Thanksgiving Wine: What to Bring & What to Serve

You can’t escape it: Thanksgiving is upon us.  Whether you’re hosting a formal family dinner, joining a casual Friendsgiving, or just wanting to keep it classy while watching sports ball…wine is on the menu!  So what do you pull from the cellar or buy from the store?  As always, you can do whatever you like, but these wines are what I will be opening on Thanksgiving…





A light refreshing sparkling wine is a great way to kick off a Thanksgiving feast, particularly if it’s served with hors d’oeuvres such as deviled eggs or prosciutto wrapped figs.  I prefer Prosecco or something equivalent (on the lighter side).  Serve this wine chilled, no decanting necessary.




Sheila’s Pick

Messina Hof Spumante ($25) is a delightful semi-sweet sparkling wine that reminds me of Prosecco but rather than being imported from Italy, this Spumante is grown and made entirely in Texas.




White Wine

You want to pick a white wine that compliments traditional dishes like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  Too bold a wine will overpower the meal, and too light a wine will be tasteless with the meal.  What I recommend is a Chardonnay that matches the flavors being served.  If you’re going with heavy buttery and creamy dishes, drink a good ol’ oaked Chardonnay from California (think: buttery with butter).  If your household is health conscious or dairy-free like mine, drink a crisp unoaked chardonnay from Texas.  Serve this wine chilled, no decanting necessary.




Sheila’s Pick

Messina Hof Unoaked Chardonnay ($14) is a crisp and refreshing chardonnay that bites its thumb at Californian white wines.  This beauty will pair well with roasted turkey and olive oil sauteed brussel sprouts.





Thanksgiving in Texas tends to include some spicier dishes.  I’ve always appreciated Provencal style rose for its cooling and complimentary properties that seem almost magical when paired with spicy cuisine.  Provencal will be refreshing with garlic mashed potatoes and jalapeno cornbread.  Serve this wine chilled, no decanting necessary.




Sheila’s Pick

Kuhlman Cellars Hensell is a Texas wine in the Provencal style.  Becker Vineyards makes a great Texas Provencal as well.




Sheila’s Pick

Don’t be intimidated by the P-word…when shopping for a good rose, scan the aisle for the more orange-pink rose wines.  Those will be less sweet.  Also scan for words like Cotes de Provence, Provencal, and Mourvedre Rose.  Really anything from the Provence region of France will be fantastic.




Red Wine

As with the white wine, you want to pick a red wine that compliments traditional dishes like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  Most red wines will overpower the meal.  What I recommend is a light wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais Nouveau.  While I firmly believe that Chianti goes with everything, deep down I know better.  If I drink Chianti with turkey, my turkey is going to taste like chianti.  So as a red wine lover, pairing a light red is like having my cake and eating it too.  Serve red wine at room temperature, and definitely decant in advance (up to 8 hours in the bottle, or in a decanter for 30-60 minutes prior to drinking).




Sheila’s Pick

Belle Glos Dairyman Pinot Noir ($55) is a stellar Pinot Noir out of the Russian River Valley in California and will pair well with flavorful stuffing and turkey gravy.  (Hi, Tina!)




Sheila’s Pick

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau ($11) is a fun first harvest red wine that has just recently been released for purchase.  This wine is light enough yet bold enough to stand beside baked ham and pumpkin pie.




Cheers and give thanks!