Wine suggestions to accompany your Thanksgiving celebration

By John Murray

Thanksgiving is meant to be a celebration of harvest with family. And since wine always seems to be on the table, here are some of my favorite suggestions. Each of these wines will accompany your meal and some of them I will be pouring at my Thanksgiving table. By the way, bubbles are always a great way to begin.

• Mumm’s Napa Valley Brut Prestige

A clean, crisp delicate dry sparkling made with chardonnay and pinot noir.

• Mumm’s Brut Rose

This sparking is made mostly with pinot noir. It has rich creamy berry component that also finishes with delicate bubbles.


• J Lohr Valdiguie

Stainless steel fermentation creates this Monterey fruit that is also known as Napa gamay. This varietal has wonderful brambly fruit flavors with good acidity. Pomegranate and blueberry leads to a touch of spice on the finish.

• Sheldrake Gamay Noir

Sheldrake Point Winery is located on the western bank of Lake Cayuga, N.Y.  Lots of red fruit, violets, herbs and cloves dissolved into tart cherries and soft silky earthiness.

• Red Tail Ridge Estate Blaufrankisch

This winery is located just west of Lake Seneca, N.Y.. Blaufrankisch is more well known in Austria and grows well in this cool climate. The wines show aromas of ripe plum and cedar while star anise lends itself to wonderful cocoa powder and peppercorn finish.

• Helioterra Winery Whoa Nelly Pinot Noir 2019

This small production of pinot noir hails from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. This wine shows flavors of cherry, raspberry and gooseberry and surrounds itself with plum, cola and earthy baking spices.

• Moshin Westside Crossing Pinot Noir

Medium ruby in color with a bright edge. Aromas of cherry, dried flowers, and orange zest explode in your glass. Lingering flavors of strawberries, black cherries and baking spice gives credibility to the Russian River fruit. 

• Pedroncelli Zinfandel Mother Clone

The Pedroncelli family are dear friends of mine. It is always nice to visit this family-owned estate winery, which has been in business since 1927.  The Mother Clone Vineyard was first planted in 1904 and replanted in 1980. It is always a benchmark for vintages in the Dry Creek American Viticultural Area (AVA). This wine features ripe blackberry fruit coupled with brambly spice fruit flavors.


• Ribbon Ridge Ridgecrest

In the small appellation of the Willamette Valley, Ridgecrest is located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Harry Peterson-Nedry, an early pioneer of the Willamette Valley, and daughter Wynn have teamed to make incredible wines. The 2019 Gruner Veltliner is a medium-bodied dry white wine. Bright aromas of oyster shells, white flower and jalapeño with a clean finish. It has flavors of lemon curd, yellow apple and white pepper. The 2019 Pinot Gris exhibits hints of honeydew melon, flint and slate. Flavors of peach and star fruit fill the mouth and finish with clean, creamy minerality. 

• Hermann J. Wiemer New York Finger Lakes Dry Riesling

Selected blocks in this estate allows extended hang time. This develops structure and complexity, showing hints of minerality and a floral nose and flavors.

• Gundlach Bundschu Winery Gewurtztraminer

This historic winery was established in 1858 and is located in Sonoma Valley. Gundlach Bundschu’s Gewurtztraminer is tremendous. It’s fermented dry with no residual sugar and exhibits aroma of lychee fruit, roses and honeysuckle. It’s clean, bright and has a nice spicy finish.

John Murray is co-owner of State Line Liquors in Elkton, Md. He has written about wine for this magazine for many years.

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