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Paper Plane's Guide to Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Selecting the best wine to pair with Thanksgiving turkey can be a delightful adventure. Turkey is a versatile bird with flavors that can be complemented by various types of wine. Here are some top wine options to consider:

  1. Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is a classic choice for Thanksgiving turkey. Its bright red fruit flavors, balanced acidity, and moderate tannins make it a versatile option that won't overpower the turkey. The wine's earthy notes can also complement the herbaceous flavors often found in stuffing and side dishes.

  2. Chardonnay: If you prefer white wine, Chardonnay is an excellent choice. Look for a Chardonnay with moderate oak aging, as this can provide a touch of richness and butteriness that complements the turkey. Chardonnay's acidity can cut through the richness of the meal, making it a great option.

  3. Sauvignon Blanc: For a lighter and crisper white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice. Its bright citrus and herbal notes can be a refreshing contrast to the turkey's flavors, making it an ideal match for those who prefer a lighter wine with their meal.

  4. Riesling: If your Thanksgiving turkey is served with a sweet or fruity glaze, consider a slightly sweet Riesling. The sweetness of the wine can harmonize with the sweet elements of the dish, and the wine's acidity will provide a pleasing balance.

  5. Zinfandel: For those who prefer red wines, Zinfandel is a bold and robust choice. It can handle the richness of the turkey and pair well with the savory and spiced side dishes that are often part of a Thanksgiving feast.

  6. Grenache: Grenache, especially in the form of a Grenache-based blend, can be a good choice for Thanksgiving. Its red fruit flavors, moderate tannins, and subtle spiciness can complement the turkey and a range of side dishes.

  7. Sparkling Wine or Champagne: To add a touch of elegance to your Thanksgiving meal, consider starting with a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne. The effervescence and crisp acidity can cleanse the palate between bites, making it a versatile choice that pairs well with appetizers and the main course.

Remember that personal preferences and the specific preparation of the turkey and side dishes can influence your wine choice. It's a good idea to have a variety of wines on hand to accommodate different tastes. Ultimately, the best wine to pair with Thanksgiving turkey is one that you and your guests enjoy, so feel free to experiment and discover your perfect match.

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