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12 Must Have Wines for Thanksgiving

Updated: Nov 20, 2023


As much as I am a TRUE fan of local wine shops and the boutique experience, a trip to Total Wines is always going to give me what I want…and need...especially for Thanksgiving! And, because I love you guys, I wanted to make it easier on you so that you can actually FIND these wines. But remember, this is just a guide… it’s a way to make you think outside the grocery store box (no shade) and learn wine in a different way. And oh yeah, we’re not only pairing it with food BUT with music too. So get that Apple HomePod or Alexa going, preheat that oven to 375 and let’s get to drinking!


Sparkling



Borrasca Brut Cava

ABV 11.5%

$11.99

If you have never tried Cava, then you are missing out! This beautiful Spanish sparkling wine is frisky, fruity, aromatic and legit goes with anything on your Thanksgiving menu. I could honestly drink Cava all day but unfortunately my day job won’t allow it. Made from Parallada, Macabeo, and Xarel-lo grapes, this unique Cava will have you ready to get the Thanksgiving festivities started!!

Food pairings: Honestly anything but my personal favorite is French fries.

Music pairings: Matthew Whitaker – “Connections” Album. I HAD to start off with this because he is an incredible musical savant and will turn your Cava experience into something you never thought possible.



Rosé



Guy Mousset Côtes du Rhône Rosé

ABV 13.5%

$13.99

This fresh and zippy rosé is made from a blend of mainly Grenache grapes with some Cinsualt and Carignan grapes thrown in. This rosé is absolutely heavenly. It’s light yet has some body to it that presents as fresh red fruits. Pair this with your Wednesday preparation and you will be singing Stevie, cooking greens and having a good ol’ time!!

Food pairings: Appetizers (deviled eggs, bacon wrapped shrimp/scallops, meat and cheese board) and light protein such as chicken or salmon.

Music pairings: Stevie Wonder because you don’t need to see to see that this rosé knocks you off your feet!




Whites



Gerd Anselmann Pfalz Dry Riesling

ABV 13.0%

$19.99

This beautiful German Riesling has a light acidity that delicately dances on the tongue like fingers on the beautiful Ivory keys. And it still carries a pleasant body on the tongue. It really pairs well with anything savory and sweet.

Food pairings: glazed ham, cranberry sauce, chicken pot pie

Music pairings: Classical ALL DAY because the GOATs of classical music (think Bach, Beethoven and Brahms) are all German. So you can sip this while listening to Für Elise and forget your turkey’s in the oven…whoops.




Bougrier ‘V’ Vouvray 2021 Chenin Blanc

ABV 11.5%

$15.99

This fresh and floral wine has notes of quince (think of a green apple), pear and a touch of honey and pairs beautifully with a fruit and cheese board. Great for Thanksgiving appetizers! Or just by itself…which is usually how I drink it. (No judgement!!!).

Food pairings: cheese and fruit board or apple pie

Music pairings: K-pop because it’s light and funky and fresh…kinda like this Chenin Blanc.




Halos de Jupiter Viognier

ABV 14%

$16.99

I’m not sure how dry AND juicy can live in the same palate at the same time but they have accomplished it in this wine. It’ll have you thinking of a warm autumn day, full of vibrant peach and tangerine and apricot tones. This is THAT wine. The minerality and freshness really pairs nicely with creamy seafood pasta or if we are staying the traditional route, chicken pot pie or a vegetarian casserole. And that ABV is something SERIOUS!

Food pairings: Chicken pot pie or anything seafood based (for those people who want to turn Thanksgiving into something a little less traditional).

Music pairings: Earth, Wind and Fire because they are so eclectic and will have you in boogie wonderland one minute and then make you question if you have dementia or not…talking ‘bout, “Do you remember? NO, I don’t because I’ve had 2 glasses of wine!!


Castellana Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc)

ABV 12.0%

$9.99

Trebbiano is such a fun and simple varietal. It reminds you of sitting on the porch with a bowl of leftover potato salad or chicken salad and watching your kids jump in a pile of leaves. That you just raked up. And then you remember that somebody has to re-rake the leaves that your kids just jumped in and it’s not going to be you because you just drank 2 glasses of the Castellana and raking leaves is the last thing you’ll be doing.

Food pairings: salad with fruit toppings; potato salad; chicken salad

Music pairings: Bossa nova because it’s relaxed, timeless and will help you forget about those dang leaves.




Reds



Debeaune Special Selection Beaujolais

ABV 12.0%

$17.99

The cousin to Pinot Noir, this wine is made from the Gamay grape and YALLLL...this wine packs a punch. And it’s such an easy red to drink. It’s delicate and a little sensual. And goes down so smooth and easy. You will be reaching for glass number 3 before you know it. Honestly, you can drink this with just the cranberry sauce and be just fine…if you actually like cranberry sauce (the jury’s still out for me…and has been for the last 37 years!).

Food pairings: cranberry sauce

Music pairings: Sadé because it’s a little mysterious and a little sexy and will pull you in like a smooth operator.



Los Boldos Carménère Gran Reserva

ABV 14%

$17.99

Have you all ever had an experience that transported you back into time? Like to those old black and white movies where the lovers end up singing in the rain or kissing passionately in the middle of the street? Well they CLEARLY had some Carménère because this wine will have you falling in love with a tree if you’re not careful. It’s plush, full of body yet the soft tannins remind you that love can be hard sometimes but it’s worth it to get to those soft moments.

Food pairings: Turkey with a bold cajun rub or marinade

Music pairings: Frank Sinatra-esque because clearly…



Cren del Gufo Nebbiolo

ABV 13.5%

$14.99

This beautiful plummy, soft wine is full of notes of raspberry and feels like velvet on the tongue. A surprisingly different turn from your traditional red wines. This is a red that I like to drink solo dolo. I pair it with morning, noon and night. But if you need to add some food with it, I understand.

Food pairings: The leftover turkey sandwich you made the next day.

Music pairings: Lively jazz because the way jazz just lightly dances in your heart, this wine does the same with your soul.



Cren della Lepra Barbera DOC

ABV 13%

$11.99

This soft red wine from the Piemonte region is full of soft tannins and is the perfect partner for a cornbread dressing full of aromatics such as celery, bell pepper and sage. And your girl loves sage. And not the open your window and burn some sage to get the old spirits out. But the add some to your dressing or in a pork dish and it will literally turn your life around sage. Kinda like Jesus. But I will refrain from adding gospel or contemporary Christian music as the pairing of choice.

Food pairings: Dressing/stuffing

Music pairings: Since I will refrain from using gospel, let’s go with something close to it…soul music. I’m talking Minnie Ripperton and Aretha Franklin. Al Green and Marvin. All of it.



Phebus Malbec Patagonia Reserve

ABV 14.5%

$16.99

You. Cannot. Go. Wrong. With. Malbec. If I could shout that from the mountaintops, I would. It’s what my sweet friend calls the side chick of wine. Reliable, easy, almost too good to be true. Pairs well with almost any red or gamey meat or roasted vegetables. In fact, it pairs with life in general. Grandma cooking her famous greens? Malbec. Your uncle brought his young girlfriend. Malbec. You burnt the turkey and yall have to order pizza? Malbec and maybe some time away to think about your actions.

Food pairings: Gamey meat (think quail or duck)

Music pairings: Chris Stapleton because this is the equivalent of a good Tennessee Whiskey to me…(music notes) you’re as smooooooth as Argentinian Malbec…(music notes).


Dessert Wine



Rinaldi Moscato d’ Asti Sparkling Wine

ABV 7.0%

$22.99

I am not a sweet wine girl. I’m a sweet girl (most times) but not a sweet wine girl. But this right here done changed the game (don’t come at me about my grammar…it was on purpose!). This wine is PERFECT for a slice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Or even candied yams. The sweetness and spice elements just bounce off of each other in perfect harmony. This is what you drink after all the food is cooked and you’re just sitting around with your family, playing Monopoly or spades and talking about when you were in the 9th grade and you liked Johnny but Johnny didn’t like you and now you compare every man to Johnny because he broke your heart…ughhhh my bad…I got a LILLL carried away…but you get the point.

Food pairings: sweet potato or pumpkin pie; candied yams

Music pairings: 90s music because this will have you reminiscing about the middle to late 90s (if you were born) and how easy life used to be.


Welllll…what a journey we just took. Wine is so fun and exciting and intoxicating. It will have you conjuring up old, faded memories, all the while making new ones. It will make you fall in love and more times than not, make you fall in lust. The lingering notes of the perfect glass of wine will have you in a sentimental mood that will prompt you to open one more bottle and listen to one more song…even though it’s well past midnight.


Happy Thanksgiving my sweet Diverse Pourers!

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