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Thanksgiving Essentials

The France 44 staff is weighing in on their favorites for one of the most important food and beverage holidays of the year! Check out what’s always on our table for Thanksgiving, from bubbles to bourbon.

Before the Feast


There’s no better way to start Thanksgiving than with bubbles—morning mimosas during brunch and while you brine that turkey, followed by cocktails or straight sparkling wine for appetizers. But fear not—bubbles can be ridiculously affordable as well as delicious! There’s no need to drop big bucks on the fancy stuff. Look outside to other parts of France like Limoux or the Loire Valley for steals.


Staff picks: Piazza Grande, Treveri Demi-Sec Gewurztraminer, Dibon Cava or Martinelli Sparkling Cider for the kids


During the Feast: Whites


White wines with bright acidity, ripe fruity flavors and a touch of sweetness are the perfect dinner whites to match any dish—from the main staples to the plethora of side dishes gracing your table. Choose from dry to off-dry Rieslings from around the world, any Alsatian whites including Gewurztraminer or Gentil (a field blend of white grapes), or the ever-popular Chenin Blancs from both the Loire Valley and South Africa.


Staff picks: Hugel Gentil, Forge Riesling, Landskroon Chenin Blanc, Villion Chenin Blanc, Cantina Tramin Gewurztraminer


During the Feast: Red

The fruitier the better for your red choices! Beaujolais of any quality level (from Nouveau to Villages to the delicious Cru Beaujolais) is a classic choice for the table, as is California Zinfandel with its full, luscious body, jammy fruit flavors and soft tannins. If you’re looking to up the ante this year, go Italian with some beautiful Nebbiolo: look to regions like Langhe, Barolo, Barbaresco, or Alto Piemonte for some gorgeous bottles that are sure to turn heads at the table.


Staff picks: Domaine de la Chapelle ‘Grand Pre’ Fleurie Beaujolais (try it out on our tasting bar this weekend), Domaine Prebende ‘Anna Asmaquer’ Beaujolais Villages, Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo, Vajra JC ‘Clare’, Enzo Boglietti Brunate 2007


Not into wine? Try out any beers with yeast-driven flavors including Belgian saisons, tripels, and German weizenbocks. These styles will cover a multitude of flavors on your Thanksgiving table and are some of the most versatile beers out there.


Staff picks: Tripel Karmeliet, La Fin du Monde, and Boulevard Tank 7.

Also, check out this recipe for spiked cranberry sauce featuring hard cider like Vander Mill Hard Apple and a little spiced rum like Bounty Spiced Rum—big on the vanilla but not too sweet, and a hint of clove on the finish. Perfect for keeping the party going at the dinner table!

After the Feast


No Thanksgiving is complete without a selection of after dinner drinks to go with that delicious spread of pies and desserts. Try out a tawny port like Quinta do Noval or a fun Italian amaro like Montenegro, and don’t forget a healthy measure of bourbon (we prefer our 1792 full proof France 44 Single Barrel) to help you digest at the end of it all!