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Tips for Pairing Wine with Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with everyone's favorite feasting holiday comes all kinds of pressing questions on wining and dining. Which wine goes with which dish? How many different kinds of wine should you serve during the meal? And how do you prevent your uncle from hogging all the reds?

While we can't help you with that last quandary, we do have plenty to say about how to pair wine with Thanksgiving dinner. And with so many great international choices available through Tasting Room's Bottle Shop, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the world of wine and make all your dinner guests happy — with their drinks, anyway! (You're on your own with the strained family dynamics.)

Here's what Tasting Room's resident wine expert, Punky Mahle, suggests for the big meal.

Start off (and end with) with sparkling wine. The perfect way to welcome your guests and add a level of sophistication to your dinner is to break out the bubbly. Sparkling wines like the NV Abalone Brut Cava also prepare your palate for the feast to come. Serve sparkling wine as an aperitif and with any fried or salty appetizers. The rich effervescence can cut through the layers of any decadent desserts, as well.

Highlight side dishes with lean white wine. Whether you're serving Brussels sprouts or green beans or an herbaceous stuffing, a lean white like the 2017 Zeste! Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc will highlight these side dishes. The citrus-based flavors and pitch-perfect acidity go a long way with the herbs found in them. Sauvignon Blanc can also act as a palate cleanser for rich gravies and meats.

Break out the red wine for the turkey. The 2017 Lustra Monterey County Pinot Noir will carry you through the main event — the roast turkey and all its trimmings. The red fruit flavors found in Pinot Noir can mimic the tartness of cranberries and warm autumn spices, while its relatively light tannin profiles and earthiness are the perfect foil for turkey smothered in gravy. These reds even go well with cream-based sides dishes like mashed potatoes and desserts like pumpkin pie.