thanksgiving wine pairings.

I honestly know very little about wine. I take pride in the fact I can pronounce the majority of the varietals correctly. but as far as describing the flavor or how well they pair with an item of food’re asking the wrong girl. I know when I take a sip of wine if I like, or if I don’t. and that’s the extent of my knowledge.

we all have our favorites. I tend to gravitate towards dry reds + whites, and love a good red blend. but what you like isn’t always the best selection for an entire crowd of people joining you for a holiday feast, such as thanksgiving.

so I called in the expert.

who just so happens to be my brother. he’s a sommelier, in denver, CO. [a trained + knowledgeable wine expert]. meaning he went to school for wine, which is a school I can definitely get behind. except it sounds so hard. I asked for his expertise in pairing wines with thanksgiving dinner & he kindly obliged.

thanksgiving wine pairings c/o


for thanksgiving, you’re probably going to have a smorgasbord of side dishes that all revolve around turkey. we’re talking potatoes, veggies, casseroles, stuffing, and bread. then of course all of the pies + desserts to follow.

to keep all of the relatives happy, I’ll suggest two whites & two reds for dinner.

• red # 1: pinot noir // pinot noir is extremely versatile when it comes to food pairings. it’s balanced acidity, soft tannins, earthiness, and fresh fruit flavors will accompany your turkey dinner to perfection. try pinot noirs from oregon or california.

• red # 2: syrah [aka shiras in australia] // this wine will be for the bigger, bolder red wine drinkers in the family. syrah tends to be a more full-bodied red wine though with earthy notes, blue + black berries, chocolate, espresso, and black pepper flavors. it should be a great option for someone who wants a heavier red for their thanksgiving feast. try syrahs from california or shiraz from australia.

• white # 1: Reisling // this is the most food friendly white wine that I’m aware of. it’s versatility is perfect for a meal like thanksgiving. it’ll pair with just about everything. reislings come in all sweetness levels from bone dry to sweet as hell. try to find a reisling closer to the dry side of the spectrum for dinner & save the super sweet for dessert. try reislings from alsace, france. mosel, germany. or washington state.

• white # 2: chardonnay // this wine is generally categorized towards the more full bodied side of white wines. the reason is that chardonnay wines are typically aged first in oak barrels. chardonnay by itself produces aromas of apple, pear, melon, and citrus but the oak adds a nutty buttery element to the wine. this addition of oak should bring the proper richness to balance a heavy meal like thanksgiving dinner. try chardonnay from california or burgundy, france.


my brother is a genius. and if we didn’t have a wine expert in the family, I would totally memorize some of these descriptions & bust them out at dinner.

now that you’ve got the most important thanksgiving shopping list written down, it’s time to head your nearest wine store. I am a large fan of trader joe’s wine selection, but surprisingly our local grocery store has a great selection as well.

for more from #LLinaBCvsTurkey week, DIY place cards + a thanksgiving tree, and do not forget the apple cider moscow mules.

happy one week until thanksgiving thursday.

pamper your heart out.

pamper your heart out //

when you’ve earned it, you’ve earned it.

we all need an evening to be our only concern. where all consuming-thoughts float away. and we are fully concentrated on relaxing.

after an eternity 8 days of moving, I was covered in bumps + bruises and far too tired to take part in every day life. I’d earned a night of pampering. and don’t get me wrong, I love a spa as much as the next girl. but sometimes the act of leaving the house is so daunting, and in this case unnecessary. so I gifted myself a night of pampering in the comfort of my own 4 walls.

the essentials:

• chocolate // hershey’s kisses.

• wine // fadeaway pinot noir. [from trader joe’s].

• clay face mask // boot botanics shine away ionic clay mask.

• nail polish // sally hansen complete salon manicure. [not pictured].

pamper your heart out //

pamper your heart out //

pamper your heart out //

it is also acceptable on this evening to watch the trashiest of reality television. and to dance around in your robe katy perry music. or better 80’s hits.

you deserve it.

have the best tuesday.

[*editor’s note: I will be releasing a photo of me + my clay mask later this evening on instagram. regardless of hesitation & humiliation. along with my feedback on the product].

[*editor’s note, part two: I received the hershey’s kisses + boots botanics clay mask complimentary for testing purposes from influenster].

wild wine night.

have you seen the summer’s eve commercial, “manly mistake“? where the husband accidentally uses the wife’s feminine product in the shower and seriously overcompensates by doing an excess of manly activities. well that’s how I felt after a week of moving. I was lifting boxes I couldn’t, but my competitive spirit had me tackling multiple flights of stairs with 50+ lbs in tow. then breathing like I ran a marathon. I was in desperate need of relaxation, wine, and girl time.

the same day I turned the keys into our old apartment was the grand opening of des moines’ own pinot’s palette [a painting & wine studio]. I’m convinced this was a sign from the universe was telling me I needed to go & unwind.

synopsis: you bring your own wine + snacks [but don’t worry, they have glassware]. and an instructor will walk you step by step through the night’s painting.

to say I was nervous about how or if my painting would turn out is an understatement. I like being artsy, but I’m not good at it. luckily there are professionals to guide you & they’re so incredibly helpful. and my finished product is a masterpiece, in it’s own right :)

not to mention ms. iowa girl eats just happened to be my painting neighbor. and I met some of the sweetest people!

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

wild wine night //

needless to say, I’m already planning my next visit. either with the fiance, or a group of friends. whoever you’re with, you are sure to enjoy yourself.

thank you erin & pinot’s palette des moines!

happy wednesday.