Erin Doman on November 10, 2015 0 Comments With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching quickly, it is time to start planning the annual feast. Along with menu planning and grocery shopping, you’ll also need to figure out which wines to buy and pair with your food items. Wine is necessary to have on hand for your guests throughout the day and perhaps through the weekend, as well. Here are some wine suggestions for pairing with your favorite Thanksgiving foods: 1. White Burgundy White Burgundy, from France’s Burgundy region, has earthy mineral notes and complex fruit flavors. The comparable Chardonnay from the U.S., Chile and Australia have a more buttery taste and texture, as well as have more ripe fruit flavors than the White Burgundy. These wines work well with roasted poultry and seafood. However, the White Burgundy from Chablis is the preferred choice to pair with the traditional turkey. The Chablis is more refined and is less crisp than other versions of this white wine. Its richness and acidity is able to stand up to the various flavors on a typical Thanksgiving meal plate. 2. Pinot Noir For a red wine choice to go with turkey, you should really consider a nice Pinot Noir. These red wines are light to medium-bodied, which means they won’t overpower the poultry or the rest of the meal. With its lively red and black cherry and berry flavors, Pinot Noir enhances turkey and stuffing, not to mention many other side dish options. Its acidic characteristics bring out turkey’s juiciness and flavors in savory and fruity items. Gentle tannins in the wine work well with green vegetables, from Brussels sprouts and green beans to leafy greens such as chard, kale and spinach. 3. Zinfandel The raspberry and sweet tobacco flavors of this red wine pair well with smoked or dark turkey meat. Zinfandel also works well with a honey baked ham because its fruit flavors balance out sweet meats. Earthy and sophisticated, this wine has moderate tannins and high acidity that cause it to taste bold. You can pair Zinfandel with alternative meat choices such as lamb and pork, as well as highly flavored vegetables such as red peppers, roasted tomatoes, roasted squash and beets. Fruit dishes and desserts made from cranberries, apricot, peaches and apples also work well. 4. Loire Chenin Blanc This white wine pairs well with shellfish and other types of seafood, herbs and vegetable dishes. Therefore, it is an excellent choice to pair with green beans. The more delicate the vegetable preparation, the more delicate the wine should be. To pair with green beans and other vegetables, choose the lighter, dry style of Chenin Blanc that has higher acidity that works well with light dishes. 5. New World Riesling Riesling is known for its sweetness and acidity. It has fruit flavors that range from stone fruits such as apricot, peach and nectarine at one end of the spectrum to pear and pineapple in the middle and Meyer lemon and lime representing citrus at the opposite end of the spectrum. These characteristics make Riesling ideal to pair with spicy, flavorful foods. A cornbread stuffing that has strong pecan flavors and distinctive tart cranberries, along with hints of curry, cumin, or cayenne, is the perfect match for Riesling. 6. Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Creamy Sauvignon Blancs partner well with Brussels sprouts. Their high acidity and light to medium body make them ideal to pair with light foods and vegetables. Along with minimal residual sugar, the Sauvignon Blancs bring flavors of passion fruit, green pepper, lemongrass and gooseberry, which help to further complement the distinctive Brussels sprout flavor. 7. Côte-Rôtie Wines Wines from the Côte-Rôtie region are typically firm and robust, not to mention earthy. However, they are also uniquely fresh and pure. You will typically find Syrah from this region, though most wines produced here will suit your Thanksgiving meal. These wines work well with breadcrumb stuffing, whether your stuffing is plain or has sausage or even oysters added. Côte-Rôtie wine flavors range from fruits such as cherries, raspberries and strawberries to bacon fat, herbs and spice. These wines have enough acidity to refresh your palate and are not too heavy, despite the heavy concentration of fruit flavors. These wines complement, but do not compete: the sign of a perfect wine for pairing. 8. California Chardonnay If you choose a full-bodied, oak-aged Chardonnay, it will work well with rich dishes. This style of wine is excellent with late summer vegetables such as red peppers, corn, butternut squash and pumpkin. For Thanksgiving, it is the perfect choice to pair with sweet potatoes. The acidity is in the medium-low range and the wine’s varying fruit flavors, along with flavors imparted through the oak aging process, such as vanilla, butter and sugar, balances well with this common side dish. 9. Madeira Bual If you’re serving candied yams instead of sweet potatoes, consider pairing it with the sweet and fortified Madeira Bual wines. It has high sugar levels and is dark and rich with a wide range of flavors, such as caramel, smoke, molasses and green apples. The Bual should have enough brown sugar and nutty caramel notes to bring out the same flavors in the candied yams. 10. McLaren Vale Shiraz This red wine is an Australian Shiraz that has heavy jam, cassis, raspberry and spice flavors. It’s a medium to full-bodied red that is able to stand up to cranberry sauce, with its sweet and sour characteristics. This Shiraz is meant to be paired with food that has big, spicy flavors. When paired with fruity food, the wine’s fruitiness is drawn out. 11. Sparkling Wine If you are serving fried turkey or fried foods for Thanksgiving, you’ll need a wine that can cut through the salt and the fat. For this reason, sparkling wines with a fruity finish pair well with fried Thanksgiving food. Besides fried foods, you can use sparkling wine in a wine and cheese pairing as well as with light salads or foods with Asian flavors. Choose dry or extra dry options to pair with savory foods or if you are planning on staying with one wine to take you through the meal from start to finish. Picking perfect wine pairings for Thanksgiving can always be a challenge if you do not have a trained palate and are unfamiliar with wine characteristics. Whether your annual Thanksgiving menu is consistent and traditional or varies year to year, having this set of guidelines should assist you in narrowing down wine purchasing decisions or inspire you to try each suggestion with each course.