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Ontario thanksgiving wine

Many wine styles are suitable for traditional Thanksgiving dishes, such as turkey and ham, and the LCBO carries them all.

Thanksgiving in Wine Country Ontario

When planning a Thanksgiving meal, consider pairing it with a fine wine from Ontario. Here are some options to consider.

By Malcolm Lamont, Product Consultant, St. Catharines

As the leaves start to change colour, and the thermometer dips down at night, it means fall has arrived in Wine Country Ontario. Grape growers across the province are engaged in frenzied activity during what is the culmination of a year’s work in the vineyards.

This is also time for us to get together with family and friends to celebrate with a Thanksgiving meal. Importantly, our customers will be relying on us to help them choose the right bottle to serve with their holiday feast. Fortunately, we have many wonderful local Ontario wines that make for great pairing options.

Why Ontario?

We are a cool-climate region

Our cool climate, allows the grapes to maintain a balanced structure of natural acidity and fresh fruit flavours when ready for harvest. In addition, our wines tend to be medium-bodied and restrained, rather than overripe – which is more refreshing on the palate. This rare combination of attributes makes our wines both versatile and food-friendly.

We are experts in making good wine

I have visited many of our wineries and met people who are not only extremely talented, but dedicated and passionate about growing and making wine in Ontario. Many have trained in other countries and now call Ontario home, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our industry. Ontario is also home to CCOVI (the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University). Graduates from this world-class institution have made their mark both here at home and in wine regions across the globe.

It’s good for the local economy

Buying and consuming Ontario products helps support our local producers and the economy.

Ontario wine styles that work with Thanksgiving dinner.

Following are a few recommendations of superb Ontario wines that will shine with thanksgiving meals.

With its subtle flavours, refreshing carbonation and vibrant acidity, sparkling wine is not only festive but also the ideal food wine. It lends itself well to an entire meal, from aperitif to the final cheese course. A good example of this is the award-winning Trius Brut.

Rosé is also quite versatile. It not only makes a wonderful first glass for sipping, but also pairs with an array of appetizers and is the perfect refresher on a warm sunny day with its fresh fruit and mineral flavours. Malivoire’s Ladybug Rosé is an annual customer favourite.

Ontario is a new world leader when it comes to riesling. This variety can be produced in a range of styles, from extra-dry to sweet, and depending on the style, will pair nicely with seafood to spicy dishes. Try Cave Springs Estate Riesling.

Tawse Sketches Chardonnay is a great example of the quality wine we produce in our cooler climate. The subtle and well-integrated oak flavours are well-suited to thanksgiving turkey.

When it comes to red wines and thanksgiving fare, light to medium-bodied wines work best. Conveniently these are styles in which we excel.

The classic grape of Beaujolais, gamay noir, is rarely seen outside of France, but it has found a home here in Ontario where it thrives. It tends to be light to medium-bodied, with fresh and lively flavours of ripe red berries and a signature note of cracked black pepper. It is a great partner for food, especially fall fare. A good value example is the Angels Gate Gamay.

Also known as the heartbreak grape for its thin skin and susceptibility to disease, pinot noir often shows complex yet elegant aromas and flavours of red cherry, mushroom and earth. It is perfect for roasted chicken, and of course turkey. Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir is one example that really shines.

Baco noir is generally only found in North America, where it is successfully grown and produced under cooler climatic conditions. A leading example is Henry of Pelham Baco Noir. The rustic characteristic notes of plum, cedar and bacon pair wonderfully with BBQ, game meats or dishes like tourtière.

Recommending or purchasing any of these wines for the Thanksgiving holiday not only ensures an elevated eating and drinking experience, but it also celebrates the “fruits of our labours” from our very own Wine Country Ontario.  

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