Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here! In addition to all I’m grateful for, this has me thinking about wine. And dinner. Our table usually numbers more than 30. We’ve been known to have three turkeys (roasted, grilled, and deep fried) and everyone contributes their favorite side dishes.

Many wines pair nicely with turkey, but when it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner, there is so much more happening! A beautifully roasted bird may take center stage at the buffet table, but the meal itself is all about the sides. We tend to overload our plates with those beloved side dishes—crowding that sliced turkey into a hodge-podge patchwork of fabulous flavors, textures, and colors. That’s right where tradition slowly changes and grows for the better.

I mean, before JoJo joined our Thanksgiving celebration, we didn’t have jalapeño-spiked cheesy corn at the table. Now her Texas influence is an integral part of our annual tradition. For me, pushing some spicy, creamy corn into the mashed potatoes and gravy was an obvious move, but when Uncle Fran’s bittersweet orange-cranberry chutney mingled in . . . a serendipitous flavor bomb!

Chardonnay is definitely one of the go-to favorites for Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s versatile yet familiar. And Chardonnay is known to play well with others. Whether you’re serving dinner this year or you’d like a nice bottle to present to your hosts, here’s a guide to some of our favorite Chardonnay trios for 2020.

Lighter Chardonnay Trios

For milder fare, we suggest a lighter Chardonnay. Think classic turkey dinner with simply prepared vegetable dishes, ambrosia salad, and Parker House rolls. We think these Chardonnays offer a nice combination of refreshing fruit crispness and soft minerality to pair nicely with a classic Thanksgiving meal.

Illario #28769

Bandon Hills #28764

Bolder Chardonnay Trios

If JoJo is coming to dinner with her jalapeño-spiked cheesy corn, you may want to consider a bolder Chardonnay. The toasty notes and creamy finishes from these oak-barreled wines will stand up nicely to a more flavorful buffet table. Did I mention Cousin George’s deep-fried turkey or Ron’s bourbon-glazed sweet potatoes?

FourPost Chardonnay #28763

Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve #28615

Bread and Butter California Chardonnay #28652

Mixed Chardonnay Trio

CA & WA Chardonnay #28656

California & Oregon Chardonnay #28661

California Chardonnay #28677

Thanksgiving 2020 is going to be smaller, but we’ll still be incorporating some favorite traditions. I found a used deep-fryer online and my son is going to give that a try. (We’re ordering a smoked turkey for backup just in case. I have a feeling Cousin George made it look a lot easier to deep-fry a turkey than it really is!) There won’t be nearly as many sides as usual, but I’ll definitely make JoJo’s jalapeño-spiked cheesy corn. I took over Uncle Fran’s orange-cranberry chutney contribution many years with his blessing. So that delicious trifecta bite is happening.

The size of our gathering will be smaller, but Thanksgiving will be the same: good food, good wine, and so much to be grateful for.