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Here's Your Guide to Choosing the Right Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

Bestproducts.com logo Bestproducts.com 11/7/2019 Danielle St. Pierre
a person preparing food in a bowl on a table: We chatted with legendary winemaker Charles Smith, to get his thoughts on what wines are the best overall choice for Thanksgiving, which varieties pair best with each specific dish, and more tips for entertaining this holiday season. © Stocksy We chatted with legendary winemaker Charles Smith, to get his thoughts on what wines are the best overall choice for Thanksgiving, which varieties pair best with each specific dish, and more tips for entertaining this holiday season.

Thanksgiving dinner is right around the corner, dear winos. You've put all this effort into brining and basting that turkey to perfection, prepping a bunch of savory sides, and baking enough sweets to feed a small army. The last thing you need to worry about is choosing the best wine for the big meal.

The good news? No matter what you choose, you really can't go wrong.

We chatted with legendary rock star-turned winemaker, Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, to get his thoughts on what wines are the best overall choice for Thanksgiving, which varieties pair best with each specific dish, and more tips for entertaining this holiday season.

We also hand-picked a few crowd-pleasing wines for you to serve at your holiday feast this year.

Read on for Charles' tips, and be sure to check out the full portfolio of very badass Charles Smith wines for all of your holiday hosting needs.

DSP: What wine do you recommend for Thanksgiving dinner specifically?

CS: Thanksgiving is really a grab bag of what you might want to drink. You have sweet, savory, salty as well as many smells and tastes that surround you. First and foremost, always find something that you really enjoy drinking.

DSP: Should we gravitate towards a specific varietal? What about the whole white versus rosé versus red thing?

CS: Drinking something that is more neutral — like a fresh white wine or a lighter red wine — works really well for Thanksgiving dinner. This also allows you to be more flexible with a variety of holiday dishes. For example, my ViNO Pinot Grigio works nicely simply because it is fresh and has plenty of mineral qualities. Plus, you can drink copious amounts of it.

Or, you can drink along the lighter red side. My Casa Smith Cervo Barbera, Cinghiale Sangiovese or even the Porcospino Primitivo would be absolutely delicious. They absorb all the savory and address the sweet notes.

DSP: How about sparkling wine for Turkey Day?

CS: Sparkling wine that is not too sweet, drinkable, and delicious pairs really nicely with those classic Thanksgiving flavors. I can’t speak for everyone, except that it’s my belief that consumers are looking for an alternative wine with bubbles. With my just-launched POPUP sparkling wine (and all my wines), you read the label and understand what’s in the bottle within seconds.

There’s beautiful Champagne, cava and prosecco, but most people look at the labels and have absolutely no idea what's in the bottle. In the US, if the label is clear and in English, so many more people can understand what they are about to drink and have greater confidence in what they are purchasing.

DSP: Speaking of bubbles, what does the future of sparkling wine look like to you?

CS: I think we’ll continue to see this US-made sparkling wine trend, but to be clear, we are not trying to imitate France, Italy or Spain. Champagne, prosecco and cava, although delicious, should be left to themselves. Let’s make something that is purely our own thing, something made here in the US, and something that reflects the best work we can do.

So there you have it, folks! Whether you bring a bottle of bubbly, white, rosé, or red, there's a Thanksgiving dish that will pair perfectly with your vino of choice.


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