Wine Pairings For Your Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration, whether a small or large gathering we have some tips and pointers to make it memorable and easy. Keep everyone happy during the day by having a platter of healthy nibbles like this board.

Photo by Brooke Lark

You can make several things ahead of time. We use our Caspar Estate organically grown herbs, meyer lemons, and oranges.  We make the herb and lemon zest butter several days ahead of time. We use it to put it under the skin of the turkey and inside the turkey and then coasting all the skin. We also use it for sauting the onion, celery, portobello mushrooms for the stuffing.

Prepare ahead of time: We chop up the meyer lemon, orange, and then cook the cranberries with dried cherries, raisins, with Caspar Estate honey, balsamic vinegar and lots of spices (cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves). We enjoy the additional depth of flavor by using additional items in the cranberry sauce.

We often end up eating at about 2pm on Thanksgiving.We make a roasted butternut squash soup. We roast the squash with Caspar Estate extra virgin olive oil and garlic. We scoop out the squash, and the roasted garlic and put it in the blender and blend it and add vegetable stock. It is creamy and delicious.

We love having leftovers so we make a large turkey about 18-20 pounds. In order to have the stuffing taste the best we like to stuff the bird. To make the bird as succulent as possible we have mastered cooking it in the oven with Cultivar Sauvignon Blanc the bottom of the roasting pan. We put the bird in upside down so the juices flow into that part of the bird and flip it 2/3 of the way through cooking it. Flipping it over requires preparation for a big bird – we have found that having 2 people makes it much easier.

What the turkey looks like when we first put it in the oven. We often put aluminum foil over the wing tips. Below is what it looks like after we flip it over and it is ready.

Pair the turkey with 2019 Cultivar Chardonnay from Oakville, it brings out the best in turkey as well as seared scallops, cheese platters, sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables with hollandaise sauce.

Looking for switching it up? We can recommend the Squash and Burrata that we serve at Cultivar SF with all the flavors of the seasons. Delicata squash & honey nut squash, granny smith apples, pomegranate arlis, pepitas, balsamic reduction, fried sage, lava salt, olive oil. Pair it with the 2019 Cultivar Pinot Noir Russian River.

Another fun first course is the Scallop with Frisse, apples, Pt. Reyes Blue.


For the stuffing we roast chestnuts in the oven. Be sure to score them before roasting. It makes peeling them so much easier. We saute the celery, onions, herbs, portobello mushrooms in the herbed butter or herbed olive oil with lemon zest.

Thanksgiving calls for brussel sprouts! We love ours tossed in Caspar Estate olive oil and then there are several options for how to prepare them.

Pair your roasted brussel sprouts, truffle or portobello mushroom stuffing, seared green beans with scallions with our newly released 2019 Cultivar Bordeaux Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from renown Napa Valley vineyards create a lush, balanced and provocative wine.
Or serve the Brussel Sprouts the way we do at Cultivar SF with Cultivar Bacon, Gremolata, Parmesan

Do you prefer serving roasted duck to the traditional turkey? We recommend our 2019 Cultivar Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc. On the palate, the flavors of cranberry and red fruit are evenly balanced with nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and a hint of baking chocolate. A very food friendly wine it will pair well with Mashed potatoes, stuffing and dinner rolls. Photo by ProChurchmedia

For years we have been making sweet potatoes with marshmallows. This has been a family tradition for quite some time. Do you put it all out on the table all at once or serve your meal in courses? Either way we have found that our dogs are always right there next to us waiting for scraps to fall from the table. Our dogs lie in front of the oven all day, and are especially watchful when we baste the bird.

Photo by Karolina-Grabowska

What do you prefer? Pumpkin pie with whipping cream or pecan pie or chocolate pecan pie? The one thing we can all agree on is pairing your pie with our just released Port! This 2014 Cultivar Anderson Valley Port is a decadent dessert wine that greets the nose with layers of caramel, dulce de leche, and orange peel. Warm waves of spun sugar, maple, and dark chocolate roll across the palate, ending with a creamy, mocha finish that seems to linger forever. What a great way to finish off a wonderful celebration.


Photo by Timothy-Wolff

We are grateful to you! We hope that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Another option is to let the professionals handle it and go to the Silverado Resort. Look at this beautiful meal from Silverado in the Napa Valley.

Traditional Thanksgiving mealPhoto by Silverado Resort

If you need help selecting wine to pair with your favorite dishes join us online for holiday tips with Deborah. She is lots of fun and has many great ideas! Cheers!