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Thanksgiving has always been one of our favorite holidays. Why? It brings about warm feelings, and of course, much celebration. The best part is spending time with family, enjoying great food, wine, and especially the company of friends. When Friendsgiving became a thing, it felt like hitting the jackpot! The same warm, comforting celebration, but with your closest friends. It just doesn’t get better than that.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite recipes for your Friendsgiving celebration, along with our recommendations for the ultimate Traveling Vineyard wine pairings, from start to finish.

cranberry goat cheese balls 5 string

Our 5 String Partner’s Reserve is a wonderful Friendsgiving wine that pairs well across apps and entrees, or just sipping and laughing.

A Warm Welcome with Cranberry Recipes and Wine

Every celebration should begin with small bites for nibbling, and the perfect wine to sip while saying your hellos, and mingling. As much as we love pumpkin flavors, you can’t miss including cranberry flavors in your Friendsgiving menus. There is so much one can do with cranberries and pairing that fruit flavor with wine is truly fun and exciting.

Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls are full of flavor and texture and would truly pair with almost any wine you pour in your glass. The goat cheese, which is highly acidic, will smooth even the sharpest white wines, the pecans are a beautiful pairing with off-dry and semi-dry whites, and the cranberries complement the tart red fruit notes of many red wines, whether lighter-bodied or fuller-bodied. Try with our Steeple Street Chardonnay, Hotsy Totsy White Blend, and 5 String Partner’s Reserve Petite Sirah, respectively.


Host a free in-home wine tasting with a Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide who will educate you and your guests on tasting and pairing wine five free wines selected for you.


Perhaps you prefer the warm creaminess of baked brie. An alternative option would be Baked Stuffed Brie with Cranberries and Walnuts. Pair this crowd pleaser with a more sophisticated white like our Chiacchierone Catarratto, an off-dry white like our Hoot White Blend, or our medium-bodied, Gold-rated red, Activist Syrah.

If you’re a huge fan of cocktail meatballs, one of the best styles combines the sweetness and tartness of cranberry sauce with the spicy kick of chili sauce. We all know sweet loves heat, and Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs would pair perfectly with a semi-sweet glass of celebratory bubbly, such as our Fissata Blonde, a Muscat blend with a touch of effervescence.

And a Savory Side (Dish) of Fun

Side dishes can be extremely fun and unique, and at a potluck celebration this allows each guest to get creative. We recommend stuffing with a little something special, like Sausage, Apple, and Walnut Stuffing. The protein portion of the dinner doesn’t need to begin and end with turkey. The savory sausage, tangy apple, and nuttiness of the walnuts in this recipe make this dish a great partner for a wide spectrum of wine styles. Our Peekaboo Chardonnay will wow your white wine lovers, and our Flores De Beco Alentejo Red will satisfy your red wine loyalists.

Friendsgiving would not be complete without a batch of buttery Spoon Bread Casserole on the table. It’s another side dish to crave all year long. This dish is incredibly simple to make and offers all the comfort of cornbread, but with a richer, creamier, more buttery flavor. It shines with any Chardonnay. Reach for either our Steeple Street or Peekaboo, or our fall favorite La Screaming Goat Gewürztraminer. Don’t forget our new, sophisticated Chiacchierone Catarratto. Either wine would be welcome pairings that wine drinkers will cling to even after that last bite. A selection of reds would also work wonderfully, particularly our Moto Rouge Petit Verdot, or our smooth Woodvale Estates Merlot from Washington.


Wine holds more memories than any other

beverage in the world.

JON ACUFF


Another mainstay for your Friendsgiving table is a heaping plate of Oven Roasted Root Vegetables. They’re not only beautiful and healthy, but they add satisfying textures and tastes that complement turkey and stuffing. Our pick for the best wine pairing is our double gold winning Cucharón Red Blend, World Headquarter favorite 5 String Partner’s Reserve Petite Sirah or the lighter-sipping Lulo Grüner Veltliner.

More Than Just Pie

Family Thanksgiving dinner is always followed by countless pies of all sorts. For Friendsgiving, we find it fun to include non-pie desserts that still showcase autumn flavors. If you’re a fan of trifles, you know they are super easy to make and can be made in virtually any flavor combination you like. Pumpkin Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifle combines all the fall spice flavors we love so much in one big, delicious trifle bowl. This would be incredible with our off-dry and semi-sweet whites. Try our Hotsy Totsy White Blend, Hoot White Blend, and Fissata Blonde.

Bite-sized desserts and cookies are a great way to end Friendsgiving, as well. La Screaming Goat Gewürztraminer is an ideal complement to Gingerbread Biscotti. How could anyone refuse the coffee and chocolate combination of Coffee Roasted Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Clusters with a nice glass of Marula Pinotage? We know we sure couldn’t!

Jon Acuff once said, “Wine holds more memories than any other beverage in the world.” How incredibly true that is! Whichever dishes and wines you choose to serve at your celebration, Friendsgiving is all about creating new memories. Cheers to family, friends and friends that are like family!

Be sure to share your Friendsgiving stories and photos with us on social by tagging us in your celebrations @travelingvineyard!

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