Thanksgiving and Pairing Cades Cove Cellars Wine

October has gone, and November is here bringing with it shorter days and shorter hours at the winery. If you are like me, you have probably begun to think about that big turkey dinner in a couple of weeks. Menu planning, grocery shopping, and prep cooking are all on the horizon.

What’s better than turkey, ham, and all the trimmings? All of that plus a big glass of wine, or three, but who’s counting?!

That leaves the big question: what kind of wine should we be having with Thanksgiving dinner? A good and simple strategy for Thanksgiving wine is to select a very good white and a very good red, offering your guests their choice. Most wine pairing experts recommend a chardonnay that is unoaked or very light in oak, or a pinot noir. However, it is always fine to serve a wine just because you know your guests will love it. For that reason, I will be including a semi-sweet wine so there will three different types of wine on my table this year.

If you’re selecting two or three types, I suggest the following from Cades Cove Cellars:

·      A Dry White:This could be either our Chardonnay which is light on the oak, or Abrams Falls (made from local Seyval Blanc grapes) which is crisp and fruity but not sweet. Both have well-balanced acidity and would complement lighter side dishes.

·      A Semi-Sweet Wine: Think Laurel Blush (medium sweet wine very similar to White Zinfandel) or Old Mill Red (medium sweet concord grape wine similar to an Italian Lambrusco—my mom’s favorite wine for holidays.) Each of these will even please beginning wine drinkers who tend to prefer very fruity and slightly sweet flavors and may actually work best with some of the sweet flavored foods.

·      A Friendly Red: First choice is probably Pinot Noir, so that would be our Fall Bounty. It is a medium bodied dry red that is made from Chambourcin grapes and fruit forward while still retaining a dry characteristic. This one is perfect for both turkey and ham, which is great, because I’m making both.

·      You might even add a full-bodied red such as our Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon if you know your guests will prefer it.


Finally, I always like to end on a sweet note. Pumpkin pie has its time to shine once a year. It is good on its own, but I make a sweetened cinnamon whipped cream to go on top and my whipped cream to pie ratio is at least 2:1. Anyone else like more whipped cream than pie? Dessert would not be complete without plenty of conversation with family and friends and a big mug of hot spiced wine. Mulled wine is very easy to make with our Warm Winter Wine mix. I put a box of our spice mix, one container of 100% cranberry juice, and one bottle of Fall Bounty all in a Crock-pot until its nice and warm without boiling. Try it. You and your guests will thank me later! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Jennifer Rawdon

Yardley Sawyer