Wine for Normal People Podcast Ep 172: The One Wine Thanksgiving Solution

Thanksgiving is a meal with so much complexity that you may just want to think about streamlining yourtg-dinner-table
wine choices. We offer a “one wine” solution — versatile choices that go with everything — so you don’t have to stress! Here’s the shortlist that we mention:



  • Off-dry Vouvray and off-dry Riesling
  • Premier Cru Chablis
  • Alsace whites — especially Riesling, Muscat, and Gewurztraminer
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc or Priorat Blanc
  • Italian whites
  • Bubbles! American Sparkling or Prosecco are fruitier and may be best



  • Especially New World rosé that can stand up to the multitude of flavors
  • Bubbly rosé is a great pick too



  • Caveat Emptor, since red is less versatile for Thanksgiving. Pick something low in alcohol, low in tannin, and moderate in acidity
  • Top picks: Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc


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  • mary

    Hi, Elizabeth! Enjoyed this podcast very much, but you have me confused about pinot noir. You say it’s not a good choice for Thanksgiving, but you recommended Oregon pinot in your 2015 podcast on American wines for Thanksgiving. What’s up?

    • Elizabeth Schneider

      Hey Mary,

      This is all about experience, right? I think that we found that it just wasn’t the best wine for our whole meal after the fact. Although Oregon has a nice balance between fruit and earth, it still can get lost in the mix of all the flavors. It was our least successful wine last year so I wanted to use that experience this time around and share better options. That’s partly why I like to update the TG podcast — sometimes styles change or I make a personal discovery (read: MISTAKE!) that I want you to know about.

      If you don’t have a lot of varying flavors on the table, go for Pinot. Just watch the alcohol and tannin levels. Soft, fruity, and lower in tannin is the way to go.

      Does that give more context? I hope so! I don’t want you losing faith in me!


  • mary

    Thanks for the insight. No loss of faith. We’re all on a journey. Guess mine will involve a trip to Binny’s for a cab franc this year.

    • Elizabeth Schneider

      Yes, Cab Franc or Beaujolais Cru. Are you in Chicagoland? You could try this too…

      Just an idea!!! : )

      • mary

        We tried the Georges Duboeuf Morgan Flower Label and everyone loved it. Much thanks for the suggestion, Elizabeth. We also had two Michigan wines on the table: a Reisling from Chateau Grand Traverse and a sparkling Blanc de Blanc from Mawby. Those went over well, too. Keep up the great work!