Choosing Wine for a Group on Thanksgiving

As tempting as it is for me to serve a fine Burgundy at Thanksgiving, I've learned that most guests do not crave the fussy or the obscure. Wine at Thanksgiving should be like a Steve Martin flick: likable, uncomplicated and inexpensive.


close-up of a glass of wine in front of an array of bottles

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Stockbyte, (c) Stockbyte

close-up of a glass of wine in front of an array of bottles

Prosecco: As exuberant as the chorus in Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", only the vinously villainous would resist a flute of this light, fruit-forward bubbly from Italy.

Gavi: You’ll help the room kick its addiction to Pinot Grigio by introducing this worthy alternative. It is easy to say (GAH-vee), light and brisk with a subtle lemon or apple character.

A Greek White: Their names (often designed to twist tongues, e.g., Moschofilero, Assyrtiko) are less important than their price (moderate) and likability (high), given their propensity toward creamy, grapefruity or pear-like goodness.

Côtes du Rhône: This hearty, stuffing-loving red unifies the room with its dependably smooth blackberry or plum flavors, often joined by an edge of earth or minerals.

A Red From Paso Robles: If you rightfully yearn to buy American on this holiday of patriots, try one of the rich, ripe reds coming from this quality region situated on California's Central Coast. Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone-style blends are Paso’s peak points.

Mark Oldman is a wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers.

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