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Thanksgiving wines that are not Beaujolais

If you know me or follow me on Instagram, you may know I LOVE Beaujolais Cru wines, but everyone suggests Beaujolais for Thanksgiving...this is because it's a lighter red that's easy to drink and great with a variety of foods (best served slightly chilled). Definitely grab a bottle, but check out a few other ideas as well:

Start with bubbles! The perfect aperitif. Check out Champagne Billecart-Salmon's Brut Réserve, sold nationwide at a great price for truly mouth-watering Champagne, which is, as most of you know, my favorite type of bubbly.

If you prefer whites, try the Ernest Vineyards Chardonnay from Sonoma, which will work with turkey, dressing/stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and all of the classic Thanksgiving fare (Their Pinot Noir is great as well!)

But lighter-bodied reds are the stars of this holiday, so what else to look at aside from my first light-red love, Beaujolais?

Schiava is an even lighter red wine from an indigenous grape from Alto Adige in Northern Italy. (Definitely a conversation starter!) Start the meal with this one, or enjoy it before instead of bubbles or a white. Tiefenbrunner, Elena Walch, Alois Lageder and Abbazia di Novacella make great examples available in many states that are usually a great value.

Cabernet Francs from the Loire Valley such as Chinon vary from light to more structured and are fruity and sometimes earthy, rivaling many Beaujolais (even some Beajolais Cru) wines for a similar price point.

Pinot Noir is the most commonly-found light red you'll see on shelves. But it's hard to find a good (and not overly oaky) Pinot that's a good price. Look to Spätburgunder (German for Pinot Noir) for some amazing values, and one of my personal favorites is the August Kesseler "The Daily August" for about $20. (I might get a case and keep this around as a house red!)

If you prefer something that has a bit more structure but can still work with most Thanksgiving dishes, Agiorgitiko wines from Greece are usually medium to full bodied, with red and black fruit with spices like clove, cinnamon or black pepper. Try the Domaine Skouras “ St. George” Agiogirtiko.

No matter what you drink, try to get some movement in earlier in the day and just try to avoid big-box, industrially-produced wines with additives that will make you want to stay in bed the next day.

Cheers & stay safe out there!


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