Hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner is a big deal and picking the wines to be served can be a nerve-racking challenge. To take some of the difficulty out of it, we’ve come up with this handy guide to help navigate the choppy seas of choosing wine for Turkey Day.
- Serve wines that you like. Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t the best time to serve wines that you’re not familiar with. We recommend serving wines or at least varietals that are tried and true. For example, though Beaujolais and Gewürztraminer are widely considered to be perfect Thanksgiving pairings, it’s best not to serve them unless you know that you and your guests will like them. Also, if there’s wine left over from your dinner, you want to make sure that you like the wines because you’ll be the one drinking them the days following your Feast. Remember: if you’re a rewards member, we can look in your purchase history and tell you exactly when and what that bottle of wine was that you loved.
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- Do some research a few weeks before your dinner. So it’s been decided that you’re hosting – Great! Hopefully you’ve been given a few weeks notice so you have some time to try out potential wines for your Thanksgiving Dinner. You will see special orange tags all around the store with wines that we have chosen especially for the big dinner and we have a giant wine display that features wines that we feel are perfect pairings for Thanksgiving. Lastly, if you have any questions, ask any of us, we are really good at making wine and food pairing recommendations.
- How much wine will you need? The short answer is more than you think. Let’s break it down: One bottle = four glasses — Each guest will have at least two glasses of wine (even if there will be cocktails and/or beer available), so at a bare minimum you will need one bottle for every two people attending. So for example, if you’re having 10 people over you’ll need 5 bottles of wine. Remember, this is a feast and while Aunt Mary insists that she’ll only have one glass, chances are high that this is the one time of the year that she’ll get crazy and have two.
- How many different wines should you get? At the bare minimum two: one white and one red. However, there is a world of wine out there and this is the time to enjoy all of your favorites. We are big fans of starting with Sparkling, even an inexpensive one is great to share while you’re watching the game, standing around the kitchen or with pre-dinner snacks. When you finally sit down to dinner, we like recommend having a couple of different styles of whites and reds open – wines that are of contrasting styles, for example a light Pinot Grigio and a rich Chardonnay or an elegant Pinot Noir and a robust Rhone.
- What pairs with Turkey? The best answer is “What ever you like to drink!” We think Turkey is pretty easy to pair wine with because the flavors are not super strong or pronounced. However, pressed to choose wines to pair with just Turkey, we’d recommend (in no particular order): Beaujolais Nouveau, White Burgundies, Pinot Noir from Oregon, Gewürztraminer, Red Rhones (Cote du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, etc.)
Feel free to visit us, call, or email us for help with wine for Thanksgiving. We’re all here to help!
Bottles Fine Wine, 141 Pitman Street, Providence, RI