Wine or Beer With Thanksgiving? Local Tips

The friendly folks at Grape & Grain Co. offer Thanksgiving drink pairing tips.

Old Chub for the guys.
Old Chub for the guys.

Nothing rounds out a hefty Thanksgiving meal like a finely paired beverage, but with the massive selection of wines and craft beers out there—picking the right one can be fairly overwhelming.

That’s why we went to our local drink experts at Grape & Grain Co. in Homewood

First Decision: Wine or Beer?

While wine is more of a traditional pairing with a Thanksgiving meal, the wide selection of craft beers now available is giving it a serious run for its money.

Kara (a.k.a. “Danger”) at Grape & Grain Co. is all about craft beers. And as the days are getting darker, so should be the brews.

  • For the ladies, she recommends the Spire Dark Cider. It’s a good balance between apple-y taste without the syrupy rush of sugar that so many other ciders carry along with them. “It's like you had a cup of hot apple cider and it got cold while you were walking through the pumpkin patch.”
  • For the guys, it’s the Old Chub Scotch Ale. Brewed with high amounts of malted barley and beechwood-smoked malt, this one is sure to leave you with that warm and happy feeling once you finish the can (and if that doesn’t the 8% ABV will).

The Wines

While white wine is always a safe bet with turkey, Diane at Grape & Grain Co. says reds are playing a bigger role in the meal nowadays. Here are some standbys that should leave you satisfied after your meal (all brand recommendations have accompanying photos):

  • Malbec"Nice and dry, nice and peppery." Try the Denario.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon—"Driest of dry." Try the Sharecropper's or Stephen Vincent.
  • Pinot Noir—"A touch sweet with a touch dry and a smooth finish." Take a stab at it.
And if you're sticking to white—Diane says the Il Colle Pinot Grigio is a safe bet.

Your turn: What are your favorite Thanksgiving beverage pairings? Share your tips in the comments below!
The Commander November 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Zinfandel is also a good choice for reds–– it really can stand up to the rich food of the Thanksgiving table. Try St. Francis "old vines" Zin. Also, for whites I would add a "big" "oaky" Chardonnay, such as La Crema.


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