Last Minute Wine Recommendations for Thanksgiving

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We know that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We also know that you might be freaking out if all of the wine shops and liquor stores have closed for the day and you haven’t been able to get wine for Thanksgiving dinner. In most states, you can head off to your local grocery store (if you live in a state where you have to buy from state-owned stores, there isn’t much we can do for you).

If you find yourself wondering what your last-minute wine purchases should be for Thanksgiving, here are our top five picks. Please forgive us if your local grocery store doesn’t have these wines, we are bit spoiled in California.

Here are our top five last-minute wine picks:

  • Korbel Sparkling Wine: These sparklers have been around since the 1890’s when Korbel was one of the first wineries to make California sparkling wine in the method traditionale that is used to make Champagne. Today, Korbel has a line of 11 sparkling wines, ranging from dry to sweet and everything in between, that will go with appetizers to turkey to dessert.
  • Kendall Jackson Chardonnay: A perennial favorite. Kendall Jackson almost defines California Chardonnay – citrus and tropical fruit with vanilla and butter from the oak. This wine will nicely compliment the turkey, green beans and sweet potatoes.
  • Chateau St. Michelle Riesling: Chateau St. Michelle is one of my favorite go-to wineries for value and quality. Chateau St. Michelle is located in Washington State and makes a number of delicious wines. Not only are their Riesling wines good, so are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (and I am not a huge Merlot fan). If you feel like splurging on a really nice Riesling, try the Eroica, a beautiful blend of old and new world (the winemaker of Dr. Loosen in Germany makes this wine for them). A great wine to warm up the crowd for dinner or to have with dinner, itself.
  • Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc: Fume Blanc was Robert Mondavi’s homage to Pouilly Fume in France. Pouilly Fume is a classic Sauvignon Blanc that has a smoky/flinty quality imparted to it by the local terroir (the soil in this case). Mondavi imparted the smoky/flinty quality to his Napa Sauvignon Blanc through the use of oak. Ferrari Carano has followed Mondavi’s style and makes a very fine Fume Blanc. The wine is crisp with citrus and tropical notes with a smokiness imparted by the oak. It would be a great accompaniment to turkey and the sides.
  • Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau: Thanksgiving lines up nicely every year with the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, which occurs the third Thursday of every November. Beaujolais Nouveau is from France and is the “new” wine that results from the fermentation of the most recent harvest (and should be drunk within months of bottling). This wine is light and fruity and wouldn’t overwhelm the turkey or its sides.

We know that these picks are a little heavy on the white wines but we wanted to try to cover wine that we know has national distribution. Unfortunately, a lot of the red that we know has national distribution isn’t the best to pair with the traditional Thanksgiving fare. But, I say, if you love Cabernet Sauvignon, go for it! However, if you really want a red wine, try the Chateau St. Michelle Merlot (Merlot is a lot more mellow than Cabernet Sauvignon and is less likely to overwhelm your turkey dinner).

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