Thanksgiving is around the corner. And this year looks a bit more hopeful than last year, when many people, including us, celebrated the holiday at home or braved the cold for small gatherings outside for happy hour. This year, more people are traveling to see family and friends, or similarly attending small dinner parties. What wines for Thanksgiving will you open to enjoy at happy hour, and with your turkey and sides? Do you know yet? If not, read on for six suggestions.
Wines for Thanksgiving
First, if you love red wine, some good bets are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Nero D’Avola. Next, if you prefer whites, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Picpoul, Grillo and Turbiana work well. Likewise, Rosé is also a good option. Above all, there is no right or wrong!
We recently tasted samples of six delicious wines that will pair nicely with your Thanksgiving feast. The prices for five of them range from $11-$18 (SRP). One bottle costs $58. Certainly, these were samples. However, opinions are our own. Here they are, in alphabetical order.
For $18, these two wines from Cantine Ermes will complement your Thanksgiving meal. Or consider them as a good-value wine to take to a party, or as a holiday gift. For example, Quattro Quarti Grillo 2019 is a refreshing mosaic of the Grillo grape from four different territories of Sicily. Aromatics of white fruit, peaches, almonds, sea salt and orange peel lead into flavors of grapefruit, limes, lemons, peaches and minerality. This vibrant, elegant white wine is made with organically grown grapes. Meanwhile, Epicentro Nero d’Avola Riserva Sicilia DOC 2016 is an outstanding red wine – one of the best Nero d’Avolas we’ve ever tasted. On the nose, you’ll find aromatics of cherry, prune and cocoa with hints of minerality. In addition, the aromas are mirrored on the palate, along with hints of vanilla. Of note, this powerful red wine tasted even better on the second day.
ETTORE Red 2018 is a beautiful, sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, produced from organic, hand-harvested grapes that grow in gravely, loamy soil in Mendocino, CA. Winemaker Ettore Biraghi brings his old-world Italian winemaking heritage to the new world grapes. As a result, this is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors, and hints of anise and savory, smoky, earthy notes. ETTORE Red 2018 has an aging potential to 2035. At $58, it’s the priciest of these wines and perfect for a special occasion.
Established in 1870, Graffigna is the oldest winery in San Juan and the third oldest winery in Argentina. The winery is named for its founder, Santiago Graffigna, a passionate Italian immigrant who planted the area’s first vineyards. We tasted the Graffigna Malbec 2019, which has been the winery’s flagship wine for 150 years. The grapes are sourced from multi-altitude vineyards in San Juan and Mendoza. This rich 100% Malbec displays the true character of its variety. Aromas of black cherries, red berries, spices, toasty notes and a hint of black pepper echo in the flavors. And it’s only $12 – a great red wine for your Thanksgiving table or to pour for friends. Or serve it with steak or roasted chicken.
Are you looking for wallet-friendly and food-friendly wine for the holidays? Look no further! These two red wines from Argentina’s TILIA each have a price point of $11. As well, both are available in the U.S. First, TILIA Malbec-Syrah 2020 was the hit of our tasting of eight wines. But it’s still a baby, so four hours of decanting opened up the complex nose and fruit flavors. The blend (55% Malbec, 45% Syrah) features a dark fruit nose with hints of spice, while more red fruit and meat flavors are on the palate. This does not drink like an $11 wine!
Next, we tasted TILIA’s Bonarda 2020, our first experience with this other signature red grape of Argentina. Moreover, TILIA explains that the Bonarda grapes in Argentina are not the same as the Bonarda grapes in Italy. However, they are the same grapes known as Douce Noire in France and Charbono in California.
TILIA’s 100% Bonarda is rich and full of blueberry and spice flavors, along with hints of basil. This wine also drinks higher than an $11 wine. Again, we decanted it for four hours, which really opened up the flavors of this young wine.
Meanwhile, TILIA’s wine labels illustrate the journey toward sustainable viticulture in Argentina, and it’s the first Argentine winery to carry the Bodegas de Argentina Certified Sustainable Seal on its label.
Summary: Wines for Thanksgiving
In conclusion, we appreciate the samples of wines for Thanksgiving. Above all, we would be pleased to have any one of them grace our Thanksgiving table.
We wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving! And we give our thanks to you for reading this blog over the last 14+ years.
Margot and Dave