Easy Thanksgiving Drinks Guide: Wine and Beer and Cocktails, oh my!
So you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, or attending one (or more; does anyone else feel like Friendsgivings are proliferating?). And you’d like to be fancy and have (or bring) wine. But what to bring?
Fear not! I’ve partnered with my Sommelier spouse Robby to bring you an easy yet comprehensive guide to Thanksgiving wine pairings, beer pairings, plus suggestions for cocktails and the non-alcohol drinkers in your group (like me!)
The rule is: The best wine is the one YOU like.
Yes, really! Regardless of what the meal is, the best wine is the one that YOU like, the one you’ll enjoy drinking. If your answer to that is “Anything white” or just “Anything,” go for it!
And if you’re serving for a group? You’re in luck: Almost any wine goes with Thanksgiving! When it comes to traditional Thanksgiving dishes like roast turkey and mashed potatoes, you can pair anything from light whites to full reds.
If you’d like to be super impressive, serve a wine from each of these categories as the meal progresses–or just choose one each from a couple of categories to suit your guest list.
(Quick disclaimer: These aren’t affiliate links, just wines that Robby likes and recommends.) Also, I asked Robby to choose wines that wouldn’t break the bank, so these wines are all under $20, and most are around $10. I’ve also linked to them where possible so you know what they look like.)
Sparkling wine: Starting off, try a medium-full to full-bodied sparkling wine, like a brut Champagne (try: Mumm Napa Brut Prestige)
Oaked whites: A light to medium-oaked Chardonnay (try a Pouilly-Fuisse from Burgundy or a District 7)
Unoaked whites: A pinot grigio from northern Italy (here’s a search)
Reds: A mellow, light-bodied pinot noir (Robby especially loves ones from the Willamette Valley in Oregon), a Beaujolais or light-to medium bodied red from Jumilla, Spain (try: Juan Gil Silver Label or Jorge Ordonez Triton)
Heavier red: Zinfandel (try: Cosentino the Zin)
Want something fancy? Try these:
Splurges (more than $20): Perrier Jouet Grand Brut; Vista Hills Maryhurst Vineyards Pinot Noir; Grand Cru Boujolais; Jorge Ordonez Triga; Peter Franus Brandlin Vineyards Zin)
If you have
picky discerning beer drinkers, impress them by offering a variety!
Basic, straightforward beer: Sixpoint The Crisp lager or Central 28 Upriver American Pale Ale (a Florida beer!)
Crisp hard cider: Stella Artois Cidre or French hard cider
Dark beer, porter or stout: Sixpoint 5 Beans
Splurge: Goose Island Madam Rose
Cocktails & Punches
Planning a cocktail hour or looking for a signature drink for your party? Here are some seasonal suggestions:
- Cranberry Old Fashioned (for extra thematic points, use Wild Turkey 101)
- Pomegranate Gin Sling
- 3-ingredient Port Elderflower Rum Cocktail
- Pumpkin Spice Martini
- Pomegranate Orange Punch
- Best of two worlds: Hot Cider Nog
- Hot Buttered Rum-and-Cider
- Sparkling Orange Cranberry Sangria
- Classically seasonal Mulled White Wine
- Irish Coffee
This category is for people like me! I mostly don’t drink, because if I drink more than a few sips of any alcohol I’m liable to fall off my chair (and I do mean ANYTHING. Once it was champagne). And of course, kids deserve great drinks too! Here are a few suggestions: