Thanksgiving Wine

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Wine Guy,

I love it when you write Guest Blogs on your wife’s Antiques Diva blog. I have another “reader’s question” for you. I was reading a wine column on and it recommended several wines for a turkey dinner. One of our guests does not like any sweet wines and another only likes white wine.

Which of these Epicurious recommendations would you choose to accompany Thanksgiving Dinner?

Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris

Thanks for the help!
The Contessa


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Contessa,

I always enjoy reading your Guest Blogs on my wife’s blog as well!

For Thanksgiving dinner, I typically go with two options. I always serve a red wine for Turkey Day because, well, I’m a bit of a red wine snob and I’m hard pressed to find any large dinner where a good red wine won’t fit… Since Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday, I always pair it with a traditional wine found only in America – red Zinfandel*. It’s a pretty robust red! For some people who prefer something lighter, I’d recommend a Pinot Noir from Oregon.

For whites, I would choose between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. Creamy chardonnay can go with the creamy potatoes, but a Sauvignon Blanc would go well with your stuffing, especially if it’s a bit spicy (flavorful, with herbs, etc). If the wines above are the only options, and there is a requirement to avoid sweeter wines, then I would go for the Pinot Gris or a Pinot Blanc from Alsace.

* A little side bar on Zinfandel…It’s a grape varietal (just as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are varieties of grapes) that is really only successfully grown in the United States, notably in California. Like most everything else in America, the Zinfandel grape itself probably has origins in other parts of the world, but nowhere does the successful production even come close to that produced in California. As I mentioned above, the red Zin you will find in the shops today will be big, bold and jammy with a rather high alcohol content. One of my favorites is “7 Deadly Zins” because it’s a value at around $12-14 and is one of the better names I’ve stumbled across! Another one I try taking as a hostessing gift here in Europe is Bonny Doon’s Cardinal Zin (another clever name!). This will run you a few more dollars per bottle but I find it’s worth it and gives me the chance to learn a little more about the Bonny Doon fascination (you may be surprised to learn that you will find nary a one cork in any of their wine…all bottles come with screw caps). So, crack open a bottle of Zin and celebrate two “American traditions” – Happy Thanksgiving!

~The Wine Guy