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Parade Magazine - The Best Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner

As my mouth waters thinking about my mom’s deliciously moist and savory stuffing or my sister’s famous buttery and creamy mashed potatoes, the wheels are turning in my head as to what wines will make each dish a standout on its own. Because Thanksgiving flavors run the gamut from sweet to spicy to salty to herbed to roasted, pairing the wine with the food can be a challenge. Unlike most meals where there’s just one star on the plate to consider, at our house every dish on the Thanksgiving table is the star. So my goal is to choose wines that will make all the dishes shine, and the key to doing this is to serve wines that have:

  • Lots of acidity to cut through fat, temper saltiness, and cleanse your palate between bites
  • Enough body to stand up to richer dishes, but not so much that they overpower the menu as a whole
  • Mild tannins to prevent palate fatigue
  • A good balance between fruit, earth and wood so they complement a variety of flavors
  • And lower alcohol so that you can drink throughout the day without face planting into your food by the time dinner is served!

2016 Nine Hats Riesling: When it comes to Turkey Day whites, it’s tough to beat a good Riesling because it encompasses everything you need for a perfect pairing: acidity, versatility, balance and low alcohol. While both dry and off-dry versions work well with most Thanksgiving menus, I usually opt for a dry one because I like the way it cleanses my palate between bites. And given my love for Washington wine and its people, it comes as no surprise that this dry Riesling from Nine Hats is a spot-on choice. It offers beautiful ripe fruitiness that gives the impression of sweetness, which is balanced by refreshing acidity that keeps you going back for more. Read more.

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