Thanksgiving feasts are already pretty perfect, but the missing ingredient at your table just might be a nice Texas wine. If paired correctly, wine can take your already delicious meal into a divine one, according to Pedernales Cellars' Julie Kuhlken.

And it's not just red wine that can do the trick on Thanksgiving — white wine and even mulled wine have their place beside your plate.

In a recent blog post on the Pedernales website, Kuhlken offered tips about pairing wine and food together. One of the most important things to keep in mind, she said, is that you should pair wine and food of the same "weight."

"Heavier dishes call for a fuller-bodied wine, while delicate dishes beg not to be overwhelmed and prefer a lighter style of wine. We’ve all heard the age-old argument: 'white meat with white wine' and 'red meat with red wine,' and this rule is actually based on science," she writes in the blog post. "For example, fish’s mercury levels will often interact with compounds (like tannin) in red wine and cause the wine to taste metallic. So, it’s better to pair it with a wine without tannin. Cue the white wine."

But you're likely having turkey, not fish, on Thanksgiving Day, right? In that case, you'll actually have more flexibility in choosing your bottle than if you're eating fish or, conversely, a red meat like beef. Kulken noted in the blog post that turkey "happens to be an in-between meat with white meat that is enhanced by both white wines, and lovely with lighter-style red wines, as well as dark meat that loves a lusher bodied red."

Other tips? Spicy foods are magic with sweet wines. Fatty foods are best with acidic wines. And sweet dishes go with sweet wines at the same level or greater of sweetness. Also, keep in mind that some pairings work because they complement each other, while others are better because they have contrasting flavors, she writes.


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"Like relationships with your family at Thanksgiving, wine can be paired well when it either complements or contrasts with the food you are serving," according to the blog post. "Sometimes a perfect pairing is one that is complimentary: the flavors of the dish are mirrored in the wine, such as a lemon butter sauce paired with a buttery Chardonnay with notes of lemon. In other cases, contrasting flavors go extremely well together, like a semi-sweet Riesling with salty bleu cheese."

Need some specific suggestions? Texas wineries have plenty of options for us, no matter what kind of Thanksgiving dishes are going to fill us up on Nov. 22.


Pedernales Cellars' 2016 Texas Tempranillo: Pedernales is particularly known for its complex take on the Spanish grape, and this elegant, well-structured version is ready to be savored alongside roast meats and vegetables "that are at the heart of the Thanksgiving table," according to Kuhlken.
Wedding Oak Winery Viognier 2017: The San Saba-area winery, which also created guidelines to wine pairings for our big turkey dinner this week, recommends the bright acidity of this Rhone Valley varietal to kick off your feasting. The lean white wine features lively notes of honeyed melon, apple and pear, with "a lingering Meyer lemon finish." And it's going to be extra tasty with, say, gravy-topped mashed potatoes.
Fall Creek Vineyards' Vintner's Selection Rosado 2017: If you've got time to head to the Driftwood or Tow locations of the Hill Country's oldest winery, pick up this limited release to share on Thanksgiving. (It's also available for purchase online.) The ruby-colored rosé is made saignée-style, so it's a little bigger and fuller than a traditional pink wine, with 48 percent merlot, 28 percent grenache and 24 percent syrah bringing out flavors of black pepper and Mexican plum.
Messina Hof Gewürztraminer: It might be a complete mystery to pronounce, but rest assured you'll feel certain you picked the right white to pair with dinner, thanks to food-friendly notes of lychee, lemon zest and spices. Serve it chilled. A semi-dry white like this one is good to turn to if you have nontraditional, spicy-leaning dishes on the Thanksgiving menu, such as tamales.
Duchman Family Winery 2015 Aglianico: The Driftwood winery tends to prefer Italian varietals like the full-bodied red. A staple of the Duchman portfolio, this aglianico has "notes of the holidays right on the nose, with a hint of nutmeg and baking spice, stewed fruit and dried fig on the palate," according to general manager Jeff Ogle. As such, it's a red wine you can successfully pair with pumpkin pie.
Brennan Vineyards 2016 Super Nero: Not everyone is going to have poultry on the Thanksgiving table. Lest prime rib be the main course on yours, Brennan's silky, fruit-forward red — a blend of 90 percent nero d'avola and 10 percent cinsault grapes — is the bottle to seek out.