Thanksgiving Wine dilemma: White or Red? I say both!

There’s been so much chatter this week about “the perfect wine pairing for Thanksgiving”. We want everything perfect for our guests; the food, the table setting, the decorations and the wine. Well, not to bust your bubble but there is no one perfect wine pairing for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Wine pairings (like families) are not perfect, but we can get pretty close to perfect on both counts if we put in a little effort. I was so happy when my cousin Kelly over at My Soulful Home suggested we collaborate on a Thanksgiving post. I’m happy to be able to share a coast-to-coast Thanksgiving toast with her!

Here are some wines I’ve tasted this year that are among my personal stand out favorites. My suggestion is to have at least one white and one red selection on the table and let your guests select their favorite.

The Whites

Imagine Winery 2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier

Imagine Winery
2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier

2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier, Imagine Wine, Santa Barbara County, CA
Pale yellow in color with green apple, floral and slight perfume aromas.  Lemonly tart mid-palate with a hint of caramel on the finish.
Viognier (vee-ohn-yay) pairs nicely with root vegetables, sweet potatoes and cream based dishes.

100% Viognier | $24 |Alcohol 14.5% | 50% new French Oak 50% stainless steel | Sample |

Thirsty Owl 2012 Riesling

Thirsty Owl
2012 Riesling

2012 Riesling Thirsty Owl Wine Company, Finger Lakes Region, NY
Lovely light straw color with kiwi aromas. Honeydew and cantaloupe flavors, the finish is vibrant. A medium dry Riesling that is palate-refreshing and will be equally at home on the dessert table as it is on the dinner table. I like this wine with apple pie.

100% Riesling | $15 | Alcohol 11.3% | Sample |

The Reds

La Rochelle 2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

La Rochelle
2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, LaRochelle Winery, Livermore CA
With a tint of brown edging around the glass and a deep garnet color mid-glass; this wine possesses a nice blend of earthy mushroom and dark cherry fragrances. A taste of raisin, blackberry and some earth mid-palate lead into a luscious well balanced finish. Pair with
herb crusted turkey and sausage dressing.

100% Pinot Noir |$35 | Alcohol | 15.2% | 100% French Oak 40% new | Sample |

Tablas Creek 2011 En Gobelet

Tablas Creek
2011 En Gobelet

2011 ‘En Gobelet’ Tablas Creek, Paso Robles, CA
This red blend of four regal grapes is a very special wine. Rich smokey aromas with flavors of blackcherry, currants and coco.  A kaleidoscope of fall flavors ending in a luscious finish. Pair with smoked turkey, duck, turkey drumsticks.

29% Mourvedre 27% Grenache 26% Tannat 18% Syrah | $45 (member discounts available) | 13.9% Alcohol | French Oak | Personal Cellar Selection |

If you are unable to find these specific wines in time for your holiday meal, bring the list to your local wine shop, find something similar and share with us what you’ll be pouring. Wishing you and your family all my best this Thanksgiving.

Special thanks to Imagine Wine, Santa Barbara County Vitners’ Association, Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, LaRochelle Winery,  and Balzac Communications & Marketing for providing wine samples. To Talbas Creek for making amazing wine, and to my cousin Kelly for for inviting us to My Soulful Home. Cheers!


About Wine Everyday

Eileen Gross is a 1983 Graduate of Fordham University and retired Financial Professional and Founder of Phillips Charitable Foundation, Inc. Annapolis, Maryland. She is wine lover, traveler, and collector who shares her wine experiences with private wine tastings and on her blog “Wine Everyday." She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, The Wine Century Club and a contributor the former
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8 Responses to Thanksgiving Wine dilemma: White or Red? I say both!

  1. Tom Riley says:

    Excellent, to-the-point piece. Especially loved the red recommendations, as I’ve had them both. Love the LaRochelle pinots. One day at the winery, unasked, Steven Kent Mirassou, the owner, opened every label and vintage he had on hand, after hosting a small industry tasting on his cabernets. It was an amazing and unexpected three hours of wonderment. I’ve been a fan since! (Drinking a FLX riesling as I type this. And, looking forward to being more in touch wine-wise in the new year. Hope you and Brad are well.)

    • Thanks for stopping by Tom. I haven’t met Steven Kent Mirassou IRL, just on live-twitter-wine chats. I’ve always found winemakers to be very hospitable and generous with their wines. Kind of like parents who can’t stop showing off photos of their kids!
      I particularly thought you’d enjoy the FLX Riesling choice!
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. We picked up a couple of the bottles of the TCV En Gobelet, Great wine, great suggestion. Likewise for the La Rochelle Pinot, I’ve had that one too, and it’s a wonderful wine! Great post!

    • Hi Martin!
      I knew you’d approve of the Tablas Creek selection! I adore Rhone wines, and particularly California/Rhone style wines for Thanksgiving (trying to keep everything American). There is something about the En Gobelet, specifically, that draws me back to Paso Robles.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Eileen it has been such fun connecting with you over FB & now wine! Thank you for collaborating with me on this post. Your choices are fantastic! cheers!!

    • Kelly, it’s been fun collaborating on this post – especially for the Thanksgiving holiday.
      Be sure to post your bottle shots on my Facebook page so we know what you’ll be pouring tomorrow!
      Cheers Kelly!

  4. Eileen Clancy says:

    Love it! When are you coming for a tour of the LI vineyards????

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Ei!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I’ve been up to Long Island several times recently, and only had an opportunity to stop in the tasting room of Pindar in downtown Port Jefferson. I was disappointed with their Sparkling Pinot Mineur; so yes – hopefully on my next visit you and I can carve out a day or two and head out east.
      Happy Thanksgiving Eileen!

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