You really don't. If you are struggling to pair the "correct" wine with your Thanksgiving Dinner, you are maybe missing the point of Thanksgiving. And perhaps also the point of wine. Please allow me to explain...
There is a deluge of Thanksgiving wine pairing articles are easy to write and easy to read, but the sheer number of them can make you think that pairing wine with your Thanksgiving table is somehow difficult. It isn't. It might not even be that important.
Thanksgiving is at its core a harvest celebration. We give thanks for the bountiful crops of the summer and prepare for the lean times of winter. The table abounds with a overabundance of meat, vegetables, and more. And that is what makes the concept of wine pairing with it so irrational.
Precision wine pairing - finding the perfect pairing - is simply not relevant during a celebratory feast. For most of us, the Thanksgiving meal isn't a crisp progression of courses. It is a delicious free-for-all of flavors, family, friends, and probably football. There are too many flavors in play, making a mouthwatering mingle of meat and vegetables.
Plus the flavors are relatively nondescript. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, corn, noodles, pumpkin pie! These are some of the most versatile wine pairing foods in the world. At most, you'll get a splash of sweet acidity in the cranberries and dark savory in the dark meat of the Turkey. The neutrality of most of these flavors make wine pairing a cinch!
Love sweet white Riesling? That will pair with Thanksgiving.
Love aged French Bordeaux? That will pair with Thanksgiving.
Love explosively fruity Shiraz or Zinfandel? That will pair with Thanksgiving.
The dirty secret is that almost anything will. Better yet? You can have all of the above at the same time. If you enjoy a wine, you will enjoy it at your Thanksgiving Table. But do not forget why you have gathered.
Celebrate the abundance of the harvest. We have never had more choices. The world of wine comes to our wine shops in a diversity that the kings of a few decades ago could never have experienced.
Time is fleeting. Life is fleeting. Family is fleeting.
Eat and drink and laugh and love with Thanksgiving. Just don't stress out about the "perfect pairing."
- May 9, 2018 What Does Wine Mean to You? Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part Four
- May 1, 2018 A Chateau Musar Lebanese Wine Seminar: with Marc Hochar.
- Apr 11, 2018 Video: What Makes Sonoma Pinot Noir Special? Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part Three
- Mar 28, 2018 Video: How (and Why) to Grow Pinot Noir. Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part Two
- Mar 23, 2018 Video: From Rural Texas to Napa Valley Wine Country. Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part One
- Mar 19, 2018 Four Mistakes in the Winery Tasting Room that Destroy Customer Loyalty
- Jan 30, 2018 5 Things You Need to Know About the 2015 Bordeaux Vintage. (notes from the 2018 Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux Tasting)
- Dec 20, 2017 Glen Manor Vineyards 2013 Raepheus. The Most Memorable Wines of 2017
- Nov 21, 2017 You Don't Need Expert Advice to Pair Wine with Thanksgiving Dinner.
- Nov 8, 2017 7 Ways to Consistently Drink Bad Wine.
- Oct 31, 2017 Is Your Winery Really an Art Studio?
- Sep 5, 2017 A Different View of California Cabernet Franc: John Skupny of Lang & Reed Wine Company
- Aug 12, 2017 The 2008 Vintage for Oregon Pinot Noir. Interview with James Cahill of Soter Vineyards
- Aug 2, 2017 Half-bottles, Restaurants, and the Meaning of Wine. Elizabeth Pressler of Elizabeth Spencer Winery: The Complete Interview
- Sep 26, 2016 Matias Sanchez-Nieto of Eral Bravo: Understanding Wine with Austin Beeman Episode #3
- Aug 21, 2016 Why Wineries Desperately Need the Skills That Bloggers Have: Austin Beeman's Speech at the Wine Bloggers' Conference 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 Ridge Monte Bello: 1998, 2003, & 2012. Three Vintages of One of America's Finest Wines.
- Feb 28, 2016 Video: L. Mawby and the Rise of Sparkling Wine in Northern Michigan
- Feb 8, 2016 Video: The Meaning of Wine with Larry Mawby of L. Mawby / M. Lawrence
- Dec 19, 2015 Tasting the 'Poultry Grail.' Le Poulet de Bresse at Le Coq Rico in Paris
- Nov 1, 2015 Video: The Meaning of Wine with Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent Winery
- Mar 21, 2015 Video: Inspired to Discover New Terroir (with St. Innocent Winemaker Mark Vlossak)
- Mar 18, 2015 A Video about Italy's Great Sparkling Wine .... and it's not Prosecco! It's Franciacorta
- Mar 7, 2015 5 Elegant Sonoma County Wines Worth Seeking Out
- Feb 3, 2015 Hourglass 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon: Blueline Estate and Classic.
- Jan 8, 2015 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape: A Vertical Tasting of 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011
- Dec 29, 2014 Video: Going Deeper into Willamette Valley's Terroir. With St Innocent Winemaker Mark Vlossak (part 3)
- Aug 24, 2014 Video: The Subregions of Oregon's Willamette Valley. St Innocent Winemaker Mark Vlossak
- Aug 13, 2014 Video: Understanding Oregon Pinot Noir. St. Innocent Winemaker Mark Vlossak
- Aug 9, 2014 Left-Handed Compliments: Tasting 2013 MollyDooker Wines
- Jul 6, 2014 Wine vs Beer. Which is Better for Your Health? (Infographic)
- Jul 4, 2014 Video: Soaring Above Argiano Vineyards in Montalcino, Italy
- Jun 12, 2014 Beware These Two Fallacies of Wine Appreciation
- May 5, 2014 Video: Chehalem Winery. Wynne Peterson-Nedry Winemaker Interview
- Mar 16, 2014 Pontet Canet 2007 & Pontet Canet 2008. A 'Vin de Plaisir' & a 'Vin de Garde.'
- Mar 10, 2014 5 Values in 2008 Bordeaux
- Mar 2, 2014 6 Bottles of Gigondas Worth Seeking Out
- Feb 23, 2014 Video: Anne Amie Vineyards - Winemaker Thomas Houseman