5 Thanksgiving Wines from 5 Countries

by Daniel Frigeri

Thanksgiving usually involves multiple dishes scattered throughout the table to be shared by loved ones on this special day of feasting. So, to make things easy, it’s better to pick wines that will complement the entire dinner rather than an individual dish; think big picture! We can bet that there will be a green bean casserole, roasted squash, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and of course a big roasted turkey, which are all relatively light foods that are designed for optimal face stuffing and nap inspiration. Finding a lighter-bodied wine with minimal oak contact is always a winner when working with poultry and vegetable-driven plates. Here are 5 wines from 5 countries that everyone can enjoy during each forkful!

Greece: In every family, there are different traditions that offer a variety of dishes. If you’re lucky, some fresh oysters will make an appearance at the dinner so be prepared with a crisp bottle of Assyrtiko from the Greek island of Santorini. This wine is light-bodied, high acid, and goes great with any sort of seafood as it has characteristics of wet-rock and fresh salinity.

Germany: When you hear those famous pre-dinner words, “let’s eat!”, the feeling of excitement overtakes you as the near future is bright and beaming with delicious Thanksgiving favorites. You find your assigned sit and batten down the hatches, surveying the table for the best plan of attack. A chilled bottle of Riesling might bode well during this time of contemplation to open the palate for those creamy mashed potatoes and honey-glazed green beans. Rieslings are often light-bodied and especially great with spicey or green foods.  

France: Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated each year during its release on the third Thursday of November, known as Beaujolais Nouveau Day. France’s Beaujolais region has been making these wines for years to celebrate the wine harvest’s end, traditionally fermenting Gamay grapes for just a few weeks before bottling and shipping to other countries. This method makes a very light-bodied red wine with a youthful palate full of juicy red fruits and fresh acid that pair perfectly with most thanksgiving dishes, especially cranberry sauce! You can still get a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau 2022 at most major grocery outlets.

USA: Pinot Noir is another great light-bodied red wine that can travel the thanksgiving table easily while offering friendly notes of ripe red berries, cherry, mushrooms, and baking spices. This will be a great match for any dessert like pumpkin pie, cherry cobbler, or stuffing with mushrooms and sausage, YUM!

Spain – Focusing still on any baked meat dishes, braised collard greens, or roasted vegetables, a beautiful bottle of light-bodied Rioja (Tempranillo or Garnacha) from Northern Spain will offer incredibly soft tannins that are held up with great structure through each sip. This wine will complement just about any lighter dish on the dinner table, especially dishes made with dill or plump red cherries. Although this wine is on the lighter side, try ending your feast with a glass of Rioja while enjoying some of Aunt Jennies freshly baked rhubarb pie.



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