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Hosting Perfectly… Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is the biggest foodie holiday event in the US, so what better way to make your feast stand out than to match each course with the right drink? 

Thanksgiving is a time to gather and feast. It is the biggest foodie holiday event in the USA and is also celebrated in other countries around the world. Food is the focus, but what better way to make your Thanksgiving feast stand out than to match each course perfectly with the right beverage? Here’s your Clos19 guide to matching your fine food to fine drinks. Who wouldn’t be thankful for that...

What is Thanksgiving?

The original American Thanksgiving first took place when the pilgrims arrived in the ‘new world’ in 1621, but Canada and Japan also have their own versions. It wasn’t until 1863 however, when Abraham Lincoln pronounced that the third Thursday in November would be Thanksgiving day in the US, that the tradition really took off internationally.

The idea behind Thanksgiving was to offer prayers of thanks for a good harvest and ask for God’s blessing for future years. Nowadays though, the holiday is seen as a secular event and therefore celebrated much more widely than Christmas, with key football matches and glamourous parades happening too. One thing is certain though: wherever you’re celebrating it and why, food and drink play a big part.


Traditional dishes

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes include turkey with stuffing, gravy and plenty of buttery mashed potatoes. Pies of all kinds are popular too, especially pumpkin pie and apple pie. Here are some drink choices to match your Thanksgiving staples:

Now is the time to pull out the big guns if budget allows. Start with bubbles; a prestige champagne if you can. The richness and complexity of Krug will take you through from aperitif to your first course, for example. If planning a simpler wine salutation and budget is key, then Veuve Clicquot Brut NV champagne will add enough glamour and a touch of fruitiness to your toast. 


For the main course, having a good red and white wine on hand will cover all bases. Pumpkin pie and creamy mash will need a rich, weighty white wine. Chardonnay is the ideal grape for this and a wine like the Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay will add extra texture and flavour to cut through the food. For a lighter but still flavoursome option, the Terrazas de los Andes Chardonnay is full-bodied and crisp. 

The turkey with its trimmings can take red wine if it’s not too heavy. Pinot noir is an ideal partner as it doesn’t have too much weight and tannin. Try Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir as a good all-rounder or upgrade to their stunning Te Wahi pinot if you really want to go to town. And if you’re rounding off your meal with a classic apple pie, then a Sauternes dessert wine is an ideal match. What better opportunity to push the boat out and savour the world-famous Château d’Yquem? It will take you all the way through any cheese you serve too, so you have the best excuse to savour every drop. Now, that is something to be thankful for...