Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is quite the undertaking: between checking the turkey’s temperature and the numerous sides cooking all at once, it’s tough to keep your bountiful, varied menu under control. If you opt for easily servable drink options, no one will blame you (though having a signature cocktail for your feast sounds amazing, you need to stay practical). That’s one of the many things we love about wine: just pop (or twist), allow for a bit of breathing time (depending on the variety), and serve. Now that your drink strategy is set; the only decisions you have to face are type and price.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, you’re not just pouring for one. You need to impress with a few well-chosen bottles that won’t drain your bank account, but will still delight your guests. Decisions about a great wine line-up start with answering simple questions such as “what are my predominate flavors?”, “should I serve red, white, or both?”, and “how many bottles should I buy?” From those three questions, you’ll get a good idea of which wines will complement your meal and ensure that you won’t run out.
Since the Thanksgiving feast is full of traditional dishes and seasonal flavors, we’ve asked our wine columnists which affordable, festive wines would best complement the meal; here’s what they suggest pouring.
Avignonesi Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2011 $29
Photo Credit: Avignonesi
“This is a surprisingly elegant wine at a gentle, mid-range price. With almost 500 acres of vineyards, the Avignonesi winery is located just north east of historic Montepulciano in southern Tuscany, and this 100-percent sangiovese is a fine example of the winemaker’s craft.
A beautiful, deep, black-cherry red in the glass, this Vino Nobile’s nose bursts with dark cherry and red fruit along with glimmers of herb, cinnamon, and allspice. The wine is very well-structured, medium-bodied, and opens with more of that red fruit cut by balanced tannins; there is some earth and spice in the moderately long, smooth finish.
I would serve this wine with a goose, game birds such as turkey, and even red meat; it would also be a perfect beverage for a well-chosen selection of cheeses.” — Anne Montgomery, wine columnist
Berlucchi Cuvée Imperiale Brut Franciacorta $16
Photo Credit: Berlucchi
“It's almost a cliché, but a dry sparkling wine goes with almost any food, and those of Franciacorta, Italy provide finesse at an affordable price. What makes make this an excellent choice is part palate-cleansing bubbles, and part finishing acidity. Many experts agree that Franciacorta is the closest sparkler to Champagne in both quality and elegance, and its use of traditional pinot noir and chardonnay gives both its bruts and rosés flavorful attributes that will match, not overpower, food.” — Roger Morris, wine columnist