Best holiday beer, wine pairings for turkey, dessert, more

ByBrandon de Hoyos KGO logo
7 delicious ways to cook a turkey
Try a new technique with one of these flavorsome methods for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey.

Looking to put a little more spirit into your holiday celebrations?

Grab your dinner menu and check it against this list for a wealth of wonderful pairing options, whether you drink beer or wine!

Having fried turkey? Drink these!

If you're going to fry the bird for Christmas lunch or dinner, you're going to need something with high acidity to cut the fat and salt, says.

If you love a good brewski, grab for a Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower. The light and refreshing Kolsch helps bring out the rich seasonings of the turkey brine.

You'll be all the wiser if you also choose a Bire de garde like Brasserie St. Sylvestre's Gavroche or Brasserie Dupont's Bire de Beloeil.

Both feature an assertive balance of alcohol and carbonation, and a subtle flavor that won't Bogart your attention from the savory fried turkey before you.

For the wine consumer, you can't go wrong with a sparkling wine. Here are five that'll pair well with fried turkey:

  • a sparkling Crémant rosé, from France
  • a Cava, from Spain
  • sparkling rosé of Malbec, from Argentina
  • Sonoma or Mendocino sparkling rosé

SEE ALSO: How to protect yourself from turkey frying accidents

A fried turkey is incredible but the road to that deliciously crisp bird is fraught with dangers, firefighters say.

The perfect drink for dressing

Dressing is life. Nobody hates dressing, and if they say they do, they're lying to you. So, make sure you have a good drink on hand to pair with it!

For our beer buds, check out a black Kolsch with an incredible roasted maltiness that compliments the sage and celery found in dressing.

You'll also like an Oktoberfest, equally malty, but with a toasty, slightly sweet profile. Great options include Clawhammer, Marzen, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest, and Real Ale Brewing Co.'s Bavarian-style Lager.

Okay, winos, your turn:

  • Montinore Estate Reserve Pinor Noir 2008
  • Paul Hobbs Winery CrossBarn Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2009
  • Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2008
  • Beckman Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2009
  • Seven Hills Viognier Talcott Vineyard 2008

A toast to Turducken!

Part myth, part legend, part Frankenstein monster. You've got layers of meat to tackle, buddy. You're going to need to wash it down with something equally epic.

Buy a Saint Arnold Endeavour IPA, or go with any of these three:

  • Sweet Yamma Jamma, by Indeed Brewing Company
  • Sorachi Ace, by Brooklyn Brewery
  • Vitus, by Weihenstephaner

Believe it or not, wine drinkers get to choose their favorite on this one.

But, your taste buds will love you even more if you pick a sparkling wine, a full body white (like Viognier) or a light body red (think Pinor Noir).

An Italian Christmas feast

Forgoing the traditional bird and stuffing for lasagna? You're not alone. The holidays are a great time to eat pasta (as if there's ever a wrong time, save for the months before bikini season).

We're willing to bet a brown ale will satisfy your beer-loving buds.

In general, you're going to need a beer with strong aromas, a lingering mouthfeel, and rich palates to match the acidity of your tomato sauce. You'll probably also like Flanders Red or Flanders Brown. Any English-style brown ale, really.

Wine drinkers have more than a few options, depending on the type of lasagna you're having, according to

Classic lasagnas will pair well with a Rioja crianza, a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Syrah/Malbec blend.

If you're going the veggie lasagna route, you need a dry Italian white like a Gavi, or a richer white like a Viognier or oak-aged Chardonnay.

Dessert, already?

Before you push your guests out the door, make sure their sweets are paired off with a perfect closing drink for the evening.

Best bets for pumpkin pie


  • Christmas Ale, Saint Arnold
  • Youngs Double Chocolate Stout
  • Bell's Kalamazoo Stout


  • Trentham Estate La Famiglia Moscato, Australia
  • Tommasi Vigneto Fiorato Recioto Della Valpolicella DOC, Italy
  • Late Harvest Muscat Lily Farm Grant Burge Wines, Barossa, Australia
  • Chateau Des Charmes Late Harvest Riesling Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
  • Andrew Quady Essensia, California

Top picks for pecan pie

  • Art Car IPA, Saint Arnold
  • Smoked Porter, Stone Brewing Co.
  • Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island
  • Inniskillin 2007 Vidal Gold, Canada
  • 2006 Patricius Red Lion 2 Puttonyos