunt who prefers wine from a box over ice.
Paring wine on Thanksgiving can be tricky. Not because turkey is difficult to match wine to, but because of the diversity of side dishes that are present- from salty to sweet and from hot to cold. So forget about pairing wine to a specific dish but provide a few wines to accent different components of the meal and to cater to a variety of your guests’ palates.
Since the star of Thanksgiving is about the food anyway, you might as well spend less on the wine and just get more of it! So here are some picks for value wines under $10.
I originally stopped at Total Wine to pick up the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released from France on the 3rd Thursday of November each year. The price was $10 so I thought I would stay with the theme and provide some suggestions on value wines to serve on Thanksgiving. The wines featured can be found at Total Wine for $10.
Riesling wines are a top pick white wine for Thanksgiving. There are different styles of Rieslings from bone dry to sweet and great with dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet. Rieslings flavor profile of apple and honey and with its crisp, bright acidity pairs well with almost anything on your Thanksgiving table from sweet potatoes, maple glazed turkey, spice/herb stuffing to apple pie.
Wine: Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler Riesling 2013
Region: Germany > Mosel
This is a dry white wine (not your typical sweet style). Easy to drink, crisp, acidic, medium bodied with notes of citrus, apricots and peaches.
Wine: Rockview Riesling 2102
Region: Washington State > Columbia Valley
This is a sweeter style of Riesling wine. Light bodied and smooth with notes of peaches, apples and honeysuckle.
Chenin Blanc is similar to Pinot Gris or Sauvingnon Blanc but unique in its ability to be dry or sweet. With its bright flavors, acidicity and notes of spice, honey and apple, pairs well with just about everything on the table from turkey, stuffing, cranberries to vegetables.
Wine: Famille Bougrier Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2013
Region: France > Loire
Medium bodied wine with floral aromas and notes of ripe pears and peaches and honey undertones.
Wine: Jean-Claude Debeaune Beaujolas Nouveau 2014
The wine is made from grapes picked in the Beaujolais region of France and is released the same year of its harvest. Bottles of the current year’s Beaujolais Nouveau are officially released on the third Thursday of November (perfect for Thanksgiving) with a festive celebration by many around the world. This red wine is light, fruity, low in alcohol, easy to drink and pairs well with turkey and all of the fixings. This wine is great for white wine drinkers wanting to explore the world of red wine.
(But just don’t expect the wine snobs to drink this wine as it’s not a wine to sniff, swirl and contemplate over).
A traditional favorite for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir is food friendly with soft tannins, herbal notes, and earthy undertones that brings out flavors of herbs, mushroom gravy, stuffing and turkey. In addition, its acidity and fruity tartness helps cut through rich and heavy dishes.
Wine: Ropiteau Pinot Noir 2013
Region: France > Vins de Pays d’Oc
This wine is well-balanced and light bodied with notes of cherry, red fruits and earthy undertones with light tannins and a smooth finish.
Not your typical turkey and wine pairing but pairs well if you’re serving beef or lamb dishes or for guests who may prefer full bodied wines.
Wine: Luc Pirlet Les Barriques Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon2013
Region: France > Languedoc- Roussillon
This wine is full bodied and well-balanced with aromas of blackberries and clove on the nose and notes of blackcurrants and spices on the palette.