Eat, Drink, & Be Thankful (Part II)

In part one of our Thanksgiving wine and food blog, we suggested a variety of wines for all tastes and all budgets from around the world. 

If you're a little overwhelmed by all the options or if you're still trying to decide a final few things to cook, take some inspiration from our Marketing Director Perry Riddle's Thanksgiving menu. 

On my table for Thanksgiving, I usually serve mostly dishes from my favorite cookbook author, Ina Garten.  This year I will be making her Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter, Spinach Gratin, Garlic Roasted Potatoes, Cranberry Conserve, and String Beans with Shallots.  I also will be serving a Honeybaked Ham, my mom’s Chicken and Dressing, yeast rolls, and my grandmother’s Sweet Potato Pie. 

Hors d’oeuvres:  To start I like to make some simple nibbles like Ina’s Truffled Popcorn, mixed nuts, and Cheese Straws and serve Delamotte Brut.  There’s just something about Champagne at a special holiday that screams “festive”.


Dinner:  I usually serve a red and white for dinner.  For white, my go-to is always an off-dry Riesling.  With my dinner menu, there is the typical element of sweetness that you find on the Thanksgiving table, but I don’t overdo it.  Wines such as August Kesseler’s Riesling R have an innate sweetness that beautifully pairs with foods while maintaining a crackling acidity that keeps things refreshing.   Plus I’ve found that this wine is a fan favorite among all my friends.   And, honestly, the combination of Honeybaked Ham and this wine is stunning!   For reds, my choice this year will probably be Southern Right Pinotage (which in my opinion is the best Pinotage for the money in the world).  The abundant blue fruit, fresh acidity, medium body, and spice notes really blend well with the food.  Another suggestion would be MAAL biutiful Malbec:  once again, a wine with abundant fruit, spice notes, and an easy-going structure  Overall, the key with reds is to avoid aggressive tannins and to embrace juiciness and fruitiness. 

Dessert:  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy a decadent dessert wine.  My grandmother’s Sweet Potato Pie is overall not a sweet pie but a very spicy one.  Fresh grated ginger and lots of allspice and cinnamon really wake up the taste buds.  I’ve found that Gewurztraminer can really be a gorgeous pairing with sweet potatoes when there’s an exotic spice element in the dish.  The absolute ideal wine here would be Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Mambourg Vendanges Tardives, but if you’re like most of us and can’t get ahold of this rare gem, the Cuvée Laurence or Cuvée Theo bottlings also have a light sweetness that can pair nicely with desserts that aren’t overly sweet.

Everyone has their own family recipes and own traditions, but if you're looking to spice yours up this year or make some new traditions of your own, we hope these blogs have helped! We'll leave you with a recipe for homemade cranberry relish from our Patrick Harney. The only thing missing from the recipe is the addition of 3 shots of Grand Marnier or Cognac (more depending on the number of annoying family members you plan on seeing). Happy Thanksgiving! 

Cranberry Relish Recipe