Wine Wednesday – Thanksgiving wine recommendations

Hello, hello!

Happy Wine Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday!

The weather outside is most definitely frightful and, if you’re traveling today, please be careful. I’m sure your family/friends would enjoy giving thanks for your safe arrival. If you’re traveling tomorrow, the same story holds. 🙂

So, let’s talk wine.

I mean, it IS Wine Wednesday, after all!



Do you have a plan for what wine you’re pouring with tomorrow’s meal?

If you do – Excellent! What are you pouring?

If you don’t, and you’re in charge of the wine, you’re in luck. I’m here to help!

Oh, and if you’re not in charge of wine this time around but are for Christmas, these tips will work for that meal, as well. 🙂

The first thing you need to figure out is how much wine to have on hand.

Generally, a standard bottle will yield about 4-6 glasses of wine, depending on who does the pouring. If it’s my dad, we’re looking at 4 glasses. 🙂

So, for math purposes, we’ll go with 5.

Plan for about 2 glasses per person (some will drink none and some will most definitely drink more) but 2 is a good average.



Then, you have to figure out how many people will be there.

Adults, not children. Please don’t give the children any wine.

We’re going to have 15 at my folks’ house but out of those 15, 6 are below the age of 21. So, we’ll have 9 wine drinkers.

So, 9 wine drinkers plus 2 glasses each equals 18 glasses of wine. Divide that by how many glasses you can get out of a bottle – (remember from up there?) – 5 and we’re looking at about 4 bottles of wine for the meal.

Now, you can mix it up and offer both white and red, if you want. You’ll still want to stick to those estimated calculations. If you know that people will drink more because they aren’t driving, then you can plan for that.

Whatever you plan for pre-dinner drinks is completely up to you and if it’s more wine, you’ll have to account for that in your wine bottle total.

Ooohh, you know what’s handy?


Wine charms! If you have quite a few people drinking wine, it’s very common for someone to put down their glass and walk away for a minute only to come back and discover that it’s gone. With wine charms, everyone basically calls dibs on their own glass with a little charm! They wrap around the glass stem, aren’t very expensive, and can be found in most wine markets and places like World Market, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and, who knows, probably even Target! (*note – if the store sells wine glasses, it probably sells wine charms)

And now it’s time for the good stuff!

What to drink!!



If you’re doing the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey or ham, there are a variety of wines that pair with both (and all the side dishes) quite nicely.

Let’s start with white wines, shall we?

Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Chardonnays are all excellent choices.

They’re all light and fruity without being overly sweet. Gewürztraminers bring a little bit of spiciness to the table and pair excellently with both pecan and pumpkin pie. When looking for a Chardonnay, you want to look for something “unoaked” or stainless barreled. Some oaky Chardonnays can be intensely buttery and might overwhelm your meal. The lighter, unoaked are both crisp and full-bodied and delicious.

Some of my favorite Rieslings include Fetzer, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and J. Lohr.

Favorite Gewürztraminers include Fetzer (again). I haven’t tried too many others so that’s all I got.

And Chardonnays include Kunde, Mer Soleil ($$), Fess Parker, and Josh Cellars.


For red wines, traditional choices are Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. You could also go with a Malbec or a Zinfandel. If you decide to buy a couple bottles of different kinds, serve the Beaujolais and Pinot Noirs BEFORE the Malbecs and Zinfandels.

Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are both light and fruity with a little bit of earthiness. Malbecs are a more lush, medium-bodied wine and Zinfandels are powerful and fruity and full of depth.

If your Thanksgiving crowd are wine lovers, you could definitely throw the Malbecs and the Zinfandels into the mix without worry but if you have wine novices or people who prefer a “lighter” wine, then you should definitely stick with the Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

I don’t have a favorite Beaujolais as I normally grab a Pinot Noir. Some favorite Pinot Noirs include Rubeus of Lore, Edna Valley, and Decoy.


Favorite Malbecs include Middle Sister (SO GOOD!!), Acacia, or most Meritages (includes the Malbec grape).

Favorite Zinfandels include Four Vines, Seghisio ($$), and Rancho Zabaco.

So there you have it! You’re all set. Well, as far as the wine goes. I can’t help you with the cooking part. 🙂

Talk to me: Pumpkin or Pecan pie?

– jennifer

Wine Wednesday – 2012 Bonterra Viognier


Hip, hip hooray, it’s Wine Wednesday!



Rule #17a – wine makes pretty much ANY DAY wonderful! 🙂

Especially when you find a delightful Viognier that pairs perfectly with what you’re serving for dinner!

I had to swing by the grocery store the other night to find a bottle of wine to accompany the Chicken Adobo I was planning on making.

That’s right – I stopped at a grocery store and I didn’t buy any food. Hey, it happens. 🙂

Anyway, I was looking for a Viognier, a Gewürtztraminer, or maybe a Riesling – something that wouldn’t do battle with the vinegar and the garlic in the dish.

(FYI: Viognier is pronounced vee-yo-kneeyay (basically) and Gewürtztraminer is pronounced yummy German wine. Ha! Just kidding. It’s a little more difficult to pronounce. It’s like Guh-VERTS-tra-mee-ner.)



If you remember from my review of the Bonterra Merlot, Bonterra is a winery in California that uses organic grapes.

I enjoyed the Merlot so I figured I would give the Viognier a try – especially since it was $10 off!


Viognier is a white grape that is generally known as the main grape to come out of the Rhône region in France.

Viogniers tend to be dry with loads of delicious fruit flavor, but not spicy like a Gewürtztraminer or sweet(ish) like a Riesling.

It should be chilled down to about 58 degrees for perfect serving temperature.

If you’ve just come home with a bottle and dinner is in 30 minutes, you want to pop that baby in the freezer to help it cool down. Otherwise, keep it in the white wine section of your wine cellar. 🙂


On the nose, this wine will greet you with aromas of citrus, apricot, and some peach.

I swirled and sniffed to my heart’s content! 🙂


Your first taste should give you more peach, some spice, and some nuttiness.

The Bonterra Viognier is a medium-bodied wine meaning it has a lot of fruit flavor, feels a little “chewy” in your mouth (imagine just biting a grape or a section of orange – that’s kind of what “chewy” is like – a fresh, vibrant fruit explosion!), and continues to delight even as you swallow.

Some lighter whites are all fruit explosion on the front (right when you sip) but then are completely boring and lacking when you swallow.

A full-bodied wine would be much “larger” and give you the chewiness long after you swallow. You may even experience some good peppery spice in the back of your throat.

Basically, though, this wine was delicious and I’m totally stocking up the next time it goes on sale!

(did you know that many grocery stores offer multiple bottle discounts?!)

In addition to spicy foods (like Thai or Chinese), you could pair this with lighter cheeses (not cheddar), fish, chicken (no heavy sauces), vegetarian dishes (again, not heavy) or a sunset. 🙂


Talk to me: Have you ever planned a meal around a bottle of wine?

– jennifer