Look, you can’t host Thanksgiving dinner without wine. Whether you’re eating, cooking or just trying to avoid boring Uncle Mike, you’re going to need something to drink. And while choosing a bottle (or three or four) for the occasion can be daunting, we have six reds and whites that check all the boxes: They’re acidic, not too high in alcohol…and go with everything from turkey to stuffing to green bean casserole.
The Safe Bet: Trollinger
This light red hailing from Germany is refreshing and easy to drink, thanks to low tannins and bright acidity; it smells like violets and tastes like earthy strawberries and sour cherries. (Imagine a lighter, tarter Pinot Noir.) Even better than its drinkability? It tastes amazing with a range of foods, from savory turkey to herbaceous stuffing.
Try it: La Boutanche 2017 Trollinger ($22)
The Fancy One: Poulsard
If you’re looking to impress Cousin Cheryl with a relatively unheard-of wine, look no further. This light-bodied wine from the Jura region of France is low in tannins; has lots of piney, floral aromas; and tastes like pomegranates. Serve it slightly chilled, right next to your world-famous cranberry sauce.
Try it: Domaine des Bodines 2016 Arbois Poulsard ($39)
The Crowd-Pleaser: Gamay
If you’re ever had Beaujolais, you’ve had Gamay. The French red is an all-around winner, and for good reason: It’s widely considered one of the most food-friendly red wines, thanks to high levels of palate-cleansing acid. It’s fruit-forward and earthy (think potting soil…but in a good way), with hints of tart cranberries, black currants and even bananas.
Try it: Marcel Lapierre 2017 Raisins Gaulois ($19)
The Palate Cleanser: Dry Riesling
You’re going to need something to cut through all that gravy, and a mouth-puckering dry Riesling will do. The key? Look for the word “Trocken” (which means “dry”) on the label. What to expect? Aromas of honeycrisp apple and pear, and flavors like lemonade and lime. Yum.
Try it: Egon Müller Château Belá 2016 Riesling ($17)
The Elegant Option: Chablis
If you’re not a fan of that whole “buttery” and “oaked” Chardonnay thing, give Chablis a whirl. The light- to medium-bodied, bone-dry white is pretty much the opposite: It’s zesty and mineral, with notes of limestone, citrus and green apple. It’s also—dare we say?—sophisticated as hell, so take that, skeptical Aunt Sally.
Try it: Gilbert Picq & ses Fils 2017 Chablis ($25)
The No-Brainer: Albariño
Do the Spanish celebrate Thanksgiving? No…but they have an incredible wine for it. Floral, fruity, salty and a little spicy, it’s practically made to pair with turkey (not to mention all those autumnal veggies and herbs). It’s a crisp, mouthwateringly acidic choice that will having everyone reaching for seconds.
Try it: Corisca 2015 Rías Baixas Albariño Ecologico ($17)