Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And while food is undoubtedly the star of the show, choosing the right wines to pair with your holiday feast can be just as important to having a delicious celebration.
With so many flavors and textures going on in your meal, it can be hard to know which wines work best. In general, you’ll want to select light, crisp wines with delicate aromas, which let the food shine. Also, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a really good bottle. Each variety featured below is tasty, versatile, and typically sold for under $20. And they’re all organic, to boot!
Sparkling: Bubbly is a hit for any occasion and can be enjoyed as an aperitif, for a Thanksgiving toast, or throughout the entire meal. Light and refreshing, sparkling wine will cleanse your palate so you can properly taste all the delicious food ahead. Pop open a bottle of California’s fresh and zesty Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée or the delightfully aromatic Mionetto Organic Prosecco from Italy.
White: To tastefully enhance any course of your Thanksgiving feast, pour a crisp, clean white. Vibrant, citrusy Frey Organic Sauvignon Blanc is excellent paired with everything from turkey and ham (or tofurkey and seitan mains) to potato and veggie sides. Another great option is the creamy Chardonnay from Paul Dolan Vineyards; with hints of crisp apple and vanilla spice, this organic Chard is perfect for holiday sipping.
Rosé/Red: Rosé—whether sparkling or still—crosses the bridge between white and red, and pairs well with turkey, stuffings and most sides. Food-friendly Bonterra Organically Grown Rosé presents a luscious blend of berries and spice, with a nice dry finish. If you prefer red, I recommend a light to medium bodied Pinot Noir. The fruit-forward earthiness and spicy notes will complement your food, without overwhelming it. New York’s Silver Thread Vineyard produces a velvety Pinot Noir, rich with black cherry and plum, that stands up against the tartness of cranberries and chutneys.
Dessert: Room for dessert? It’s always a treat to cap off your holiday meal with a touch of sweet wine. While you savor slices of pumpkin and sweet potato pies, sip on a Port-style dessert wine like Coates Red Cap Late Harvest Zinfandel. Or try bright, fizzy Vittorio Bera Moscato di’Asti for a lighter finish.
The most important thing to remember about pairing is to keep it simple. Selecting wine should be enjoyable, not stressful, so have fun making your selections. Cheers to a happy, healthy holiday!
Megan Murphy is a freelance writer living in NYC, who loves both dining out and getting crafty in the kitchen. After stints at People Magazine and Condé Nast, Megan currently writes for Cooking Light, contributes to various food and beverage websites, and runs her own blog, ThisGirlCanEat.com.