Part Three – Thanksgiving Wines – What to Buy and Why!


Thanksgiving dinner this is my favorite holiday – bar none! Not sure why that is quite frankly – it just is. I’m not going to bother with the food menu itself, as this is packed with everyone’s family traditions, but the wine . . . that’s where I’m going to butt in. This is the third installment in a series of articles that will discuss the wines I recommend one-by-one.

Trying to pair wines for a Thanksgiving dinner is tough and should be addressed at this point because on any plate you will find a wild swing in flavors; salty, sweet, earthy, smoky, creamy, acidic—and don’t forget Grandma Evelyn who only drinks white Zinfandel — a nightmare for any wine person to match.

Just like the meal that is served buffet style, my strategy is to serve the wines this way too. Just open a few different bottles and leave them in the center of the table. This way everyone can choose what they like.

With turkey, I’m partial to Pinot Noir. I just happen to like Pinot Noir a lot! Its lighter weight pairs well with the turkey and its elegant – just the right thing for a special meal like Thanksgiving. There are hundreds of good Pinot Noirs on the west coast, but I especially love the Pinot’s from the Santa Ynez Region and Oregon. Why two different regions? It’s probably a good idea to have multiple selections on the Thanksgiving table, so as to please the various palates and preferences. It’s also advisable not to try and pair every bite with a sip of wine. Cranberry, for example, goes with nothing!

Here are my Pinot Noir suggestions to buy for Thanksgiving – all of them available at Amazing Grapes Wine Store. Click on the hyperlink to read the tasting notes for each. Prices can vary quite a bit, so I’ll group them in to price categories of low, medium and high. Regardless of your budget, they’re all delicious:

Low price:
Emerson 2007 Pinot Noir – $15.98
Melville 2008 Estate Verna’s Pinot Noir – $18.98

Medium price:
Cardwell Hill 2007 Pinot Noir – $21.98
Longoria 2006 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara – $24.98

High price:
Ken Wright 2007 McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir – $46.98
Brewer-Clifton 2006 Lindsay’s Pinot Noir – $74.98