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Six wine alternatives to bring to Thanksgiving dinner

Idle Hands Smokin' Peaches.Handout

You can bring a bottle of wine to Thanksgiving dinner, and to be honest, based on how traditionalist everyone can be around this particular holiday, you probably should.

But there are plenty of other drink options for Thanksgiving, both for alcohol drinkers and those who prefer to sip on something else. In this column we’ll leave the wine advice to someone else and provide six other beverages you may consider bringing to your gathering.

A local beer: Idle Hands Smokin’ Peaches

If you’re not bringing something interesting to Thanksgiving, what are you even bringing? This beer from Malden brewery Idle Hands contains over 50 pounds of smoked, locally sourced peaches. Peach puree sweetens up the whole thing, making it a unique dessert pairing or just something for everyone to talk about as they wait around for dinner. Available only at Idle Hands’ Malden taproom.


A beer from somewhere else: Orval Trappist Ale

It’s a shame that the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer are no longer making beer, because Belgian-style ales make for some of the world’s best food pairings. Orval is a classic Belgian ale, refusing to be pinned down but giving off flavors of white flowers, honey, and black pepper, with a light, slightly bitter mouthfeel that won’t leave you feeling full.

The Finnish Long Drink Cranberry.Handout

A ready to drink option: The Finnish Long Drink Cranberry

The Pilgrims didn’t drink Finnish Long Drink, but ahead of the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland’s state-owned alcohol company developed a drink designed to cater to guests of the Games. This citrus-infused drink has come to define Finnish drinking culture. In this version, tart, fresh cranberries replace citrus, providing a refreshing Thanksgiving-themed sipper.

An on-trend spirit: Flecha Azul Reposado Tequila

Earlier this year, we reviewed tequila brands with celebrity associations. Some of them weren’t great, but one tequila with a local tie unequivocally was. If you follow Mark Wahlberg on social media you know he relentlessly pushes the brand Flecha Azul, for which he is a partner. Especially good is Flecha’s Reposado, smooth to sip on with a subtle oak flavor. Tequila is the “in” spirit right now, and this is a good introduction.


A nonalcoholic beer: Kit NA Brewing Get Set IPA

This Portland, Maine, brewery has been making several varieties of nonalcoholic beer since 2021. Get Set IPA is made with four varieties of hops, giving the beer hints of mandarin orange and a piney finish.

Shackbury's Classic cider.Michael Tallman Photography

A cider: Shacksbury Classic

Shacksbury founders David Dolginow and Colin Davis have heard this question before, and recommend Shackbury’s Classic cider for Thanksgiving dinner. Golden in color with a soft finish, it’s nestled between the extremes of sweet and dry, making it a crowd pleaser.


Roast Turkey with Paprika Butter

Scalloped Potatoes

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Green Beans in Ginger-Soy Sauce

Buttery Pull-Apart Blossom Bread

Chocolate Cream Pie

Gary Dzen can be reached at him @garydzen.