Last minute wine pairing tips for Thanksgiving

It’s only a few days away, and though you might already be thawing your Thanksgiving turkey, you’ve probably come to the post because you’re freaking out at the last minute wondering what wines to serve to your guests.

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Luckily, Thanksgiving is a pretty easy meal to pair wines with. The meal is full of a wide variety of fall flavors, and though it’ll be impossible for one wine to compliment the entire meal, you can certainly make a last trip to the store to grab a few bottles that will definitely enhance your Thanksgiving dinner.

Sparkling to start the party

I think it’s fun to open up a bottle of something sparkly to serve as your guests arrive. This year, go for something different like a sparkling shiraz. It’s not terribly acidic, and has a nice medium body that pairs well with breads and strong cheeses like an aged blue cheese. Instead of going with a store bough bread, why not make your own challah baguettes? Recipe here.

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Riesling for brussels sprouts

They’re a Thanksgiving staple, but brussels sprouts can be tricky with wine pairings. Personally, I love a fruity riesling to cut the strong nutty flavor of seared brussels sprouts.

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We currently have a few of Vienna’s finest rieslings available starting at only $26 a bottle. The offer expires soon, and keep in mind that even if you order today it won’t arrive before Thanksgiving. So go ahead and order a few rieslings now for next time you cook up a batch of brussels sprouts, they’re in season throughout he end of winter.

Onto the main dishes

Last night I made a trip to Whole Foods to do some sample tasting for this blog post (they have Thanksgiving dishes in their hot bar, which is super helpful if you’re like me and want to test your Thanksgiving pairings in advance).

I found this gewurztraminer that pairs excellently with vegetarian stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

The bottle was about $25, and definitely enhanced my test meal! It’s warm, spicy, very aromatic, and has a crisp sweet taste.

Be traditional with a pinot noir

It goes quite well with turkey, so there’s a reason why pinot noirs are considered a classic Thanksgiving wine pairing. You could also go with a fuller bodied zinfandel, which I personally prefer.

Pumpkin pie wine pairings

Most people will recommend a dessert wine to accompany a nice slice of pumpkin pie (like port or sherry) but I like to go for something a little lighter and break back out the riesling that I served earlier in the meal.

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Shake things up for dessert this year by making a vegan pumpkin parsnip pie. Recipe here.

Extra bottle for the table

If you’re looking for a good wine to sit at the table, then I’d go with pinot gris. It’s rich, spicy, and has a nice almost oily texture that would pair well with almost anything else that finds it’s way to your Thanksgiving table!

Plan early next year

Add a few bottles to your cloud cellar now and you can get a super early start on your wine pairing for next year. Get $50 off orders of 6 bottles or more using promo code TDAY2015.

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Offer expires 12/31/14.

Enter our Malibu Winecation Giveaway

We’ve teamed up with Malibu Rocky Oaks, Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, and Uber to giveaway 4 grand prize Malibu Winecations.

What exactly is a Winecation?

Each grand prize winner will win an exclusive overnight trip to the Malibu Coast wine region for themselves and a guest.

If you’re selected as a winner, you’ll stay the night at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village and attend the Black & White Gala, hosted by Malibu Rocky Oaks. Luxury transportation provided by Uber.

But that’s not all, we’ve arranged for winners to attend an exclusive meet-and-greet (and reserve wine tasting) with Eddie Osterland and Howard Leight. You’ll also be treated to dinner at a 5-star restaurant in Malibu.

The contest ends on December 1st, so enter today through our website or Facebook page.

Be sure to tell your friends, as you’ll increase your odds of winning for each entrant you refer!

Top 5 Wines to Sneak Into a San Francisco Giants Game

Anyone who loves wine and loves the San Francisco Giants knows one depressing fact: if you want wine at the game, you are going to have to pay an arm and a leg to get it! Even if you find some wine to purchase at AT&T Park, it is probably going to be ridiculously overpriced compared to the quality of the ballpark wine.

If you are like a lot of us, maybe a thought has occurred to you; sneak in your own wine.

Ignoring the legal consequences or the “how-to” parts of this task, there are several wines you should consider smuggling into the park. Now to be fair, I am not picking the most expensive wines. I am looking at wines that pack a punch and are reasonably priced. Also, I am a fan of red wines.

1. Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection: Claret

This is a good wine that you can pick up nearly anywhere for somewhere between $10 and $15. It is strong, not too sweet, and goes down smooth. If you want to read more about it, go to

 2. Bell’Agio Chianti (Hint: It comes in a basket).

Nice dry Chianti. This is a good but cheap Italian wine that you can get for anywhere between $10 and $15. It is definitely worth the risk of being thrown out of a Giants game. Read about this one at

 3. The Show: Malbec

Big and bold, this South American wine is a bit stronger and fuller bodied that the other two. Again costing somewhere between $10 and $15, this wine says, “Take me out to the ball game, but enjoy me discretely.” Go to to learn more.

 4. Mangria: Signature Orange Mangria

Who am I kidding? This should really be number one. This is a wine developed by the comedian and radio and television personality, Adam Carolla. At 20.9% alcohol content, this is by far the strongest wine I have mentioned thus far. It tastes like a great red wine that with just the perfect amount of orange flavoring. It is sublime! This is a drink that is perfect for your ice filled thermos that is tucked under your jacket. It will be refreshing, and it has enough alcohol to leave you feeling great no matter how well Tim Lincecum is pitching. It runs at about $20 a bottle, and you can read more at

 5. Pence Royalty HP3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Longtime Texan Howard Pence may have created the top wine to sneak into a San Francisco Giant’s Game. HP3 Cabernet Sauvignon was created to represent the powerful father-son-son trio Howard, Howard, and San Francisco Giants star outfielder Hunter Pence. At 14.6% alcohol this wine will have you feeling good well into extra innings in time for Hunter Pence’s game winning home run in the 11th!


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