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The key to amazing food and wine on Turkey Day? Keep a small selection of (versatile) bottles on hand, ready to pour for thirsty guests. And you don’t need to have a wine match for every dish you serve. A few “all-around” picks in red, white, rosé, or fizz will cover your bases.

 

The Opening Credits
Welcome guests with a glass of bubbly, like Champagne or Prosecco – it’ll set a fun and festive tone (for extra panache, add a splash of cranberry juice or a candied cranberry garnish). Another pro in the fizz column? It’s sure to get everyone’s appetites revved up for the meal.

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If you’re serving pre-dinner munchies – spiced nuts, an assortment of cheeses, crudités, dips – you’ll want something light- or medium-bodied to keep things from getting too rich before dinner. Try an Italian white (Pinot Grigio or Friulano are great crowd-pleasers), smooth Merlot, or an elegant Provence rosé.

The Main Act
Brined and roasted, smoked, deep fried – there are as many ways to  prepare a turkey as there are wines to enjoy it with.thanksgiving4
Fruit-forward reds withsilky-smooth tannins like California Zinfandel or Pinot Noir, and Cru Beaujolais. Subtly oaked whites like some French Chardonnays or Rioja blancos work well with most any turkey recipe, and are usually a safe bet with a variety of sides. To keep palates refreshed throughout the meal, think about also serving vibrant Crémant rosé (another fizz) or a dry Riesling.

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Supporting Roles
When you’ve got an especially tasty side dish, it can be fun to pair it with a wine that’ll help it really come into its own. Make a mean sage and sausage bread stuffing? Go for a crisp Grüner Veltliner or a ripe, smooth Italian red (Primitivo-based blends are a great choice). Is Great Aunt Millie bringing her sweet potato pie or maple-roasted Brussels sprouts? Try a juicy Spanish rosadoor (more!) uplifting Prosecco. With juicy acidity and no heavy tannins, these wines work with your sides and still play well with the bird.


Love for the Reruns
What do you pair with a turkey sandwich, topped with (maybe a little too much) stuffing, cranberry sauce and turnips? thanksgiving5You can’t go wrong with a red-fruited, smooth red blend from California or the Rhône Valley. And if you’re reliving the Big Day with a properly full plate, try a rich Portuguese red, peachy-floral Viognier, or lively Spanish Cava.

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Enjoy your Thanksgiving!