The Wandering Wino Blog

Thanksgiving Wine

Thanksgiving always has its special recipes, and the wine should be planned for in the same way. So how does one select the right wine for such an occasion? 

The answer lies in the types of foods served, and those flavors that can contrast, or tie it all together. When thinking of thanksgiving flavors, some of the most prominent can often be rich flavors like in gravy, earthiness in things like cream of mushroom and herbs, buttery in turkey, breads, and many side dishes. There are certainly more, but these just might be a big part of the American standard.
Thanksgiving Wine
Recently I did my own pre-thanksgiving with the wine pairing as the premise for my efforts. Rich flavors, such as in gravy, often do well with medium to full bodied reds like Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet Franc, among others. 
Stuffing Wine Pairing
Some herbs that may be used on thanksgiving include: sage, rosemary, and thyme for turkey, stuffing, and even mixed in olive oil for dipping breads. 

Languedoc Wines

My wines selected: 
2013 Chateau Tour Boisee from Minervois (Langudoc-Roussillion), France) $16.99 Herbal notes that pair well with turkey, and bridge ingredients like sage, rosemary, and thyme.

2013 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie Du Pic" from Pic Saint Loup (Languedoc-Roussillion, France) $24.99. (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre) Delicate sage, rosemary, and thyme, aromas that are ideally suited for thanksgiving. 


The Languedoc-Roussillion region is known for Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Rousanne, Mourvedre, Syrah, among others. The wines I tasted were primarily Syrah, which is the real key to this pairing. 

Languedoc map

Typical aromas and flavors of Syrah: 

  • Black fruits, such as blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry
  • Plum
  • Cherry
  • Currant
  • Smoke
  • Black/White Pepper
  • leather
  • Violet
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate 
  • Mint
  • Spices, such as sage, thyme, clove, cinnamon, and sandalwood
  • Bacon
  • Mineral aspects like a chalkiness or crushed rock


What ingredients pair well with Syrah, or Syrah based wines:

  • Spices, such as Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
  • Blackberry
  • Plums
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Lavender 
  • Bay Leaf 
  • Olives
  • Green Peppercorns
  • Chocolate
  • Fennel
  • Eggplant
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Cheese: Goat, Feta, Parmigiano, and Jack 
(I bolded all of the pairing ingredients I will use on Thanksgiving.) 

Turkey Wine Pairing

The dishes I had included:

Farmhouse herbed stuffing that had key ingredients: onions, celery, dried sage, dried rosemary, crushed thyme, and black pepper. 

Slow roasted green beans with sage, that included: scallions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. 

Lavender Roasted Potatoes, just because I knew it would make my wife happy, and yes, lavender is one of those key ingrediants as well. 

Roasted turkey with a compound butter (rubbed under turkey breast) that included key ingredients: sage, rosemary, black pepper and thyme.


Using these key ingredients paired with Syrah is sure to please a crowd on thanksgiving. These wines will be discussed on KVTA 1590 AM Saturday 8-9 AM. Want to learn more about Languedoc-Roussillion, click HERE.