Matching a single wine with all of the flavors that make up a Thanksgiving feast can be challenging. One good solution is to offer both a white and a red. It is wise to include a few nonalcoholic options, too, such as sparkling water or iced tea, allowing one quart or liter for every two guests. Sparkling cider, hot spiced cider, and cranberry lemonade are festive beverages that everyone can enjoy. If you’re looking for a more formal approach to food and wine pairings, Williams-Sonoma: Best of Thanksgiving has some suggestions:
• Accompany appetizers and savory snacks with sparkling wines, such as Champagne, Prosecco, or cava.
• Match soup with a dry sherry, such as fino or Manzanilla.
• Serve salads with a high-acid white, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, or skip a wine altogether for the salad course. The high acidity of many salad dressings can be difficult to pair with wine.
• Match turkey with crisp white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Albariño, or Italian Pinot Grigio, or with a lightly oaked Chardonnay. Or, try a medium-bodied red, such as Zinfandel, Syrah, or Pinot Noir.
• Pair ham or other smoked foods with a fruity, medium-bodied white or red wine, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, or Pinot Noir.
• Partner desserts with sweet wines that taste as sweet as the dish, like vin santo or late-harvest whites and port for chocolate desserts.