Thanksgiving is almost upon us! My sister and I always loved celebrating Thanksgiving with our American friends and family when we studied in the States. It’s a tradition we brought back home to Italy with us that’s now a favorite in the Candoni De Zan family. (Although we serve lasagna instead of turkey…it’s our little Italian touch!)
The most important component of any Thanksgiving celebration, if you ask us, is the wine. An excellent glass (or three!) of Italian wine can cover a multitude of sins from the kitchen! Everyone’s Thanksgiving table always includes an overcooked something-or-other and a mystery dish no one can identify. One thing that’s always a hit at our Thanksgiving celebrations? Wine cocktails!
What Makes a Great Wine Cocktail?
We love wine cocktails for Thanksgiving because the day is always a marathon, not a sprint. No one wants to fill up on anything too heavy before the big feast, and it’s never smart to serve anything too strong in anticipation of a meal.
A fabulous wine cocktail is balanced. Never try to “cover up” bad wine with other ingredients! When you keep it simple and use wine delicious enough to drink on its own, you’ll always end up with a winner. Our favorite wines for cocktails include Candoni Pinot Grigio, Candoni Pinot Noir, and of course, Candoni Prosecco!
The Perfect Wine Cocktail for Thanksgiving
Below you’ll find a recipe for one of our all-time favorite wine cocktails for fall: Mulled White Wine. It’s light enough to lead up to a big meal (like Thanksgiving!) and fresh and fruity enough to serve before the weather turns truly cold. It’s a well-balanced crowd pleaser.
Mulled White Wine Recipe
1 bottle Candoni Pinot Grigio
1 whole orange, juiced
1 lemon, sliced
6 Tbsp. white sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
5 whole cloves
5 star anise pods
4 whole cinnamon sticks + more for garnish
Over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Lower the heat then allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Serve warm in mugs with cinnamon “stirrers” for garnish.
Mulled wine not your style? You have plenty of great options for wine cocktails. A couple of our other favorite combinations include Thanksgiving Sangria (made with Pinot Noir, apples, and cranberries!) and Pomegranate Spritzer (made with Prosecco and pomegranate juice).
What are you serving this Thanksgiving? Check out our comprehensive Thanksgiving Wine Guide for help selecting the perfect wine pairings for your meal. And as always, share your best wine cocktail recipes and photos with us over on the Candoni De Zan Facebook page!
Felice Festa del Ringraziamento!
Barbara Candoni De Zan