5 Thanksgiving Wines That Won’t Break the Bank


Few meals arouse anticipation like Thanksgiving dinner. For weeks, if not months, thoughts of the dinner table covered with delectable holiday dishes occupy the mind and bring quiet grumblings to the belly. Visions of mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green beans with almonds and all the other Thanksgiving staples make us eager for the day to come. And when the day finally arrives, the centerpiece of the meal is the definition of expectation as it slowly roasts for hours, filling the house with sumptuous aromas and our mouths with salivating taste buds. 

But before we can sit down we have to figure out what’s going in the glass. Due to the wide array of dishes that usually grace the table, wine selection is not always the easiest choice. The go-to Cabernet Sauvignon may be a bit too tannic with a lean meat such as turkey. Your favorite crisp Sauvignon Blanc may not have the heft to match the bigger, more savory flavors of the stuffing, for instance. For Thanksgiving it’s best to stay away from the extremes and stay in the middle. Think richer whites, lighter reds, and Rosés.
But while wine selection for Thanksgiving dinner can be challenging due to the range of food pairings, another staple of the holiday provides a different obstacle: family. The guests in attendance can provide a couple of hurdles to making sure the wine is as memorable as the meal. First, it can be difficult to please everyone’s palate. Wine, unfortunately, is more open to criticism than pumpkin pie. Secondly, extended families, while usually good for the soul, are not always easy on the wallet. Buying wine for the entire table, especially one that’s filled with tough critics, can cost a pretty penny. With that unique challenge in mind, here are 5 wines that won’t break the bank while bringing smiles to loved ones.
Sparkling wine is a symbol of celebration and Thanksgiving certainly fits the bill. Aside from toasting to the merriment, sparkling wine is a great way to start off the meal as it cleanses the palate and livens up the taste buds for what’s to come. Unfortunately bubbly can be pricey. But this blend of Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo from the Penedes region of Spain over-delivers on its price point.
For a richer white wine, many will head to Chardonnay and its creamy mouthfeel. While that it certainly a viable option, the amount of oak used during vinification or aging (either too much or not enough) can sometimes cause clashes with the food being served. Viognier, on the other hand, does not typically show extremes in styles while offering a little more bang for the buck. 
Rosé wines may be the most versatile of wines for Thanksgiving. They offer the lighter body and lively acidity of white wines while providing red and dark fruit aromas and flavors found in red wine. This blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache from the Rhone Valley in France leans more towards the lighter side of Rosé but still carries the fleshy fruit characteristics that will harmonize nicely at the table. 
For those searching for a more fruit-forward Rosé, look to Stellenbosch , South Africa where De Morgenzon winery has taken a blockbuster red and showcased its more feminine side. Not surprisingly this wine brings a fuller body and more complex range of aromas and flavors than many in the category.
Red wines on Thanksgiving can sometimes be a bit tricky because they hog all the attention. Dense, deeply colored, tannic wines should be avoided in favor of lighter, lither ones. This 90% Sangiovese 10% Merlot  blend from Chianti  is a great example. While the Merlot helps to add a bit of juiciness, the classic grape of Tuscany brings floral, spicy, and earthy elements perfect for a great meal. 

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  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,085

    I totally agree with the inclusion of theDe Morgenson cabernet sauvignon Rose DMZ. It will be perfect for the typical Thanksgiving table. I have been drinking the 2013 Mulderbosch cabernet sauvignon Rose from Stellenbosch, South Africa. The South African Roses have good body and excellent flavor. They are not as delicate as the majority of Roses.

    Nov 24, 2014 at 1:23 PM

  • Snooth User: rieseled
    953976 6

    Lemberger (Blaufränkisch) is a great red that's got deep fruits, medium body, good acidity and mild tannins. I served the estate level from Weingut Breurer last year and it was a huge hit. The wine gains body with the various courses (and dishes) but never steals the show. I went with a Pinot Blanc from Alsace/Kreydenweiss for the white. Same idea: good fruit aromas, medium body, medium acidity (it was from '11 so a bit softer acidity than normal) and fresh with no oak. For me, the key to the right wine is to make sure the acidity balances out the meal. A kabinett Riesling can also be an incredibly pleasant surprise if the guests have an open mind!

    Nov 25, 2014 at 8:37 AM

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