Ask the Winemakers: What to Pair With Your Turkey Dinner
(Courtesy of Perrier-Jouët

Ask the Winemakers: What to Pair With Your Turkey Dinner


Just as important (if not more) than the gravy at Thanksgiving dinner is the wine you pair the bird with. We asked eight California winemakers what bottle they're bringing to the Thanksgiving table.

The Winemaker: Tami Lotz, Mumm Napa

The Wine: Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut (France) $44

"Thanksgiving is a special day to celebrate with friends and family, and what better way to start the feast than with Champagne? I will definitely be including Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut in our celebration. It's lovely, toasty character is a fantastic pair with a cheeseboard to kick things off, and it can hold its own all the way through the main meal." //

The Winemaker: Janet Myers, Franciscan Estate Winery

The Wine: Williams Selyem, Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 (Sonoma Coast) $59

"I love pinot noir for the Thanksgiving feast because it pairs so beautifully with the fruit-inspired side dishes and sweet yams that go with the holiday. This year, there will be a Williams Selyem pinot noir at our Thanksgiving table." //

(Courtesy of Schramsberg Vineyards)

The Winemaker: Todd Graff, Frank Family Vineyards

The Wine: Schramsberg Vineyards, Blanc de Blancs 2013 $39 and Blanc de Noirs 2012 $41

"I'm a big fan of sparkling wines. There's nothing better than starting the all-American holiday with some wines from our good friends and neighbors, Schramsberg. Lead with the Blanc de Blancs and follow that up with the Blanc de Noirs—its richness and balanced acidity pairs wonderfully with the big bird and all the traditional sides." //

The Winemaker: Paul Clifton, Hahn Family Wines

The Wine: Domaine Henri & Gilles Buisson, "Sous la Velle" Saint Romain Blanc 2013 (France) $35

"This chardonnay is from a domaine I fell in love with, in one of the most beautiful French villages I've ever had the good fortune of staying in, called Saint-Romain, Côte-d'Or. It's very light on new oak, but with some barrel-aged character. Beautiful floral notes with hints of honeysuckle. A fuller-bodied chardonnay with crisp acidity." //

The Winemaker: Sara Fowler, Peju Province Winery and Liana Estates

The Wine: Roederer Estate, Brut Multi Vintage (Alexander Valley) $24

"Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and with that come some favorite traditions. We always start off the day with sparkling, because everyone in my circle loves bubbles. It's a must to always have a large supply of chilled Roederer Estate sparkling from the Alexander Valley—it's both inexpensive and delightful." //

(Courtesy of Crocker & Starr)

The Winemaker: Kathleen Inman, Inman Family Wines

The Wine: Crocker & Starr Winery, Cabernet Franc 2013 (Napa Valley) $80

"For the first time, I am not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I am heading to Virginia to meet my daughter's future in-laws for the first time and to share Thanksgiving with them. I will be sending a magnum of Pam Starr's Crocker & Starr Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. This is such a beautiful wine with a lovely floral nose, great blue and black fruit, and exotic spices. It is elegant and balanced and will not overpower the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving—though this year, the traditional may be a bit different for us as our hosts deep fry their turkey!" //

The Winemaker: Chris Kajani, Bouchaine Vineyards

The Wine: Agrapart & Fils, "Terroirs" Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (France) $56

"My go to for Thanksgiving dinner is Agrapart Champagne, a lovely grower champagne founded in 1894. It's made from only 10 hectares (roughly 25 acres) of chardonnay grapes, farmed without pesticides. It's vibrant and complex; the acidity of the champagne balances almost any dish you pair with it. Happiness in a bottle!" //

The Winemaker:
Chris Carpenter, Cardinale and Lokoya

The Wine: The Eyrie Vineyards, Chasselas Doré 2015 (Oregon) $27

"Some years ago, an intern from Switzerland turned me on to the chasselas variety. It is a dry white that has a weight and texture that works really well with, and won't overshadow, the turkey." //

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