Cheers: What Wine to Drink on Thanksgiving


Perfect Wines for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Gary Fisch, owner of Gary's Wine and Marketplace, details affordable wines to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

I’m getting much better at drinking wine, but I still can’t pick a wine to save my life.

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And now here I am, enlisted with buying wine for Thanksgiving dinner. Ugh. It would be easier for me to redo chemistry class.

So when in doubt, go find an expert.

And I knew Gary Fisch, owner of Gary's Wine and Marketplace was the perfect person to help me.

Fisch owns wine stores in New Jersey that could be considered the Costco’s of wine. He opened his first store in Madison that was a mere 1,200-square foot space. Today, it’s 15,000-square foot space and it's his biggest revenue generator. He opened similar spaces in Bernardsville and most recently, he dove into a 24,000-square feet behemoth space in Wayne.

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But the amazing thing is that you don’t feel overwhelmed when walking into one of his stores because the staff is just so helpful. And, as Fisch has always said to me, the best thing you can do is ask questions.

And that’s what I did.

And here’s what he said.

  • If you’re having turkey, go with a Pinot Noir or lighter Chardonnay
  • Duck on the menu? Go Zinfandel or Syrah
  • And pull out a sparkling Moscato with that pumpkin pie.

“The Moscato brings a little sweetness to match the dessert without taking the sugar level over the top,” notes Fisch.

Actually, he suggests you keep something “sparkling” on hand at all times during the holidays so you’re always ready for some unexpected festivity.

But if you’re on a budget, consider a Beaujolais. We featured Georges Deboeuf's wine here last week but there are a few different ones. “A Beaujolais is always a great bet if you like a light, easy-drinking red wine,” says Fisch. There are also a lot of very good and very affordable Zinfandels for those who like a heavier red wine.

But in the end, Fisch reminds people to not over think it. You can’t pair every dish on the table (especially your great-Aunt Milly’s string-bean casserole) and your selection is not going to please everyone.

So buy a few different wines if you can, and let your friends and family choose what they want.

Just make sure you buy something you like. It will help you get through that unavoidable long conversation with Aunt Milly.

Cent’ Anni.

Questions for Our Wine Pro

What is your death row wine? Like me, I want a wine that's going to live forever.

What region produces the best wine? I can't choose favorites; that's like asking which child you like the best!  It all depends on what I'm eating, or what I'm in the mood for.  Napa is one of my favorite places to find good wine.

What is the best wine and food pairing you've ever had? It's a simple thing, but before dinner with friends one night, we snacked on Marcona almonds and Bollinger Rose Champagne outdoors on a summer evening, and it just seemed perfect.

What will the U.S. wine industry look like in 10 years? I think more Americans will be drinking wine than ever before, and much of what they'll be drinking will be labels that don't yet exist today.  It's an industry that's constantly changing and growing.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the sweet-smelling aroma of a Thanksgiving dinner. From plump and juicy turkeys to delectable desserts, send us photos and videos of your Thanksgiving meals.

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