Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Suggestions Under $15 USD

23 11 2011

Here in the US, we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving and many of us are scurrying around in preparation for the big day. While many are cooking away and in advance, some have still not completed their wine shopping. So, for those that are still searching for the right pairing, I have a short list of suggestions for you.

Pairing wine with the traditional bird is fairly easy and I always reach for two varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sometimes Riesling. That being said, below are the best values for your money and from all over the globe.

Pinot Noir:

1) Gloria Ferrer, 2007 Carneros – California. This is light on its feet but has plenty of flavor (raspberry, plum, cherry) and a long smooth finish. Also, if you love bubbles – go for their sparkling wine, you won’t go wrong at under $20 for that at Thanksgiving! Check out my previous post on value priced sparkling wines that are excellent values and also perfect with whatever you are serving!

2) Leyda, Leyda Valley – Chile. Packed with dark fruit flavor and a touch of herb and earthy, fantastic value at around $11 USD.

3) Matua, Marlborough – New Zealand. Strawberry, plum and nice body on this excellent value wine. Light in style and simple with clean flavors and floral.


1) 4 Vines Naked, Central Coast – California. This has become my go-to house white wine. It is packed with flavor (apple, lemon) and has great acidity at the end that allows for better food pairing than buttery Chardonnay. Nose of peach, pear and apple. My favorite for the money.

2) Cupcake Vineyards, Central Coast – California. Though much more buttery, Cupcake is a good value and this is simple, easy drinking – though extremely buttery and less likely to go with the rest of the meal. Tropical fruit, vanilla, apple, BUTTER!


1) Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley – Washington. Great concentrated flavors of citrus (orange and grapefruit), pear and spices with some mineral. Nice acidity at the end, not sweet and low in alcohol (12.5%) that make this a great food wine overall. If you can not find this, try Chateau St. Michelle, also from Washington, though a bit less dry, still a solid alternate.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for your support of Tales From the Trellis!


Steve From the Trellis




2 responses

25 11 2011
mike williams

Great recommendations. We ended up finding the Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, and going with that and a Pouilly Fuisse for the chardonnay fans. The riesling was just a bit too sweet for me, but had a very interesting flavor – kind of honey-sweet with a bit of a smokey taste. We did find a bottle of the cupcake too – which will probably compliment the leftovers tonight. I’m curious to see if the buttery thickness of the cupcake works well with the pecan pie… 🙂 Thanks again for the tips!

25 11 2011

Mike, thanks! As far as the Chateau St. Michelle, it is less dry so – yes, a bit more on the sweeter side. I would go with that and the pecan pie rather than the Cupcake Chard, but try both and see for yourself – see what you like. Have a slice of that pie for me! Cheers.

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