Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time or you’re a veteran host, choosing the wine to serve can be rather intimidating.  I have hosted for years and I try to have an assortment of drinks on hand, especially wine, but it’s impossible (and expensive) to try to please everyone at your holiday table.  So, what do you do?  Well, you start with the basics and take it from there.  By the way, there is no shame in telling guests to bring their favorite wine to dinner if they ask what they should bring.

The old school thought of pairing specific foods with specific wines is not my style.  I guess you could say that I’m “new school”.  While I do try to pair wines appropriately, I go by what I think goes well together, not what the wine snobs tell me I should do.  There are, however, some guidelines you can use when trying to determine what you’ll need.

If you’re serving appetizers before your feast, try pairing them with a sparkling wine.  They have become increasingly popular.  It’s an elegant pairing to bring to your table and sparkling wines pair with almost anything.  Literally.

Now, I don’t serve appetizers for Thanksgiving because I slave for days to prepare so much to eat during the meal and dessert, I don’t want anyone ruining their appetite.  I typically have both red and white wine on hand for my guests.  You really should have both to accommodate everyone.  In my opinion, the best wines for Thanksgiving are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay.

For the red wines, Pinot Noir (or “Auburn Road’s delicious Good Karma) is a traditional Thanksgiving wine.  The subtle undertones and fruitiness of the wine go extremely well with turkey and stuffing.  Zinfandel and Syrah are two other reds that would be a lovely addition to your meal.

If you are also looking to serve something with your desserts, port wines and/or sherry are the way to go.  They are a wonderful accompaniment to just about any pie.

All of the wines above are extremely popular choices that almost any white wine drinker will appreciate.  None of them will overpower your meal.  Instead, they’ll complement it nicely.

Have fun choosing your wines and, more importantly, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!