Uncover Perfect Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Your Feast

Welcome to our guide on Thanksgiving wine pairings, where we help you find the best wine for your Thanksgiving dinner. The right wine can enhance the flavors of your dishes and make your celebration even more special. With our expert recommendations and tips, you can be confident in your wine selection and create a memorable dining experience for you and your loved ones.

Key Takeaways:

  • Selecting the right wine can enhance the flavors of your Thanksgiving dishes.
  • We provide recommendations and expert tips to help you choose the perfect wine for your feast.
  • Our guide covers both red and white wine options, as well as wine and food pairing suggestions.
  • We also provide top Thanksgiving wine picks and unique wine recommendations to add an unexpected twist to your celebration.
  • By following our wine etiquette suggestions, you can host a Thanksgiving gathering with style and sophistication.

What is The Best Wine For Thanksgiving

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Pinot Noir

Amidst the cornucopia of flavors found in a traditional Thanksgiving feast, Pinot Noir emerges as the ideal wine pairing. Its light to medium body, expressive fruitiness, and subtle earthy undertones make it versatile enough to complement the wide array of dishes, from the roasted turkey to the variety of side dishes.

Why It Works: Pinot Noir is a Thanksgiving favorite because of its incredible adaptability with both white and dark meats, and its natural compatibility with traditional herbs used in Thanksgiving cooking, like sage, thyme, and rosemary. The wine’s bright acidity and elegant fruit flavors help it to cut through richer dishes, balancing the overall meal. Its low to moderate tannin level ensures it won’t overwhelm the turkey, while its complex layers of flavors accentuate the various side dishes common on the holiday table.

Continue your exploration of perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings and learn how the right bottle can complement even the most diverse banquet in our extensive guide on Thanksgiving Wine Pairings.

Best Wine for Thanksgiving

Choosing the Right Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

As we prepare for the annual Thanksgiving feast, one question that frequently arises is, “What wine should we pair with our meal?” The answer, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including personal taste preferences, the specific dishes being served, and the overall ambiance of the gathering.

At our publication, we believe that finding the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving dinner can greatly enhance the dining experience and create lasting memories. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you select the best wines for your holiday meal.

Must-Have Wines for Thanksgiving

Before we dive into the specific wine recommendations, let’s begin by discussing the must-have wines for Thanksgiving. These wines are versatile, crowd-pleasing, and pair well with a variety of foods, making them perfect for this occasion.

The first must-have wine for Thanksgiving is Pinot Noir. This low-tannin red wine offers a smooth and fruity flavor that pairs well with both light and dark meat, as well as earthy and herbaceous side dishes.

The second must-have wine is Chardonnay. This white wine is a classic pairing for roasted turkey and creamy side dishes, thanks to its buttery and oaky flavor profile.

Finally, a sparkling wine such as Champagne or Prosecco is a festive addition to any Thanksgiving gathering. These light and effervescent wines pair well with appetizers and desserts, providing a refreshing palate cleanser between courses.

Choosing the Right Wine for Your Thanksgiving Meal

When it comes to selecting the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about the flavors of your dishes. Are they light and fresh, or rich and hearty? This will help determine whether to choose a red or white wine.

Next, consider the tannin level of the wine. High tannin wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, are best paired with rich and fatty meats like prime rib or steak. Low tannin wines, like Pinot Noir, pair well with lighter meats like turkey and ham.

Another factor to consider is the sweetness level of the wine. Sweet wines are best paired with desserts, while dry wines complement savory dishes like stuffing and green bean casserole.

Expert Wine Pairing Tips

As you prepare to choose the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match wine varieties with different dishes
  • Consider serving a variety of wines to provide options for guests
  • Chill white wines and sparkling wines to the appropriate temperature before serving
  • Decant red wines to enhance their flavor and aroma
  • Offer non-alcoholic options for designated drivers and guests who choose not to drink

By following these tips and considering the flavors of your dishes, you can choose the perfect wine to enhance your Thanksgiving meal and create an unforgettable dining experience.

Red Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for indulging in delicious food and wine. For red wine enthusiasts, nothing beats a perfectly paired glass of red to complement the flavors of your turkey and sides. Here are our top red wine recommendations for your Thanksgiving feast:

WineFlavor ProfilePairing Suggestions
Pinot NoirLight to medium-bodied with red fruit flavors and earthy undertonesPairs well with roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and mushroom stuffing
BeaujolaisLight-bodied with fruity flavors and a hint of spiceComplements turkey, gravy, and sweet potatoes
ZinfandelMedium to full-bodied with bold fruit flavors and a hint of spiceMatches well with smoked turkey, spicy stuffing, and caramelized vegetables
Cabernet SauvignonFull-bodied with dark fruit flavors and a hint of oakPair with rich, hearty dishes like roasted meats, mashed potatoes, and gravy

These red wines are sure to impress your guests and enhance the flavors of your Thanksgiving meal. Just remember to serve them at the optimal temperature and let them breathe before serving.

thanksgiving feast with wine

White Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

If you prefer white wine, there are plenty of fantastic options to complement your Thanksgiving feast. With hints of fruit, spice, and vanilla, white wines can perfectly balance the rich flavors of your holiday meal. Here are some of our top picks for white wine pairings:

WineFlavor ProfileFood Pairings
ChardonnayFull-bodied with notes of oak, vanilla, and butterPair with roasted turkey, stuffing, and creamy mashed potatoes
RieslingSweet with aromas of apricot, honey, and floral notesPair with spiced yams, glazed carrots, and pumpkin pie
Sauvignon BlancAromatic with hints of citrus and tropical fruitPair with green bean casserole, herb stuffing, and seafood

For those who enjoy a crisp, refreshing white wine, Pinot Grigio or Albariño can be great options. Both are light and easy to drink, making them a perfect accompaniment to appetizers or light dishes.

No matter which white wine you choose, be sure to serve it chilled to enhance its flavors. If you’re unsure of which white wine to select, don’t be afraid to ask your local wine store for recommendations. They can provide valuable insights and help you find the perfect wine to complement your meal.

The Perfect Wine and Food Pairings for Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, selecting the perfect wine to pair with your feast can make all the difference. The right wine can enhance the flavors of your dishes and create a memorable dining experience.

At Thanksgiving, there are a variety of flavors on the table, from savory turkey to sweet cranberry sauce. Here are some of our top recommendations for the perfect wine and food pairings:

Roasted Turkey

For the main dish, turkey, we recommend a medium-bodied red wine with soft tannins, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay or Viognier would pair well with the mild flavor of turkey.

Mashed Potatoes

The creamy texture of mashed potatoes pairs well with a medium to full-bodied white wine, such as an oaked Chardonnay or a white blend. For a red wine option, a light-bodied Pinot Noir or a red blend would also complement the dish.

Cranberry Sauce

The tartness of cranberry sauce pairs well with a fruity red wine, such as a Zinfandel or a Beaujolais Nouveau. A crisp white wine, such as a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer, can also cut through the sweetness of the cranberry sauce.

Green Bean Casserole

The rich and creamy texture of green bean casserole pairs well with a white wine with a medium to full body. Try an oaked Chardonnay or a Viognier to complement the dish. For a red wine option, a Pinot Noir or a light-bodied red blend can also work well.

Remember, the perfect wine pairing is subjective and depends on personal taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different varietals and styles to find your ideal pairing. Cheers to a delicious Thanksgiving feast!

thanksgiving champagne fireside

Top Thanksgiving Wine Picks

For those who are unsure where to start when it comes to choosing the perfect wine for Thanksgiving, we’ve put together a list of our top Thanksgiving wine picks. These wines are guaranteed to delight your taste buds and perfectly complement your holiday feast.

WinePrice PointFlavor Profile
Pinot Noir$$light-bodied, fruity, with hints of spice and earthiness
Zinfandel$$medium to full-bodied, bold, with flavors of blackberry and pepper
Chardonnay$$medium to full-bodied, oaky, with notes of vanilla and butter
Riesling$light-bodied, off-dry, with flavors of citrus and stone fruit
Beaujolais Nouveau$light-bodied, fruity, with hints of banana and bubblegum

We recommend having a mix of red and white wines to offer your guests a variety of options. Pinot Noir and Zinfandel are excellent choices for red wine lovers, while Chardonnay and Riesling are sure to please white wine fans. For a unique twist, consider serving Beaujolais Nouveau, a light and fruity red wine that pairs perfectly with turkey and other Thanksgiving dishes.

Remember, wine is all about personal taste, so don’t be afraid to try something new and different. With our top Thanksgiving wine picks, you can make your holiday feast even more memorable.

Pairing Wines with Thanksgiving Dishes

Pairing wine with Thanksgiving dishes can seem like a daunting task, but fear not! We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the different flavors and find the perfect wine pairings for your feast.

Roasted Turkey

For the star of the show, a classic Pinot Noir is a safe bet. Its light to medium body and fruity notes complement the flavors of the turkey without overpowering it. If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay with a slightly buttery finish will also pair well.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

A full-bodied white wine like a Viognier or a rich, buttery Chardonnay will complement the creaminess of the mashed potatoes and gravy. If you’re looking for a red wine option, a Merlot will do the trick.


With its mix of savory herbs and spices, stuffing can be a challenging dish to pair with wine. A medium-bodied red wine like a Zinfandel or a Syrah can balance the flavors, while a crisp white wine like a Pinot Grigio can provide a refreshing contrast.

Cranberry Sauce

The tartness of cranberry sauce pairs well with a wine that has a touch of sweetness. Try a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer with your cranberry sauce for a harmonious combination.

Pumpkin Pie

For dessert, a sweet dessert wine like a Port or a Muscat can complement the flavors of the pumpkin pie. If you prefer a lighter option, a sparkling wine like a Prosecco can also be a great choice.

Remember, the key to successful wine and food pairing is to experiment and have fun! Don’t be afraid to try different combinations and find the ones that work best for your individual tastes.

Wine Tips for a Memorable Thanksgiving Feast

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we want to provide you with some wine tips to enhance your holiday feast. Whether you’re hosting or simply bringing a bottle to share, these tips will help you make the most of your wine selection.

Temperature Matters

It’s important to serve wine at the correct temperature to fully enjoy its flavor. For red wines, we recommend serving them slightly below room temperature (around 62-68°F) to bring out their complexity. For white wines, a cooler temperature (around 49-55°F) will help retain their freshness and acidity.

Decanting for Optimal Flavor

If you’re serving a bold red wine, consider decanting it to allow it to breathe and fully develop its flavors. This is especially true for younger red wines with high tannins, which can benefit from up to two hours of decanting. And don’t forget to pour out any sediment that may have settled at the bottom of the bottle!

Don’t be Afraid to Experiment

While traditional wine pairings are always a safe bet, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and styles. For example, a sparkling wine can add a festive touch to your Thanksgiving celebration, and a spicy Gewürztraminer can complement flavors of sage and thyme in your dishes. Be open to trying something new!

Pairing Dessert Wines

When it comes to dessert, pairing a sweet wine can provide a perfect ending to your meal. Consider serving a Late Harvest Riesling with pumpkin pie or a Port with chocolate desserts. These dessert wines will complement and enhance the flavors of your sweet treats.

Offer Variety

When hosting, it’s always a good idea to offer a variety of wine options to cater to different tastes. Consider having at least one red, white, and sparkling wine available. And don’t forget non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to drink!

By keeping these wine tips in mind, you can elevate the dining experience and impress your guests with your wine knowledge. Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving dinner with wine

Wine Etiquette: Hosting Thanksgiving with Style

As we prepare for the holiday season, it’s important to keep in mind proper wine etiquette when hosting Thanksgiving. Here are a few tips to ensure your wine service is as memorable as your feast:

Choosing the Right Glasses

The right wine glass can significantly enhance the aroma and flavor of your wine, making it an essential part of your Thanksgiving table setting. We recommend choosing glasses that have a wide bowl and narrow rim for red wines, and glasses with a more narrow bowl and wider rim for white wines.

If you’re serving both red and white wines, make sure you have enough glasses for each type. It’s also a good idea to have a few extra glasses on hand, in case of any breaks or spills.

Proper Wine Service

When serving wine, it’s important to handle the bottle correctly to avoid drips and spills. Hold the bottle by the base with one hand, and use your other hand to gently pour the wine into each glass, filling them no more than halfway.

Temperature is also crucial, especially for white wines. Make sure you chill your white wines to the appropriate temperature before serving, and consider decanting your red wines to allow them to breathe and reach their full potential.

Presentation is Key

Lastly, presentation is key when it comes to wine. Consider adding decorative wine charms to your glasses to help guests keep track of their drinks, or create custom wine labels to add a personal touch to your bottles.

By following these simple tips, you can elevate your wine service and host an unforgettable Thanksgiving with style. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season!

Discovering Unique Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and indulge in delicious food and wine. While traditional wine pairings are certainly delicious, why not mix things up this year and opt for some unique and unexpected wine choices?

One standout option is orange wine, which is made from white grapes that are left in contact with their skins for an extended period, resulting in a beautiful amber hue and complex flavors. This wine pairs exceptionally well with roasted turkey and autumnal vegetables.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more punch, try a spicy red like Zinfandel. This bold wine pairs well with rich and savory dishes like stuffing and gravy.

For those who prefer white wine, consider a dry Riesling. Its bright acidity and floral notes complement the sweetness of cranberry sauce and balance out the richness of mashed potatoes.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try a sparkling red wine like Lambrusco. This bubbly and slightly sweet wine pairs wonderfully with a variety of Thanksgiving dishes, from turkey to sweet potato casserole.

Whatever your wine preferences may be, don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and try something new and exciting this Thanksgiving. The perfect wine pairing can elevate your dining experience and create lasting memories with family and friends.


As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to start planning your menu and wine pairings. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and recommendations to help you choose the perfect wines for your holiday feast.

Remember, selecting the right wines can enhance the flavors of your dishes and create a more enjoyable dining experience for you and your guests. Whether you prefer red or white, traditional or unique, there’s a wine out there that will perfectly complement your Thanksgiving meal.

From expert wine and food pairing tips to our top wine picks, we’ve covered everything you need to know about Thanksgiving wine pairings. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine as you celebrate this special occasion with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!


What are some popular wine pairings for a Thanksgiving feast?

Some popular wine pairings for Thanksgiving include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Beaujolais Nouveau. These wines complement a variety of Thanksgiving dishes and offer a range of flavors to suit different palates.

How do I choose the right wine for my Thanksgiving dinner?

When choosing the right wine for your Thanksgiving dinner, consider the flavors of your dishes. Opt for versatile wines that can complement a variety of flavors, such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. It’s also helpful to consider personal preferences and consult with a knowledgeable wine retailer or sommelier for recommendations.

What are some red wine options that pair well with Thanksgiving dishes?

Red wines such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Syrah/Shiraz can pair well with Thanksgiving dishes. These wines often have fruity and earthy notes that complement the flavors of roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and savory side dishes.

What white wines are recommended for Thanksgiving?

White wines such as Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc can be great choices for Thanksgiving. Chardonnay offers a rich and buttery profile, while Riesling provides sweetness and acidity. Sauvignon Blanc brings crispness and herbal notes to the table.

How can I create the perfect wine and food pairings for Thanksgiving?

To create the perfect wine and food pairings for Thanksgiving, consider the flavors and textures of your dishes. Pair light-bodied wines with lighter dishes and fuller-bodied wines with richer, more flavorful dishes. Experiment with contrasting or complementary flavors to find your ideal combinations.

Can you provide some top Thanksgiving wine picks?

Certainly! Some top Thanksgiving wine picks include Oregon Pinot Noir, California Chardonnay, Finger Lakes Riesling, and Beaujolais Nouveau. These wines offer great quality and value, making them ideal choices for your holiday gathering.

What wines pair well with specific Thanksgiving dishes?

Pair roasted turkey with a medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or a fruity white wine such as Chardonnay. Cranberry sauce can be complemented by a slightly sweet wine like Riesling. For richer dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy, consider a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.

What are some wine tips for a memorable Thanksgiving feast?

Some wine tips for a memorable Thanksgiving feast include serving white wines chilled and red wines slightly below room temperature. Consider decanting younger red wines to enhance their flavors. It’s also helpful to provide a variety of wine options to accommodate different preferences.

How can I host Thanksgiving with style when it comes to wine?

When hosting Thanksgiving with style, remember to present and serve wine properly. Use appropriate glassware, decant if necessary, and offer a variety of wine options to suit different tastes. Consider providing tasting notes or pairing suggestions to enhance the wine experience for your guests.

Are there any unique wine pairings I can try for Thanksgiving?

Absolutely! You can explore unique wine pairings for Thanksgiving by trying lesser-known varietals such as Gewürztraminer, Gamay, or Chenin Blanc. These wines can bring interesting flavors and a touch of novelty to your holiday celebration.

This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, Culinary Expert with over 15 years of experience as a Sommelier, Executive Chef and Restaurant Manager. This article was written by Ryan from his knowledge and experience from almost 2 decades in the fine dinning restaurant and bar business.

Note: This article was crafted with the primary intent of educating and assisting our readers. We ensure that our content is backed by research and expertise. For more culinary insights, stay tuned to the Authentic Hospitality blog.

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