Last fall, I wrote on this same topic and received positive feedback – both from people who wanted to chime in on their favorite wine, and others saying, “thank you” for the ideas. Whether you’re preparing to host Thanksgiving with family and friends or trying to pick the perfect wine to bring as a gift, I hope you find this round-up of wine recommendations helpful. From the Young’s family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers!
Blaufrankisch, Burgenland Austria – It’s lean, soft, floral, and dark fruit-driven. The fruit is just ripe with mostly dark berries, pomegranate and some cranberries. The wine finishes fresh with bright acidity. Because of the softness of the wine I believe it would match the turkey dinner well. Nothing too overpowering. The acid would be a great complement to the “saltiness” of the food. And the flavors of the wine remind me of the cranberries traditionally served on Thanksgiving. – Recommended by: Petra Polakovicova, Epic Steak, San Francisco
Pinot Noir, Freestone Area Sonoma – I think I’d pick a Pinot Noir from the Freestone-Occidental area. Enough ripe fruit to stand up to some cranberry sauce, and those beautiful savory, mushroom and black tea notes to match fall spices. – Recommended by: Evan Hufford, Single Thread Restaurant, Healdsburg
Northern Rhone Syrah – For me, it would be Northern Rhône Syrah with about 10 years of age, but not from a real tannic vintage. Give it time to express its savory, meaty side, without too much tannin to be disagreeable with any of the varied flavors of the Thanksgiving Day feast! – Recommended by: Jim Rollston, Manresa, Los Gatos
Sparkling Cidre, France – Bubbly and full of apple aromas, subtle finish, light in alcohol at ~5%, and food-friendly. This drink is screaming seasonal fall harvest! – Recommended by: Brent Jones, Bird Dog, Palo Alto
Nerello Mascalese/Cappuccio Red Blend, Etna – The crunchiness of the wine and its red tart fruitiness combined with the structure makes it a great companion for the most classic turkey and sauces. – Recommended by: Augusto Ferrarese, Urban Kitchen, San Diego
Alsace Gewurztraminer – One with a little bit of RS (residual sugar). Because, when else are you likely to drink it? – Recommended by: Troy Smith, Montage Resort, Laguna Beach
About the Expert: Reggie Narito, Master Sommelier
Reggie Narito is a Master Sommelier and wine educator for Young’s Market Company. As Vice President of Fine Wine for The Estates Group, Young’s fine wine division, Reggie offers more than 25 years of expertise for all channels, customers, and consumer markets. Reggie’s strong command of fine wine and advanced knowledge of the distribution industry provides a platform for him to lead educational wine seminars across the ten markets where Young’s operates.
Reggie has been featured in the popular wine documentary film SOMM, Esquire Network’s series Uncorked, and multiple media publications. Reggie is known for his big personality, colorful storytelling, and is sought after for his insight on fine wines from around the world.