2018 Thanksgiving Day Pairings – Not just for Turkeys!

2018 Thanksgiving Day Pairings – Not just for Turkeys!

It’s that time of the year! The Holiday Season is upon us and each new year brings new traditions. My family enjoys a traditional meal of turkey and dressing (not much for stuffing the dressing in the bird at my house). In many of my friend’s homes, plates of tamales (our Xmas Eve go-to dish), Biryani and Asian dishes with egg rolls and dumplings line the table. In the true spirit of America, Thanksgiving is whatever your family enjoys. Trying to find the perfect wine pairing to go with such a wide variety of foods is tricky. I’ll give it a try with two whites and two reds that I believe can cover a variety of food offerings.

Kudos 2015 Pinot Gris

Kudos 2015 Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is a rose skin colored white grape grown in a variety of regions such as the US, Italy and France. The varietal name Pinot Gris is generally used in the Alsace region of France, while Pinot Grigio has generally been used in the US. I found a very pleasant version of Pinot Gris that is reasonably priced during a tasting at a local wine store. Kudos 2015 Pinot Gris (http://kudoswine.com/featured-wines/pinot-gris) is a Willamette Valley wine. The 2015 season provided high grape yields with great tastes of citrus and peach and a citrus nose. This is a wine with good fruit, sugar, and acid balance which gives it a round finish. It is crisp, but, not too crisp. With many Thanksgiving meals where spices are evident in a variety of foods, the finish in this Pinot Gris will provide balanced taste. It is crisp and round and will not overpower your meal.

At $15 per bottle this is a value priced wine to enjoy with your meal.

La Crema Chardonnay

There are several Chardonnays on the market to choose from. I happen to prefer the traditional bold, slightly sweet taste and La Crema (http://www.lacrema.com/wine/sonoma-coast-chardonnay/) fits the bill. This Sonoma Chardonnay has hints of citrus fruits in both the smell and taste. Vanilla and plum flavors also linger on the palate. La Crema is aged for 5 months in French and American Oak barrels. The predominance of French Oak imparts a buttery, creamy finish. The slightly fruity sweetness balances the spices of turkey and dressing.

La Crema Sonoma Chardonnay averages $16 at most stores. Many stores run specials this time of year since it is such a popular partnering with holiday meals.

Le Crema Chardonnay – courtesy La Crema Wines

Tuli Pinot Noir

Canyon Wines Owner and Winemaker Joseph Wagner, took advantage of the natural qualities of the Sonoma Coast Appellation to produce a Pinot Noir that is full and well-balanced in taste and nose. Tuli Pinot Noir (www.tuliwines.com) features a bright fruity nose of cranberry and cinnamon spice.

Tuli Pinot Noir

The Caneros region of Sonoma Coast is where the bulk of Pinot Noir grapes used to create this wine are grown. Grapes from this region produce a bright floral nose and delicate taste. Combining this with the robustness of Russian River Valley and Petulama Pinot Noir grapes creates a wine that is round and smooth.


The wine has hints of berry with a concentrated strawberry flavor. Aging took place in French oak barrels for nine months giving Tuli Pinot Noir a light oak taste with hints of vanilla. As with most Pinot Noirs, Tuli features light tannins.


The name Tuli comes from the original inhabitants of the land, the Wappo Native Americans, and translates to mean “sharing”. Share this wine with your friends and family. With an average price of $26 per bottle this is a great Pinot Noir to pair with just about any type of food. Tuli is best at a slightly chilled 60º so consider putting it in the fridge for an hour before serving to get just the right experience.

Landon Winery Tempranillo

I’ll round out this blog with a wine that is native to Texas and can be shipped around the country to several states. Landon Winery (http://www.landonwinery.com/) is an award-winning Texas winery with locations in McKinney, Greenville and Wylie. The Tempranillo is a Spanish style wine that has natural spices and tastes of cherry, plum and dried figs. The tannins in this wine are medium in finish as is the acidity. Landon Tempranillo has a long finish and you will feel the tannins on both sides of your tongue. It pairs well with a variety of foods and will work well with a variety of Thanksgiving foods.

Landon Winery Tempranillo – Photo courtesy of Landon Wines

At $26 per bottle this is another wine to consider pairing with your holiday meal.

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together, enjoy each other, eat and drink. From my family to your Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!

Drink Responsibly!

#wbc2017 @landonwinery @tuliwines @lecremawines @kudoswine