All-American Wine Pairing Guide for Being Thankful #SundaySupper

For this week’s #SundaySupper we celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with a bounty of tasty dishes for which to be thankful. And this year also presents a rare opportunity to be thankful, because it’s the first time since 1888 that any of the eight days in the Jewish celebration of lights has fallen on the same day as the holiday marking the Pilgrims’ 1621 first harvest in the New World.  And “Thanksgivukkah”, as some are calling it, won’t happen again until 2070!

Trying to figure out what wine to pair with the Thanksgiving turkey is easy – just about any wine with enough weight will suffice.  The challenge is what wine(s) to pair with other diverse palate of sweet, tart and savory flavors, textures, and aromas that present themselves on Thanksgiving.

I like to keep it simple, drink whatever make you and your guests happy.  But safe bets for red wines are wines that have ample fruit, and are not too oaky, or high in alcohol such as Pinot Noir, wines made from Rhone grapes such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, or a blend, and Zinfandel. For white wine, go with aromatic, fresh, (well-balanced acidity) wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, or Gewürztraminer.  And last, but not least, are my secret weapons for holiday wine and food pairings – Sparkling wine and Rosé.  Sparkling wines bring a celebratory feel and remarkable food-pairing versatility to the holiday table.  Also consider Rosé for its underrated versatility at the holiday table.

All-American Wine Pairing Guide For Being Thankful #SundaySupper
My Thanksgiving “wine-up” L-R; 2003 Roederer L’Ermitage Brut, 2012 Loring Wine Company Central Coast Pinot Noir, 2012 Donkey & Goat Stonecrusher Roussanne, and 2011 Yorkville Cellars Late Harvest Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Since Thanksgiving is the most American of holiday, I’ve chosen all American wines.  It’s a great time to buy American wines, because in my view, they are better than they’ve ever been!

Here are 11 wines you’ll be thankful for when it comes to wine and food pairing for your holiday celebrations:


  • Roederer Estate Brut – a delicious blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir that’s on the fruitier side of brut that is crisp and elegant with pear, apple, cinnamon, and hazelnut character.  You might also consider a Rosé sparkling wine!


  • 2011 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir  – a sleek wine with wild berry, cherry, and savory aromatics and flavors. 
  • 2011 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – a classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from Washington State with a black cherry, cranberry, clove character, and an earthy undertone
  • 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs  – Blend of (mostly) Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignan that is well-balanced  and very food friendly with red fruit, sweet spice and bramble aromas; with ample black cherry, red currant, and spice flavors with a long lip-smacking finish. 


  • 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica – It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.  This one will work well with appetizers and the main course.
  • 2012 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier – This is a wonderful blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier that is low alcohol (12%) with an aromatic, juicy grapefruit, melon, passionfruit, and baked stone fruit character with lively acidity that make it a versatile food pairing partner.
  • 2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc – Don’t let the Fumé Blanc moniker food you.  That’s all about marketing.  It’s Sauvignon Blanc, and it has a delicious candied grapefruit, lemon, herbal and mineral laced character.  It’ll pair well with herb stuffing, both white and dark meat, and much more.


  • 2012 Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher El Dorado Roussannethis is unique “orange” wine, meaning white wine made applying the primary red wine technique of letting the wine soak on the grapes skins – in this case for 15 days – to add a large dose of tannins.  The result is a wine that is very versatile at the table.  It has a great mouthfeel with a spiced orange peel, lanolin, and herbal character.  Let it breathe a bit before serving and you’ll be amply rewarded
  • 2012 Tablas Creek Rosé Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles – a charming Rosé that is incredibly flexible partner at the table.  It a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise with delightful strawberry, watermelon, spice and mineral flavors. It has enough weight to stand up to a holiday meal without being heavy


  • 2008 Barra Bella Dolce Petite Sirah Dessert Wine  which is a Port-style wine made from Petite Sirah with fresh blueberry, mocha, and ground coffee aromas, and sweet spicy dark fruit flavors that will complement chocolate, nut-based, coffee and caramel desserts.
  • 2011 Navarro Late Harvest Cluster Select Riesling –  It has a great apricot, pear, pineapple, honey and baking spice character, with a long finish. And its crisp acidity keeps from being cloying. Pair with tree and stone-fruit-based desserts, creamy and custard desserts.

For your Hanukkah celebration – Check out both Hagafen and Baron Herzog for their selection of Kosher wines.  

Check out this week’s delectable dishes served up by our ever thankful #SundaySupper team!






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  1. Oh, I want to try the El Dorado and the Petit Sirah Dessert Wine! I love this guide Martin!

  2. There goes my wine shopping list growing again thanks to you.

  3. Eileen Gross says:

    I like how you kept the wine list ‘All American’
    I need to find a bottle of Owen Roe Sinister Hand, looks like my kind of wine.
    Have a grape Thanksgiving Martin!

  4. Stacy says:

    Some lovely choices there, Martin. Since we are celebrating Christmas and New Years in the States this year, it’s also perfect timing. I’m sending my husband your link because he’s in charge of holiday beverages to accompany the meals!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Stacy! And yes, you’re right the same guidelines that apply to Thanksgiving also work for Christmas. Enjoy your time in the States!

  5. Wonderful pairings. I am off to the wine store!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Dorothy. Happy hunting!

  6. Thank you so much for the description of the wine lists!! I want to try the Roederer Estate Brut and 2012 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier. Thank you so much!!

  7. Thanks for all the wonderful wine recommendations for our Thanksgiving table.Wishing you a wonderful holiday, Martin!

  8. hipfoodiemom says:

    As always, LOVE all the wine pairings!!! Cheers!

  9. Great suggestions as always, Martin!

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