“He who thanks but with the lips, thanks but in part. The full, the true Thanksgiving comes from the heart.” – J.A. Shedd
Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, we remember and thank everyone, God included, for the bountiful harvest we have been blessed with.
Thanksgiving came to our shores with our Pilgrim forefathers, and we appreciate them for setting aside a day to be grateful for all the good things we’ve received. We also need to salute former President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts in making the holiday a part of our country’s official calendar.
But what does Thanksgiving indeed mean? Food, wine, family, friends are all a part of the celebrations, and though the day may end in a whirl of activity, we can all but forget the essence of the festival.
The quintessence of the day is having a thankful heart. Yes. We ought to be filled with a deep spirit of gratitude that though the year was such a challenge, we made it through alive!
Speaking of being thankful, we extend our thanks to one plump bird that finds its way to our table during this time of year—the turkey! Fattened for months on end, this lovely tender fowl takes its place of pride on the Thanksgiving dinner table, as dads and moms around the country roll up their sleeves to carve the roasted bird.
In this article, we will discuss the wines that you need to pair with your turkey so that you have a banquet fit for the gods.
Turkey is white meat with very low-fat content. So, it ideally pairs with a full-bodied white wine or a medium to light-bodied red. You want a wine low in tannin and high in acidic content. These two factors play an all-important part in complementing the tender turkey.
Check out our list of wine recommendations!
The first light-bodied red wine of choice is the high-class roller Pinot Noir. She is a boozy revelation when paired with turkey. Go national and choose a Pinot Noir from the states of Oregon or California. The wine embodies the fruity flavors of cherry and raspberry. Its other tasting notes include vanilla and baking spices. These flavors will subtly harmonize with the other side dishes that you have prepared lovingly for your near and dear ones.
Price – A Bogle Vineyards Pinot Noir will cost you around $12.
Zinfandel is a Thanksgiving Day classic.
The reason this Californian medium-bodied red wine is so popular with turkey is mostly because of all the secondary notes of raspberry and tobacco it hits. Fruity and juicy, this wine paired with a wholesome turkey roast is a match made in heaven. It also pairs brilliantly with the side dishes of yams, potatoes and ham.
Price – Bring home the Bogle Vineyards Zinfandel for $12 approx.
Another medium-bodied red wine that ticks off all the boxes for a perfect Thanksgiving dinner is the red luscious feminine personification of Merlot.
Soft on the palate, with fruity flavors of blackberries, herbs, plums, and moderate acidity, Merlot is a top contender for your turkey’s latest sidekick. The wine, when paired with turkey is the sort of epiphany you will want to have again and again.
Price – The Sterling Vintner’s Collection will cost you about $13 a bottle.
The only white that turkey fell in love with and refused to part from is Chardonnay. Every other white wine contender is just an imposter.
Chardonnay is infused with fruity flavors of apricot and peaches. The wine goes down smoothly and has very subtle creamy tastes.
Price – If you are a fan of Woodbridge, you can take home this white for about $14.
The only other deviation from reds, Rioja is a rosé for your turkey dinner.
This wine, tasting of raspberries and dried cherries, is high in tannin and acidity. Your guests will be suitably impressed when you open this Spanish favorite. While not yet a popular choice for turkey, Rioja is looking to take its place next to a turkey dinner with vigor.
Price – The Rioja from Conde Valdemar is priced moderately at about $12 a bottle.
When the Thanksgiving banquet is about to begin, pop open a bottle of sweet Riesling and announce that this year, taking your hat off to the strange pandemic situation, you are going to try something radically different with turkey.
Riesling is a delicious & aromatic white wine that can have you confounded with its subtle friendship with the beautiful bird. Apples, grapes, and gooseberries are the fruit notes that will cavort with your tastebuds. Play along.
Price – Check out the Chateau Ste. Michelle offering, priced at $12 approx.
While this may not be the most common pairing, it is a simple light-bodied white wine that goes smoothly with turkey. A very popular white wine world over, it is highly acidic with tastes of lime, green apple, white peach. If for some reason you do not want to pair your turkey with a red, choose this white pearl at a great price.
After a sip-and-bite, you won’t regret the choice you made.
Price – A bottle from Cape Mentelle will cost you about $13.
Take any of these bottles home and make your Thanksgiving dinner memorable!