ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What are the best wines for Thanksgiving to go with turkey and with ham?

—Debra H., Sanford, Fla.

Dear Debra,

I’m excited to get this question, because it means that Thanksgiving is around the corner. And of all things that can be around the corner, Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite one.

Usually when I give advice about Thanksgiving dinner, I say that you can throw the turkey out of the equation, since turkey is pretty neutral and goes with nearly any wine. Instead, you need to find wines that will pair well with a complicated array of side dishes. Many traditional holiday sides can have a sweet component to them, such as cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and even stuffing with dried fruit or apples. A Thanksgiving wine needs to be versatile enough to go with any of these sides, and I have to assume there is a green bean casserole in the mix.

But ham, you say? Ham narrows the focus a little bit more. I love Riesling and Gewürztraminer with ham, and those would typically pair well with the sides, too. On the red side, I’d continue to stick with soft and fruity examples of Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Grenache. And don’t forget the bubbly, which goes with just about everything.

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories