With a 20-pound turkey to prep (not to mention copious sides), it can be easy to overlook the booze selection for your imminent Thanksgiving feast. But, as any seasoned chef well knows, each dish boasts a unique flavor profile that's complemented—and wholly elevated—with wine. The challenge lies in choosing the best possible bottles. That's precisely why we turned to Charles Smith, Wine Enthusiast's newly-minted "Winemaker of the Year" and owner of Jet City winery in Seattle, for some suggestions. "Some people don't think that food and wine pairing is that important, but they couldn't be more wrong," he tells InStyle. "Just like when you find the perfect pair of jeans, there is no other pair that will do. It can be good, but when it's just right, you'll never settle for less." Below, his choice picks, along with the courses you should drink them with.
1. Roast Turkey: Riesling
"Pretty much everything on your Thanksgiving plate is a combination of sweet and savory. Rieslings are dry with a hint of sweetness, which marries well with turkey—and everything you top it with."
Kung Fu Girl Riesling, $12; charlessmithwines.com
2. Mashed Potatoes: Chardonnay
"Salt and butter love a full-bodied Chardonnay."
Eve Chardonnay, $12; charlessmithwines.com
3. Green Bean Casserole: Sémillon
"Sémillon is the unsung hero of white Bordeaux. The citrusy flavor goes well with vegetables."
L’Ecole No 41 Semillon, $16; sherry-lehmann.com
4. Cranberry Sauce: Chiroubles
"This fruity, fresh wine from Burgundy’s other cousin is best paired with something tart."
Daniel Bouland Chiroubles, $23; winemadeeasy.com
5. Pecan Pie: Port
"Aged in oak, Port will enhance the sweetness of the pecan pie."
Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port, $23; wine.com