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Food-​Friendly Wine for Thanksgiving

When the Major Brands team takes to stores the week of Thanksgiving or consults on holiday drink menus, there’s one question that seems to confound so many — what’s a nice, reasonably-​priced wine that goes well with your holiday fare that everyone will enjoy drinking?

There are beautiful food and wine pairings that we’ll share here, that elevate the flavors of what’s on your plate and in your glass. But our hard and fast rule no matter the occasion — drink what you love and you’ll always be right.

Let’s focus on the centerpiece. With turkey, you can’t go wrong with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Characteristics of several Chardonnay styles lend well to turkey. If you like a buttery Chardonnay, look to La Crema or (aptly named) Bread and Butter Chardonnay. The subtle flavor of turkey can also be complemented nicely with an oaky Chardonnay that has a little spice, like Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve or Coppola Diamond Chardonnay. Or if it’s a crisp, fruit-​forward offering with some minerality that you’re after, consider Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay.

For reds, Pinot Noir is perfectly suited for the Thanksgiving meal. Its lighter-​bodied, fruit-​forward style marries with turkey (and all the rich, cheesy, creamy sides, by the way) and is not overpowering. Pinot Noir from California and Oregon offer lush fruit (and earthiness in many cases), which is particularly delicious with roasted or smoked turkey. Elouan from Oregon, along with some of California’s best – Meiomi, Murphy Goode, Sea Sun and Rodney Strong would be beautiful options. For a lighter style Pinot Noir, the Burgundy region of France produces amazing wines that are really palatable for everyone at the table — Louis Jadot Pinot Noir is a perfect choice.

And of course it’s a special occasion, so you could also go with sparkling. From lighter styles to sparkling wines with toasty, biscuit flavors, bubbles pair so nicely with the herbs often used to prepare turkey. Great sparkling wines for your table could include Mumm Napa Brut Prestige from California, the light fruity bubbles offered in Proseccos from Italy like Ruffino and Cupcake or try a beautiful Spanish Cava like Segura Viudas or Freixenet Blanc de Blanc.

We’re thankful to have the opportunity to put great wine on the table this Thanksgiving. We wish you delicious moments and memories with friends and family to treasure. Cheers!