You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and in an effort to please all the holiday guests all the time, present two to three wines to accompany the diverse foods offered on the holiday table.
Bruce Sanderson of Wine Spectator says, "I like the versatility that turkey brings to wine selection. You can match both reds and whites, although reds tend to go better with the dark meat." Roasted turkey breast offers a subtle flavor that goes well with many wines. Food and wine pairing becomes more difficult when taking into account the many strong accompaniments. For example, full-flavored sausage stuffing, rich gravy, acidic cranberry sauce/salsa and the bold tastes of Brussels sprouts, pearl onions and sweet potatoes, all affect wine choice, just to name a few. Add to the diverse menu, the varied tastes of your guests: some prefer only white wine, others prefer only red, some like sweet wines while other guests will not indulge in any wines other than dry.
Our recommendation for the holiday feast is to offer both a red and white and let your guests select the wine suited to their tastes.
Gewurtztraminer - a fruity, slightly spicy wine that complements smoked turkey and other bold flavors.
Chardonnay - many wine experts caution about serving rich oaky chardonnays. Select a crisp, lightly oaked chardonnay with herbal flavors.
Riesling - a floral, fruity wine that appeals to sweet wine drinkers. Riesling is also suitable as an aperitif.
Pinot Blanc - a very versatile dry white wine that pairs well with the diverse flavors of the Thanksgiving table.
Sparkling wines - a wine that is always welcome and appropriate. Either non-vintage or vintage blanc de blanc is a perfect aperitif.
Pinot Noir - the top choice for Thanksgiving wines, based on a survey by Wine Spectator. Some wine connoisseurs consider Pinot Noir the most food friendly of all reds. The light to medium bodied wine pairs well with the multitude of flavors and textures without overwhelming the turkey breast.
Zinfandel - the truly American grape is a strong candidate to pour at the American holiday feast. The rich red wine will stand up to the strong flavors of the holiday dinner.
Beaujolais Nouveau - the light fruity young wine is released in mid-November. Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes and is a friendly red that pairs well with the big flavors of the holiday feast.