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OPINION | BOTTLE SHOTS: A guide to Thanksgiving wine pairings — part 1

by Seth Eli Barlow | November 16, 2022 at 1:56 a.m.

In my eyes, Thanksgiving is the best and worst holiday for wine lovers. On the one hand, any chance to pair wine and food is an exciting time, but on the other, you're typically tasked with finding a wine that everyone in the family will like, a nigh on impossible task at my family table, at least.

The ideal Thanksgiving wine has to check several boxes: affordable, crowd-pleasing, approachable for any palate, and a passable pairing with any dish that might pop up on a crowded holiday table. (My own family's meal regularly ranges from the ultra traditional staples to a help-yourself taco bar.)

While I still think the best way to go is often a punch, I wouldn't be doing my oenological duty if I didn't give you a guide on wine for the big day. Below are white and sparkling wines to consider, and I'll be back next week with a selection of rosés and reds.

Yalumba Y Series Viognier, $13

This award-winning, Australian viognier is on the fresher, lighter end of the viognier spectrum. It shows all the unique characteristics of this exotic variety, without being too rich on the palate. Look for aromas of orange blossom with fresh ginger, hints of honeysuckle, apricot and white tea.

Domaine Rosier "Terre de Villelongue," $15

This sparkling wine from Limoux in southern France has absolutely no business being as good as it is for this price. Made from a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc and pinot noir, it's full of bright and citrusy notes of orange blossom and lemon cream.

Scarpetta Timido Brut Rosé, $16

I always err on the side of bubbles, and this, with its salmon pink color and pillowy texture, is still, I think, one of the best value bottles you'll find in the state. The flavors are light and airy, skewing toward wafting notes of strawberry and raspberry. How ever many bottles you think you'll need, double it.

RouteStock Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, $19

Always a crowd pleaser, this chardonnay is focused and bright with fantastic balance for its price point. Time spent in neutral French oak barrels lends it a velvety texture and waves of fresh lemon, pear, and subtle baking spices make it food friendly with whatever your in-laws bring.

Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Grande Reserve, $21

The Alsace region of France is known for its lovely, perfumed white wines. Maison Pierre Sparr was established by the Sparr family in 1680. This gewurztraminer is full-bodied and rich, with refreshing notes of lychee, geranium, satay spice and orange zest.

As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to


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