Choosing an appropriate wine for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with all its rich and varied components, can be a tricky thing. There are a few different ways you can successfully go, but in the end, it's going to come down to personal preference. If you're feeding a crowd, it's best to have some options. The black pepper and mineral notes of a bold California Zinfandel provide a more interesting contrast than you might get from other, smoother reds. My favorite is Storybook Mountain Vineyards Eastern Exposures Zinfandel. For white, choose a Chardonnay that's not overly oaky, like Robert Mondavi Private Selection.
If you're a guest, consider bringing something a little more unexpected, like a sparkling wine. Last year, I brought a sparkling dry rosé from Hesketh Wines which was unanimously loved. A visually celebratory wine with a faint pink color, its dry effervescence provided some much-needed levity to the otherwise heavy and complex flavor profile of the meal. And there's just something about bubbles that signals a special occasion.