There’s no denying that Thanksgiving will look and feel different this year – but it’s important to maintain traditions whenever possible. For many, that includes finding some perfect wine and spirits to pair with dinner.
Whether toasting to family and loved ones from across the table or across a Zoom screen, there’s a lot to be grateful for this year. Celebrate those good feelings with a wine or spirit that pairs with everything from turkey to sweet potato pie.
Of course, you may want to stock up on a few options for various pairings throughout the meal.
Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey
Family is all about long-standing traditions, and this Tennessee Whiskey ($30) has been around since 1860, was shuttered in 1909, and was brought back to life in 2014. That’s quite the history! Filtered through sugar maple charcoal and aged between two and five years in charred oak barrels, this is a complex but incredibly drinkable spirit that will be perfect for sipping with dessert or enjoying as a nightcap this Thanksgiving.
Blaufränkisch by Judith Beck
A crowd-friendly wine ($12) is a must, no matter how big or small that crowd ends up being. “This wine is incredibly versatile – and affordable – making it my go-to bottle for dinner parties and holiday gatherings,” said Keely Rosenthal, Assistant General Manager at Foxcroft Wine Co. Dilworth. The acid cuts through the fat in many popular sauces (such as gravy), and the lighter body and approachable flavors pair well with both lighter proteins as well as roasted vegetables.
All of Beck’s grapes are hand-harvested with sustainable farming practices. This particular wine shows a sense of place, with a med-body, tons of acidity, mild tannin, and notes of earth, spice, plum and red berries. Bonus points: “This wine is lower in alcohol and there are no added sulfites, so the chances of a headache the next day are minimal,” said Rosenthal. Second glass? Yes please.
Buchanan’s DeLuxe 12-Year Scotch
Another beautiful whisky for the holidays. Turkey and whisky are a match made in heaven and Buchanan’s DeLuxe ($39) is aged for 12 years in oak casks, creating a light smoky flavor that characterizes this blend that is matured in European and American oak casks. Enjoy it at dinner neat or with some ice or water.
Coconut Cartel’s On The Run Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit
Have fun with dinner! There’s not been nearly enough fun to be had this year. Coconut Cartel’s “On The Run” Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit ($37 for the rum, $55 for the kit, including rum) includes all of the ingredients to mix six Old Fashioned cocktails: Cane sugar, Scrappy’s bitters, muddler spoon, cocktail picks, and a linen coaster. This kit is available as an optional add-on purchase with Coconut Cartel Special, a blend of Guatemalan rum aged up to 12 years with locally sourced coconut water.
Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée
Toasting to family and health is more important than ever this year, and Special Cuvée ($60) will fit perfectly with the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner. This beautifully complex Champagne has aromas of spice and roasted apples on the nose, perfect for an autumn feast.
Feudo Arancio Stemmari Nero d’Avola 2018
A beautiful Sicilian red is a fit for any celebratory dinner and Nero d’Avola ($10) has notes of dark and sweet spices and cocoa, making it a fit for anything served at Thanksgiving, from sweet to savory.
St. Regis Nosecco
There’ll always be some people not drinking alcohol at the holiday table, and they deserve a special sparkling beverage as well! St. Regis Nosecco ($18) is an alcohol-free sparkling wine with beautiful fruit notes, including nutmeg and delicate white flowers. It’ll go great with sweet desserts like pumpkin or pecan pies.
Nino Negri Quadrio
Red wines that are approachable yet full of complexity are the best choices for a holiday dinner and this wine ($23) has aromas of raspberry, roses, and ends with a herbal note. Imagine how beautiful it will pair with that turkey!
This dry white wine ($31) is shockingly versatile, and will pair well with turkey, cranberries and sweet potatoes! The beautiful floral and spicy notes will go well with all those fabulous holiday dinner sides – and everyone knows those are the best part of the meal!
Widow Jane Decadence Bourbon
Whether your Thanksgiving table involves candied yams or pumpkin pie, this 10-year bourbon ($100) hailing from Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Widow Jane Distillery is blended in small batches and finished in American Oak Barrels that once held Upstate New York’s Crown Maple artisan maple syrup. That maple syrup barrel helps to deliver notes of pecans, maple, vanilla, burnt sugar, and cinnamon, and bark. There’s no more perfect finishing note for dinner this season.
By Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer