Pairing for a patchwork feast of flavors and textures is no easy feat, so we asked some of the nation’s top sommeliers to help us select the perfect wines for Turkey Day. Each came back with a solid safe bet (both tasty and versatile) and a wild card (expressing some of the finer nuances and creativity of pairing). You’re sure to have the right bottle for the occasion with any of these 10.
Laura Williamson—Master Sommelier, Wine Director, Mandarin Oriental, New York
Safe Bet: 2013 Eyrie Pinot Gris, $16
Go for opulent whites showcasing transparent qualities unhindered by oak or heavy complexities, such as the iconic Eyrie Vineyards pinot gris.
Wild Card: 2012 Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla, $50
This is a superb discovery for guests. Luscious texture and a racy kumquat and rangpur lime backbone balance the exotic and decadent wine.
Alpana Singh—Master Sommelier, Proprietor, The Boarding House, Chicago
Safe Bet: 2014 Alsace Hugel Gentil, $12
Featuring delightful qualities of each of its components, this blend is an ideal complement to the cornucopia of flavor at the Thanksgiving table.
Wild Card: 2013 Biale Royal Punishers Petite Sirah, $40
Many advocate a red with light tannins for turkey, but I find bolder, rich reds like this fruit-driven sirah work just as well, if not better.
Marika Vida-Arnold—Certified Sommelier, Wine Director, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Safe Bet: 2012 Vietti Tre Vigne Barbera d’Asti, $15
Many red selections for Thanksgiving are pinot noir or Beaujolais, but I’d go for an Italian barbera. High acid and low tannin make it so food-friendly.
Wild Card: 2013 Hatzidakis Assyrtiko de Mylos, $18
Go Greek! Given the contrasts of this meal, a high-acid wine is in order. But there needs to be neutrality to make it work with most traditional dishes.
Yoon Ha—Master Sommelier, Wine Director, Benu, San Francisco
Safe Bet: 2014 Domaine de la Solitude Côtes du Rhône Rosé, $15
This grenache-driven rosé is the ultimate shapeshifter; it can expand and contract based on what’s on the tip of your fork.
Wild Card: 2012 Meyer-Fonné Grand Cru Kaefferkopf Pinot Gris, $35
This powerful white has the authority to match savory turkey and stuffing and the playfulness to engage the rest of the sides.
Matt Bradford—Advanced Certified Sommelier, Wine Director, Canoe, Atlanta
Safe Bet: 2013 M. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois, $15
This is a perfect holiday wine, as it cuts through heavy dishes, similar to the way a fresh cranberry dressing accentuates the meal with brightness.
Wild Card: 2008 Elvio Cogno Bordini Barbaresco, $43
This is a beautiful, dry, and berry-laden wine based on the nebbiolo grape. If you’re going with smoked turkey, this is the bottle you want.