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5 Bright Thanksgiving Wine Ideas

There’s no Thanksgiving without turkey, and—if you ask us—there’s no turkey without wine! It can be totally hectic around the house (and the kitchen) this time of year, but don’t fret about the wine pairing, serving, and pouring. These 5 no brainers will keep you calm and collected. Well, in the wine department, at least!

1. Get a little air

Save time and skip the heavy decanting. Many reds don’t need aeration as much as you’d think, which is good because you’ve forgotten to make the mashed potatoes. Eek! The following reds, as wonderful as they are, do not need fancy decanters: Light-bodied, naturally less tannic reds like Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais, and Cotes du Rhone, lighter Zinfandels, and lighter-bodied Chiantis, and Dolcettos. Added bonus: All of these wines are great for pairing with Thanksgiving flavors and won’t overpower that all-important turkey gravy.

While light in appearance, Rails Nap 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County offers up an array of wild cherry, blueberry jam, tobacco and anise. Like cozy fall togetherness in a glass!
Mapping and Directions to Rails Nap

2. Claim your cup

When your whole family shows up for dinner, things can get a little crazy…especially when people start forgetting which glass is theirs! Avoid a full on fight and keep the record straight amongst aunts, cousins, and nosy neighbors (who invited them?). You can easily craft a DIY wine charm before turkey day. Check out these nifty, super easy ideas:

Everyone will be fighting over the last drop of Pear Valley Winery 2014 Zinfandel. With a lively garnet color and aromas of stewed plum, boysenberry, dusty cocoa, and dried sage, it tastes (and smells) like the perfect autumn afternoon.

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Mapping and Directions to Pear Valley

3. Chill early

With so much to do, you may not be exactly “chilling” before dinner, but you should be chilling your whites, and even some reds, too. It’s easy to forget, so make sure to make room between the Tetris game of Tupperware stacking up in your icebox. Bottles should be placed inside the fridge for about 30 minutes prior to drinking to cool down to between 49-55 degrees. Not sure which whites to serve this year? When it comes to Thanksgiving flavors, you can’t go wrong with a subtle Rose, an un-oaked Chardonnay, a dry Riesling, or Gewürztraminer.

Properly chilled Villa San Juliette 2017 Rose Reserve is a great crowd-pleaser for the holidays. The pleasantly salmon-hued wine bursts with stone fruit character, poached apple, apricot, and rose water. Yes, grandma will love it too.

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Mapping and Directions to Villa San Juliette

4. Do dessert

Hurray! It’s finally the season of for deep, decedent flavors and—yes—all the desserts! We suggest splurging on a festive bottle of dessert wine paired alongside your pumpkin and apple pie. Nothing ushers in the holiday season quite like a small goblet of something sumptuously sweet.

Rotta’s Zin Port Leather and Lace is fruit forward, with flavors of blackberry and raspberry (and a touch of minerality and jamminess). Serve in the cutest little glasses. Toast boisterously!

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Mapping and Directions to Rotta Winery

5. Dishes be damned

If you’re feeling frazzled about what will surely be a tower of dirty dishes leftover in your sink, just follow our lead. Take a deep breath, purchase the plastic, recyclable wine glasses and toss in the recycling after pie. Life changing, right?


 This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.

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