Wine to serve with the bird: Thanksgiving Edition

White with fish, red with meat: a conformist’s take on food and wine pairings.

But a love of food combined with some knowledge of wine does not a conformist make.

Which is why, after a few reader requests, inanutshell brings you a second edition of unique wines to serve with the bird.  As a follow up to our first edition, we bring you a fresh perspective with new wines, new flavours and the best deals to be found at the LCBO this Thanksgiving weekend.

Sparkling Rosé


Save: Allemant-Laugner Cremant D’Alsace $19.95

Why it works: Opposites attract!  Think: light weight wine with heavier foods. Although that common feeling of post-turkey lethargy is often pinned on acids like Tryptophan that exist within the bird, this effect also has a lot to do with the weight and richness of the food. A great way to counter the richer foods served at a thanksgiving dinner is with bubbles. Even better? Pink bubbles. The effect of sparkling wine on your tongue will act like a palate cleanser and prepare your mouth for each new bite of rich turkey and gravy goodness.  Disclaimer: Over-indulging in bubbles may also induce sleepiness.

Splurge: 13 Street Rosé $24.95

Why it works: Continuing with the theme of sparkling wine, 13 Street rosé carries powerful notes of fruit that won’t be overpowered by the turkey’s natural gamey flavour. The tart lemon and tangerine flavours will echo the tartness of thanksgiving cranberry sauce while continuing to cut through the fatty foods on your plate.



wineswithbirdrieslingSave: Markus Molitor Spatlese Riesling $12.95

  Why it works: If your thanksgiving dinner is traditionally served with a helping of root veggies (think carrots, parsnips) then Markus Molitor is an ideal wine for your turkey dinner. Try this spatlese, a sweeter style of riesling, to complement the naturally sweeter root veggies.

 Splurge: Charles Baker Riesling $35.20

 Why it works: Although slightly off-dry, this wine is an effective alternative to bubbles, as sparkling wine may not be for everyone around the thanksgiving dinner table. This wine maintains great acidity from beginning to finish which will cut through the fattiness of the dark meat, but carries residual sugar throughout which will, again, complement any sweeter elements on the plate.

Pinot Noir


Save: Inniskillin Pinot Noir  $15.9

 Why it works: Inniskillin’s Pinot Noir is cheap and cheerful and exactly what you want from an easy drinking Pinot Noir. It carries great acidity and notes of tart red fruit which may even act as a liquid substitute for traditional tart cranberry sauce.

Splurge: Hunter’s Pinot Noir $21.9

Why it works: Slightly more complex than it’s penny-saving counterpart, Hunter’s Pinot is an ideal pairing with your turkey dinner. Prominent notes of savoury and sweet herbs will echo mom’s homemade rosemary stuffing. The bright acidity will work as a palate cleanser and battle the richness of the food while the earthy undertones will highlight smokiness in the gravy and darker meat.

And as every thanksgiving dinner has a sweet ending, venture to try a sherry with your pumpkin pie. Sherry is abundant with notes of sugar and spice….and everything that pairs nicely with pumpkin pie. The Del Principe Muy Viejo Amantillado (priced at $19.95) carries notes of bitter orange, almond, walnuts, toffee and baking spice and is just sweet enough to complement and not overpower pumpkin pie.


  Do you serve a less traditional meal at Thanksgiving? Perhaps a vegetarian option? Let us know and we will happily suggest wines to pair! 

One Comment

  1. Yael says:

    My friend invited me to Jewish Thanksgiving at her place and they’re serving up beef brisket! I’d like to bring a bottle of wine but they prefer whites so I’m a but stumped. Suggestions welcome!

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