Thanksgiving Wine Guide

Thanksgiving dinner includes a variety of dishes with varying flavors and textures. This can be daunting for hosts as they select their wines (and for guests as they decide which bottle to present to their host!). Even with its varying flavors and dishes, Thanksgiving provides a surprising number of opportunities for delicious food and wine pairings. Learn about these pairings in our Thanksgiving wine guide.

Start with sparkling

Greet your guests with a glass of bubbly, or surprise your host with a bottle. (What better way to kick off your festivities?) Sparkling wine pairs with a multitude of appetizers and cheeses, so it is a perfect way to begin your Thanksgiving feast. Do not be afraid to venture away from typical sparkling wines such as Champagne: Spanish cava, for example, is made in the same style as Champagne and is equally as balanced and refreshing, but often more affordable.

Tip #2: Decide if sweet wine will be an option

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes pair incredibly well with slightly sweet wines, such as Riesling. The sweetness of this white cuts the acidity in cranberry sauce, while the wine’s acidity cuts the butter found in dishes like yams and mashed potatoes. Even if you do not normally drink sweet wines, consider a bottle or two for your Thanksgiving meal.

Tip #3: Provide at least two white wine options

Some may prefer lighter white wines, while others may prefer a heavier, more full-bodied white wine. To accommodate everyone, consider offering a lighter and more acidic option, like Albariño or Verdejo, and something more full-bodied, such as Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc.

Tip #4: Play with Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir and turkey are a classic combination: Pinot Noir’s elegant and silky texture pairs well with turkey meat, which is light, while also pairing well with the herbs in the stuffing. Pinot Noir often has brighter, more acidic fruit notes (such as cranberry and cherry) which pair well with cranberry sauce.

Tip #5: Go bolder with reds

Although turkey pairs well with lighter reds like Pinot Noir, its dark meat (and rich gravy) also hold up to full-bodied, bolder reds. Consider enjoying a Shiraz, which will work well with the herbs in Thanksgiving dishes, or a tannic, bold, and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon.