November 25, 2014

See our guide to pairing alcohol with your Thanksgiving feast.Remember our Halloween candy and alcohol pairing? We’ve done it again but with all your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. In the Austin culinary arts scene, and the entire country, chefs, foodies and amateurs alike appreciate a conscious effort to pair appropriate alcoholic beverages with a meal. So study up and enjoy your holiday.

The turkey

  • Wine: Chardonnay, with its strong apple and pear flavors, goes well with the crisp golden skin of the Thanksgiving bird.
  • Beer: Pale ale adds the perfect amount of malty, hoppy taste to your holiday plate. Go for one that has buttery notes to really bring out the rich turkey flavors.
  • Liquor: Wild Turkey Bourbon is strong and sweet and made in America: – Kentucky, to be exact. It’s the perfect pairing for your crispy, aromatic turkey.


  1. Mashed potatoes
  • Wine: Merlot is a full-bodied approachable wine that has flavors of black cherry, plum and oak. Its dark tones will complement the mashed potatoes.
  • Beer: Dubbel is a highly carbonated beer from Belgium that tastes of pepper and dark fruit. It works great with mashed potatoes (and turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and more).
  • Liquor: Canadian Club whiskey tastes like charred oak and pairs well with the earthy flavor of mashed potatoes.

2.  Brussels sprouts

  • Wine: Go for a white wine with apple and melon notes like a Riesling. It will sweeten up the dish without masking the flavor of the Brussels sprouts.
  • Beer: Barrel-aged ale has a woodsy flavor that brings out the bitter flavors of these dark greens.
  • Liquor: Jenever is double distilled and works well as part of a martini, Tom Collins or a fizz. It has a clean taste and a silky finish that compliments the rich earthy flavors of Brussels sprouts.

3. Cranberries 

  • Wine: Grenache can be fruity and light or bold and intense. Go for a fruity and light variation of this red wine to play off the dark, rich flavor of your cranberries.
  • Beer: Sour beer is tart and acidic, just like cranberries.
  • Liquor:  Vodka has a pure, smooth taste and works well in cocktails with cranberries. Why not drink it with the real deal?


  1. Pecan pie
  • Wine: English-style barley wine has a complex flavoring of toffee, caramel and dark fruit that is perfect with pecan pie.
  • Beer: Smoked Porter has a smooth, dark rich taste that pairs well with the caramel taste of pecans.
  • Liquor: Scotch is a grainy drink that takes on the woody flavor of the barrel it is stored in. The flavors from the barrel work well with the sweet caramel taste of pie.

2. Pumpkin pie

  • Wine: Muscadet is a dry white that will add a citrus flavor to your rich pumpkin pie, enhancing the delicious spices of the dessert..
  • Beer: Try a milk stout with this delicious dessert. It pairs well with the rich, dark flavors of the pie by bringing in some sweetness and balance.
  • Liquor: Cognac is nutty and tastes like vanilla and caramel. The darkness varies by brand. Choose one that suits your taste, as any cognac pairs well with the rich, earthy flavors of pumpkin pie.