Your guide to Thanksgiving wine

Cooking up a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving meal is a stressful ordeal if you’re hosting a large table of family and friends. While we can’t tell you exactly how to cook the best turkey ever, we can share our know-how of which wines to bring to the table for your guests.


But first, a history lesson! The first Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada was in Newfoundland back in 1578. An English explorer named Martin Frobisher unfortunately went through some troubles while sailing uncharted seas, losing many comrades through winter storms. After Frobisher’s ships were scattered for quite some time, they all managed to happily meet at Frobisher Bay where they all celebrated the reunion with a meal of thanks.

Although Canada had been celebrating Thanksgiving for well over 100 years, it was only officiated in 1957. It was stated, “A day of general Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”


Well apparently, many Canadians are thankful for wine, as it is sold more on Thanksgiving than any other day. The dilemma, however, is deciding which wine pairs with turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams and pie. WineCollective has featured all of these wines that are versatile enough for everything you’ll be stuffing into your belly this upcoming weekend. We suggest that you offer several types of wine, as everyone’s palates are different.


Red Wine

Zinfandel can go a long way with a chunk of turkey. A vintage with lower tannins and alcohol with moisten the turkey and bring on flavours of cinnamon and vanilla, suited perfect for fall.

Try the 2010 Mazzocco Dry Creek (now available in the WineCollective store). It’s a big wine, but the cherry and red fruit notes make it very versatile and a pleasure to drink.

Pinot Noir has a lighter body, which makes it easy to pair with poultry. The cherry and cranberry flavours work especially well with ham.

If it’s still in your cellar from select July packages, pop open the 2009 Lynmar Estate Russian River Valley. This wine gives of warm cherry and cranberry notes that you may just want to pour on top your turkey– but please don’t.


White Wine

Riesling is a crisp option that acts as a great palate refresher. Besides turkey, it pairs well with yams, cranberries and… Pumpkin Pie!

We have a few Rieslings for sale now on WineCollective, including the 2009 Joh Jos Prum Kabinett  (a favourite among Riesling fans). The wine is off dry with notes of stone fruit. Super fresh with tons of intricate layers.

Chenin Blanc is unfortunately not as popular as it should be, because it’s extremely delicious. Typically the wine is fresh with medium-high acidity; it shows tropical or citrus notes.

An upcoming wine is the October package is the 2008 Charles Joguet Touraine. Sadly, it won’t make it to you for this weekend but at least now you can look forward to turkey leftovers!

Sauvignon Blanc is a better match for a Thanksgiving feast than an oaky Chardonnay. The dry citrus taste is much more versatile.

A previously featured wine, the 2011 Veramonte Sauvignon La Gloria Reserva would be great to have on your table this weekend. It shows of lemon and lime notes that will work really well if your dishes tend to have more spice.

Joh.-Jos.-Prum---Riesling-Kabinett-2011 Veramonte---La-Gloria-Sauv-Blanc-Reserva-2011

Hopefully you still have a few of these bottles in your cellar so you can show off to family and friends this weekend. If not, we invite you to check out our partners, Willow Park Wines & Spirits, for their Thanksgiving sale from October 9 – 13, where you can potentially find some of the above wines at up to 49% off.

Let us know if you get to try any of these wines with your turkey dinner and how you enjoyed it. A general rule of thumb would be to serve a wine that is higher in acidity and low in alcohol – considering you’ll likely be drinking all day on top of a already heavy meal.

We hope your Thanksgiving weekend is filled with family, friends, blessings and wine.

Happy Thanksgiving from WineCollective.