Thanksgiving table set with several types of wine.
Thanksgiving is a time for inexpensive cheap and cheerful wines.


Celebrating Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving is America’s favorite – and likely most stressful holiday!  Leaving the side dishes to you, I’m here to take the burden of the beverage off your shoulders.  Let’s go!

Lamb jumping to show thinking outside the box
Take a leap and think outside the wine box for Thanksgiving!

Think outside the wine box because it’s time to have some fun experimenting.  Think ciders (hard and soft), fruit wines or one of the trendy new meads from a Meadery.

Five things to know about Thanksgiving wines starts now:

  1. No expensive wine is required. In fact, it would be a fail.  Here’s why: the foods on our plate will be a combination of savory and sweet, succulent and tart.  And, then there’s that relative or friend who brings their “family” favorite side dish.

This is no plate, or place, for expensive wine.  That terrific bottle you’ve been saving, keep it.  It was meant for a meal paired for its aromas, flavors, tannins, and long finish.  What we want here is crisp, clean, palate-cleansing and cheerful because the conversations may not be so!

Friends enjoying sparkling wines.
Open a variety of sparkling wines for guaranteed grins.
  1. Bubbles to the rescue!  Start with something fresh, frothy, bubbly, cheap-ish and cheerful (it’s a theme for this day).  Move out of the comfort zone of Prosecco. There are $6.00 Cavas from Spain; $18.00 sparklers from Burgundy (Brut and Rosé); $20.00 fizzes from the Loire Valley (Vouvray); for $23.00, the famed Gruet Brut from New Mexico or a Cider or Mead sparkler.  Each one is guaranteed to cause family and friends to grin out loud.
Table set for Thanksgiving with several different wine bottles.
Mix it up, open several different bottles for the fun of passing them around.

3.  Mix it up!  Purchase a couple of bottles of Cider, Mead or a bottle of fruit wine. All come in dry-ish versions filled with aromatics and fruit.  They are the unsung heroes of the table this holiday. The Ciders will have apple aromas with a crisp finish. The Meads will have aromas of honey (it’s fermented honey, after all) or berries (Meads can have fruit added). The fruit wines sport strong fruit aromas and flavors with a pleasantly dry finish.

4.  Open everything! Based on the size of your dinner group, purchase 2-3 bottles each of a variety of sparkling, still white and red.  Then open them all.  Let your guests pick and choose and experiment.  The table will be festive with the bottles being passed around.

5.  You got this!  Settle back and enjoy the mashup of aromas, flavors, savories and sweets. Tomorrow you can go back to your favorite wine routine – or, maybe you’ll find something new to change up your game.

Thanksgiving table with wine.
Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, sharing and gratitude.

This is a holiday for celebrating the bounties of friends, family, food, and sharing.  So, let’s exhale and remember to give our gratitude and thanks for what we have at this moment. Because everything else is fleeting.

                       And Follow My LA Lifestyle on Instagram & stay connected!

Contributor:  Stacie Hunt, Certified Silver Pin Sommelier/AIS, Vice President National Association of Wine Retailers, International Wine Judge, Author, Spokesperson, and Educator.

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