Thanksgiving is just around the corner and deciding on what you want to serve to your guests can be a daunting task. Whether you are trying to find one great wine to serve or several different wines to pair with different courses, it is important that you find something that works.
A Brut can be a nice way to go especially if you are serving foods with a lot of strong flavors. The scrubbing bubbles are a nice way to clean your palate between different foods.
Viognier: Floral and fruity, with essences of peach, apricot, and pear. Low acidity.
Chenin Blanc: Spicy and slightly sweet with high acidity.
Sauvignon Blanc: Light and crisp, with grassy or herbaceous flavors. Higher acidity.
Riesling: Can be dry or sweet; spicy, fruity flavor with touches of peaches or apricots and a floral fragrance.
Gewurztraminer: Can be dry or sweet. The German word gewurtz means “spiced.” These wines are highly aromatic with floral touches and spice notes such as cloves or nutmeg.
Pinot Noir: Younger wines are fruity with essence of plums, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries. Older wines have a smoky edge to them.
Syrah: Strong spice and black pepper qualities. Older syrahs are fruitier, with some smokiness. Also called Shiraz if it comes from Australia.
Zinfandel: Lots of intense, plummy, jammy flavors with spicy or peppery notes.
Muscat: Can be white, light, and slightly sweet or dark and quite sweet. Perfumy and musky, with essence of oranges. Serve chilled.
Port: Sweet, fairly heavy fortified wine. Younger ports are fruitier. Older ports are less sweet, tawny in color, and have a nuttier flavor from longer aging in wood.
Sauternes: Be sure there’s a final “s” on the bottle of Sauternes you buy. “Sauterne” is a generic name for cheap, dry to semisweet wines made from a blend of only fair-to-middling grapes. Real Sauternes comes from France and is delightfully sweet, with notes of vanilla, pineapple, and peach.
Riesling or Gewurztraminer: Reprise either of these — in their sweeter incarnations if you served them with dinner. Or break out a new bottle with the pumpkin pie.
Asti Spumante: A sweet or semisweet sparkling wine from Italy. Serve it well chilled.