2 Thanksgiving-Ready Menus That Pair Perfectly With Wine

Plus, the bottles we're stocking for the holiday.

November  4, 2021
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.

We've teamed up with Erath Winery—known for their critically acclaimed Oregon wines—to share food-and-wine pairing ideas perfect for the fall season. Thanksgiving's almost here, so we've cooked up two holiday-ready menus, including our favorite wines from Erath Winery to sip alongside 'em.

While I'm always happy to sip whatever wine is being poured at the dinner table—especially if I'm a guest at someone else's house—when it comes down to it, I've definitely got my favorites. During the summer, it's rosé all the way, especially something dry with notes of tart fruit and a fresh acidity. But once the cooler weather rolls in, I say goodbye to rosé for the season and dive in to my favorite red wines.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'm already thinking about what I'm going to cook for the holiday. To keep things nice and simple, I usually pick one hero wine (this year, a Pinot Noir from Oregon) that pairs with most of the dishes I have lined up and sip that throughout the evening. If you're planning to do the same this year, here are two Turkey Day menus to choose from—one's perfect for red wine fans, while the other is designed to go with a fuller-bodied, versatile white wine (like Pinot Gris).

Red Wine

The Wine: This year, my red wine pick is a 2019 Oregon Pinot Noir from Erath Winery, which has flavors of pomegranate and cranberry that are just right for the holiday. This lighter-to-medium-bodied wine is a perfect match for Thanksgiving, since it's easy to sip throughout a long meal and won't run the risk of overpowering the turkey's flavor.

The Bird: The best part about encasing a bird entirely in bacon? The fat that drips from the bacon as it cooks bastes the turkey all on its own, so the bird is wonderfully juicy and packed with flavor. And naturally, those drippings make an A+ gravy.

The Sides: These flavor-forward sides are all riffs on Thanksgiving classics, like mashed potatoes (here, with jammy caramelized onions) and cranberry sauce (this time, a relish infused with red wine, mustard seeds, and lemon zest). Each one brings a little something extra to the table, and will play nicely off the Pinot Noir's fruity aroma and smooth finish.

The Dessert: You may not be into pairing your red wines with dessert, but this dreamy dark chocolate pudding could easily be enjoyed with the last few sips of Pinot Noir in your glass. You might even serve this silky, chocolatey number with fresh pomegranate arils for a sweet-tart pop.

White Wine

The Wine: For those on team white wine this Thanksgiving, consider pouring Erath Winery's 2019 Oregon Pinot Gris, an aromatic stunner with bright notes of melon, citrus peel, and apple. Though made from the same grape, Pinot Gris tends to be fuller-bodied than Italian-style Pinot Grigio, so it stands up well to all the rich flavors in a Turkey Day meal without overwhelming them.

The Turkey: An herb- and garlic-infused compound butter, most of which gets spread under the turkey's skin, keeps the bird incredibly moist and adds tons of flavor as it roasts. You just need to baste with the remaining compound butter once (yep, that's all!) for succulent meat and a crispy-golden skin.

The Sides: These dishes may technically be supporting actors, but they all bring star power to the table. Take, for instance, the Brussels sprouts: First they're roasted until fully cooked and crisp, then they get tossed in a fish sauce and chile vinaigrette for a punchy, umami-rich kick.

The Dessert: This baked treat hits just the right combination of flavors and textures—from the crunchy cooked sugar topping to the zingy lemon zest, mascarpone, and tender persimmon filling.

What's your go-to Thanksgiving wine? Tell us in the comments!

Our friends at Erath Winery have been pioneers in producing Oregon wines since 1965, when founder Dick Erath (an engineer turned viticulturist) was first inspired to pursue winemaking after an early garage experiment. Today, Erath Winery makes some of the best Pinot Noir the region has to offer—including their 2019 Oregon Pinot Noir—as well as other varietals, like their deliciously versatile 2019 Oregon Pinot Gris.

©2021 Erath Winery, Amity, OR
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Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.