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5 Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Wines

Sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner is always an intense experience—both wonderful and a tad stressful, too. Everyone has traveled from near and far to spend the day pigging out and reconnecting (that’s the best part). You can’t wait to see your newborn niece and hear grandpa recount that “back in the day” story for the umpteenth time. The not-so-great-part? Arguing over what to drink with dinner, among other things.

This year, let them squabble about politics, religion, and whether or not UFOs are real. This crowd-pleasing wine list is sure to satisfy every palate, from your newly-vegan sister to your beer-drinking brother-in-law. Because you can’t choose your family, but you can choose most certainly your wines (and thank goodness for that)!

1. Rosé

Although the term “rosé” once conjured up notions of sickly sweet boxed wines, it’s time to show grandma that times have changed. The modern take on rosé is refined, elegant, and boasting just a hint of sweetness, if any at all.

BUY-THE-WINE_ButtonWINE PICK: Roast turkey and holiday hams have met their match with Harmony Cellars’ 2011 Rosato Vivo (which means “lively rosé” in Italian). This Syrah-based rosé is lively, indeed, bursting with fresh fruity flavors, including citrus, ripe watermelon, and strawberry. Off-dry and never “sweet,” this approachable pink offering proves that pink has a place on your Turkey Day table.

2. Grenache

Situated on the lightest edge of the red wine rainbow, this light-to-medium bodied Rhône varietal has a reputation for providing warm, spicy flavors without overpowering anyone’s taste buds (or turkey gravy).

BUY-THE-WINE_ButtonWINE PICK: Say yes to structure and no to big, crazy tannins that can through the meal out of whack. Jada’s 2013 Jack John Grenache smells of raspberry, leather, and licorice, yet finishes clean and bright; never heavy. This drinkable wine is built for true family togetherness.

3. Chardonnay

There’s a reason why so many white wine drinkers clamor for Chardonnay: The golden-hued wine goes with just about anything—and depending on the aging process, it can swing from clean and crisp to delightfully toasty.

BUY-THE-WINE_ButtonWINE PICK: With a nice balance of acid and butteriness, this floral, fruity 2012 Vino D’Oro from Oso Libre cuts through heavy garlic mashed potatoes like a hot knife through…well, butter. And for those youngin’s who thumb their nose at “oaky” Chardonnays: This offering was aged in 50 percent stainless steel and 25 percent new French oak, meaning that’s one less thing to argue about.

 4. Pinot Noir

Universally beloved for its complexity and ability to express terroir with unique nuance, pinot noir is light on body and big on unforgettable flavor.

BUY-THE-WINE_ButtonWINE PICK: Sextant Winery’s 214 SLH Pinot Noir will have your family going around the table talking about what they’re tasting. Lavender, cherries, and soil come together to create a juicy-yet-earthy pinot noir that excites, but does not bite. With soft, elegant tannins and depths of flavor, this impressive smooth-drinking offering is as stimulating as the conversation!

5. Viognier

Floral, delicate, and light on its feet, viognier is a luscious and lovely accompaniment to dark meat turkey and dense mashed potatoes.



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This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for New Times and You can reach her at [email protected]

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