Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

For all budgets and tastes

By Natalie MacLean

You’ve got your shopping list put together, your friends pitching in to help. Now, the wine. We’ve assembled a list that spans budgets and tastes. Select a few bottles to have open on the table; people can pick and choose what they like.

Cheap but Good

Alamos Malbec

2005 Drostdy-Hof Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa ($9.65)
A fantastic value for the price. Buttery and round with aromas of vanilla and ripe pears.

2006 Alamos Malbec, Argentina (approximately $14)
A terrific value that’s perfect for the rich, smoky Apple-Chestnut Soup. Full-bodied, smooth, and supple.

2005 Viu Manent Reserva Carménère, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($14)
Rich chocolate and dark red fruit aromas will complement the smoky bacon flavors in the turkey.

2006 Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($14)
Winner of the Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge UK for 2006, this crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc will act as a bright contrast to the earthiness of the Mushroom and Fennel Bread Pudding. This wine also works well with the chicory salad because of its herbal, grassy flavors.


Trimbach Riesling

2004 I Castei Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso “Costamaran,” Veneto, Italy ($17)
Dark and robust with a Bordeaux-like nose that will pick out the fennel in the bread pudding and still work well with the turkey. Decant for an hour before serving.

2006 Peter Nicolay Estate Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany ($18)
A lovely, light-bodied, and refreshingly simple sipper. It’s medium dry—a great pair with the turkey, as well as the Celery Root and Squash Gratin and the chicory salad. Another option is the 2004 Trimbach Riesling, Alsace, France ($22), with its lovely floral and citrus nose.

2003 Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz, Clare Valley, Australia ($26)
A balanced and full-bodied wine. There are aromas of cassis and dark plum that will pair beautifully with the cranberry-citrus sauce.


Arrowood Cabernet

2005 Domaine du Castel “C” Blanc du Castel, Judean Hills, Israel ($38)
The Domaine du Castel winery is west of Jerusalem and focuses on handpicked fruit that has fermented and aged for a year in new French oak barrels. This wine has lovely aromas of apple and smoke.

2005 JJ Prüm Wehlener Spätlese, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany ($40)
A classic match for the turkey from one of Germany’s top producers. This wine is bursting with lemon and lime aromas and mouth-watering acidity.

2002 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California ($45)
Rich aromas of ripe plums and cassis. Its generous, lush texture makes it a great fit with the turkey.

2005 Louis Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte AOC, Burgundy, France ($38)
A medium- to full-bodied wine. It’s packed with cherry flavors and a grounding of earth and spice.

2003 De Valandraud Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France ($57)
A juicy, plummy wine that will pair well with the turkey.


Bonny Doon Muscat

2006 Trentham Estate La Famiglia Moscato, Australia ($16)
A sweet, light wine with pleasing aromas of orange blossom. The Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glacière, California ($17) is a good alternative, with its refreshing orange blossom aromas.

Quinta do Noval 10-Year Tawny Port, Porto, Portugal ($26)
Full-bodied with aromas of almond, hazelnut, and caramel.

2004 Château de Cosse AC Sauternes ($24)
A stunning dessert wine that has the richness and texture to meet both the sweetness and the spice in the pumpkin pie.

Natalie MacLean’s best-selling book Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass has just been published in paperback. She was named the World’s Best Drink Writer for the articles and wine picks in her free wine newsletter available at Nat Decants.

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