Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal together. While the turkey often takes center stage, the side dishes can be just as important in creating a memorable dining experience. To elevate your Thanksgiving feast, it’s essential to pair your traditional Thanksgiving sides with the perfect wines. Here are some recommendations to enhance the flavors of your favorite dishes:
1. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish that pairs well with white wines, particularly Chardonnay. The buttery and creamy flavors of the potatoes complement the rich and oaky characteristics of a full-bodied Chardonnay. For a lighter option, a Sauvignon Blanc can also bring a refreshing acidity to balance the richness of the dish.
Whether you prefer a traditional bread stuffing or a more adventurous cornbread stuffing, a lighter-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. The earthy and fruity notes of Pinot Noir can enhance the savory flavors of the stuffing without overpowering them. If you’re looking for a white wine option, a Gewürztraminer with its floral and spicy aromas can add an interesting contrast to the dish.
If you want to learn how to make a red wine demi glace to drizzle over your Thanksgiving sides, check out our article on how to make a red wine demi glace. This flavorful sauce will take your stuffing to the next level.
3. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a staple on the Thanksgiving table, and its tartness can be paired with a slightly sweeter wine. A Pinot Gris or Riesling with their fruity flavors and hint of sweetness can complement the tangy cranberry sauce. For those who prefer red wine, a fruit-forward Zinfandel or a lighter-bodied Beaujolais can provide a lovely balance.
4. Green Bean Casserole
A green bean casserole with its creamy mushroom sauce and crispy fried onions needs a wine that can cut through the richness. A vibrant and acidic wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Rosé can lighten up the dish and enhance the flavors. If you prefer red wine, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can be a great option.
5. Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole with its sweet, buttery, and sometimes marshmallow topping deserves a wine that can complement these flavors. A full-bodied Chardonnay with its caramel and toasty notes can provide a luxurious pairing. If you prefer red wine, a lighter-bodied Merlot or a fruity Syrah can enhance the natural sweetness of the dish.
Pairing the right wines with your traditional Thanksgiving sides can elevate your dining experience and enhance the flavors of the dishes. Whether you prefer white or red wine, there are options that can complement the richness, tartness, or sweetness of each side dish. Cheers to a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving feast!