Tips for Thanksgiving Wine

Wine for Thanksgiving

Hard to believe the time is here and it’s really here now!

I’m a bit late on my tips, but thought I’d offer some really great info  on choosing wine for your Thanksgiving meal from a friend of mine’s fabulous BottleNotes – the premier online wine community where wine enthusiasts come to learn about wine, share tasting notes, and buy wine. Since I go through the exercise of suggesting and pairing wine to most all holiday meals, I’m sharing some great broad advice from the incredibly knowledgeable Alyssa Rapp in this short piece below.

Thanksgiving is a time for family and for giving thanks. Here are your wine 1-2-3’s by Alyssa Rapp, the founder/CEO of, for this year’s Thanksgiving fest:

1. Start your Thanksgiving meal off festively with a beautiful flute of sparkling Rosé. A sparkling Rosé will ease any familial tension by helping everyone to see through ‘rosé-colored’ glasses. Most importantly, its subtle sweetness and vibrant acidity will also awaken everyone’s palates for the big feats ahead.

2. Floral and aromatic whites like Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner or Gewurtztraminer are the ‘white’ winning tickets. Floral and aromatic white serves as both a second aperitif, for those who didn’t get enough sparkling in the first round, and probably as a great accompaniment to any appetizer brought by Auntie Ann. Riesling’s lush mouthfeel coupled with racy acidity makes it a ‘wine geek’s’ wine; these attributes also make it a perfect pairing for a wide range of flavors, from sweet potatoes to stuffing, at your Thanksgiving dinner table.

3. Pinot – Pinot – Pinot. A concentrated Pinot Noir, perhaps from the Willamette Valley in Washington, is delicious with turkey and all of its numerous sides (cranberry sauce and otherwise). Pinot works well with pork, too, so even if you’re not having the traditional big bird or if you have both on the table, Pinot will carry you through.

4. Don’t forget about dessert. A Canadian ice wine would be a perfect pairing for dessert – pumpkin, apple, pecan pie – or all of the above!

Ms. Rapp is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips. Follow these 1-2-3’s, and you’ll be sure to have the perfect wine list to accompany that delicious bird. Stay Tuned for more from WineingWomen, and please be sure to send in questions on pairings for the new WineRx series.


About Laura Levy Shatkin

Laura Levy Shatkin served for 10 years as food and wine critic for the Chicago Reader. Later, she became an Emmy-nominated executive producer for Taste, a 30-minute food and wine show on NBC-5 Chicago, which later merged into, where Ms. Levy is a partner/owner. Today, she teaches private wine classes and hosts wine parties for consumers and firms, and continues to tell the video stories of wine, girlfriends and wine travel on her TCW blog, Wine…ing Women.