Thanksgiving is nearly here and is the one day of the year when wine is most likely to appear on most American dinner tables. Think it’s impossible to pair wine with all of those turkey day flavors? Believe it or not, it’s more than just possible. Turkey is one of the most versatile of meats when it comes to wine. The white meat is light enough to handle white wines, yet flavorful enough to handle lighter more delicate reds, while the dark meat can stand up to bold reds. While pairing wine with the variety of flavors and textures can be tricky, there are certain wines that pair well with your holiday turkey, sides and pies. After all, your family’s traditional dishes deserve some fabulous wine served alongside.
Start with sparkling bubbles and toast the holiday!
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have in our lives. Why not celebrate what we are thankful for with bubbles? Choosing sparkling wine for the holidays doesn’t have to break the bank either. There are many sparkling wines from Napa Valley with an elegant, feminine flair, perfect for toasting the holidays.
It’s always fun to celebrate with the most prestigious of all bubbles, a sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne method, also called Methode Champenoise. Sparkling wines from Schramsberg, Chandon and Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley all make sparkling wines in this traditional way and are fruity, refreshing with a vibrant and petulant finish!
Enjoy classic, all American pairings at your Thanksgiving table
Rosé wine is a classic match to pair with traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Not only is rosé a good match for the flavors of turkey day dishes because of the acidity, they are light and refreshing, and typically low in alcohol, making it a smart wine to drink if you tend to eat your Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day. After all, you want to stay awake for your turkey sandwich at the end of the day while watching football!
The 2019 Mira Rosé of Pinot Noir Napa Valley is a wonderful wine to pair with a variety of Thanksgiving dishes. The grapes for this rosé wine are harvested at a lower brix (sugar level) to ensure it is a light wine that pairs elegantly with food, especially all of the different flavors found at the Thanksgiving table. It’s crisp, delicate, and elegant with a lengthy bright finish.
For the white wine lovers at your gathering, our 2015 Mira Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is a great choice for those who prefer a traditional white wine. The kiss of vanilla on the wine helps it go well with both the meat, the vegetable sides as well as the stuffing. To us, this style of Chardonnay is the perfect white to sip in fall.
Pinot Noir, which is a light red wine, has nice fruit structure and good acidity, making it a classic red wine match for your holiday meal. It is an extremely versatile wine when it comes to food pairing and everyone loves a good Pinot. Our newly released 2017 Mira Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. This is a single vineyard wine, meaning all of the grapes in the wine are from only one single vineyard, the Stanly Ranch. The Stanly Ranch is located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley which is the coolest area in all of the valley, perfect for growing and producing classic Pinot Noir wines. Looking for an older wine with some age on it? Try our new library release of the 2012 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir with some of your more savory side dishes, such as stuffing or a potato gratin.
For a bolder red wine, our newly released 2016 Mira Hyde Vineyard Cabernet Franc will especially pair well with your dark turkey meat and cranberry sauce. When grown in a cooler climate like Carneros, Cabernet Franc shows a vibrant red fruit character with underlying dark fruit tones, cocoa and spice.
End on a sweet note
What pairs with traditional thanksgiving desserts like Pumpkin or Pecan Pie? The basic idea is to choose a wine that is as sweet or sweeter than the dessert itself. Otherwise, even a very good wine will come off as bitter or ‘sour’ by comparison. The exception to the rule seems to be sparkling wine or champagne, which pair beautifully with chocolate and most other sweet desserts. For that pumpkin or pecan pie pairing, try a late harvest wine made from white grapes such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer, a “sticky” such as an Australian Liqueur muscat or a 20 year old Tawny Port.