Live Dangerously – Wine Teasers Recommendations for Trendy Wines at Thanksgiving Dinner

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Over time, certain wines have become well-established as top matches for Thanksgiving-dinner dishes. Current trends in wine drinking may change all that. Wine Teasers Wine Game offers its suggestions for finding perfect turkey-day wines that reflect today’s wine choices.

Which two wines are traditionally served with Thanksgiving dinner: 1) Champagne and Riesling, 2) Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, or 3) Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir?

Need a hint? Look at the choices again and choose the heaviest combination of wines. By now the answer is probably obvious: 2) Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The question and hint come from Wine Teasers Wine Game, which goes on to suggest that menu planners may want to consider trendier wines for this year’s turkey dinner. According to Stefan Smith, creator of Wine Teasers Wine Game, people have been serving both Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon with Thanksgiving dinner for years. While these wines continue to be outstanding choices that complement many traditional Thanksgiving dishes, they do not necessarily reflect people’s current tastes in wine.

But Thanksgiving is all about tradition, not innovation, and the dinner menu is no exception. Is this the occasion to tweak a wine formula that has worked for years?

According to Smith, "Absolutely! Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect opportunity to have fun with wine. You have a fairly fixed menu (this is perhaps the one meal where originality doesn’t count), so it is easier to predict which wines will work. Since you don’t want to tinker too drastically with traditional entrees and desserts, you are left with wine as the perfect vehicle to express your originality. Many wine experts are suggesting alternatives to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay for this year’s turkey dinner.”

The Wine Teasers solution? “To be less traditional and more in line with current drinking trends, try Pinot Grigio for your white and Pinot Noir for your red wine. They are established performers, currently very popular, and safe enough to please almost all wine drinkers.” Smith adds that these wines may actually complement many turkey-day dishes better than the heavier, more traditional wine choices.

The Wine Teasers question goes on to say that in addition to the red and white wine choices, "make the meal perfect by serving a sparkling wine before dinner" (and let’s face it, dinner with the relatives may require a preliminary sip or two!).

Wine Teasers Wine Game is available at, at, and at selected wine and grocery stores across the country.

Wine Teasers Wine Game is a product of Fine Wine Games, Inc. Stefan Smith, company founder and president, is an academic outreach librarian at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse whose search for fun wine-learning experiences inspired him to create Wine Teasers Wine Game. The game went to market in fall, 2005 and is available at,, and at wine and grocery stores nationwide (see list at


Stefan Smith

Fine Wine Games, Inc.

2528 Madison Pl

La Crosse, WI 54601

888 258-8575

Background information on Wine Teasers is available through a La Crosse Tribune news article available at

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