There is no one wine that’s a perfect match for Thanksgiving dinner, but my usual choice is pinot noir. Nothing too delicate that will be overwhelmed by the food or too heavy and alcoholic, which runs the risk of overwhelming you. Here are three possibilities, in different price ranges.
One of the best moderately priced pinot noirs I’ve found recently is the 2021 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir ($20). It really delivers for that price, with lively cherry and raspberry and a slightly earthy, forest floor note that pairs well with turkey. The finish is smooth and lingering.
Staying in Oregon, the 2022 Sokol Blosser Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45) from the Yamhill-Carlton area of the Willamette Valley is delicious, if pricier. It’s a little more structured, with plump, juicy strawberry and cranberry flavors and a hint of that same earthiness that you find in the Erath.
Rombauer, best known for chardonnay, probably isn’t the first winery you think of when you’re looking for splurge-worthy pinot noir. But earlier this year, the winery – which has since been acquired by Gallo – released a delicious pinot from several top vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County. The 2021 Rombauer Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($65) is full-bodied and lively, with ripe cherry, raspberry and crushed strawberry fruit and a silky texture.
If pinot noir isn’t your thing, consider grenache or syrah or even a more restrained California zinfandel. All should deliver the zingy fruit that a Thanksgiving meal requires.