The Best Thanksgiving Wine to Pair with Dinner

Thanksgiving wine is a big deal this time of year. Like me, you’re probably already thinking about what Thanksgiving recipes you’ll be making (or trying to make) this year. Once you get that difficult task out of the way then comes another big decision. What wine to serve that will go with all that delicious cuisine? With so many textures, flavors, and smells, it may seem impossible to decide. I’m going to make it a little easier with some recommendations the whole family will love…excluding minors of course!

Obviously, wine is an alcoholic beverage so it can have an intoxicating effect. If you’re having family over for Thanksgiving, you are likely to have people of different tolerance levels. This could range from young adults to seniors. Knowing this, it’s important to choose a wine that doesn’t have a high alcohol content.

Your wine selection should complement the meal, not overtake it…or your company!


The good news is that when people eat a heavy meal, becoming inebriated isn’t usually a problem.

White Wine Thanksgiving Pairings

White wines go well with most Thanksgiving dinners. White wine blends well with lighter meats or meats with low-fat content. Meats such as turkey, chicken, and fish are common Thanksgiving meats that go well with white wine. Thinly cut pork chops are another great meat option to pair with white wine.

White wine also pairs well with vegetable side dishes. Green beans, corn on the cob, and squash (hungry yet?) are great Thanksgiving wine pairings for white vino lovers. Side dishes such as cornbread and mashed potatoes work as well.


thanksgiving wine for family gatherings


Red Wine Thanksgiving Pairings


Macaroni and cheese and dressing can go either way. Their flavors can blend well with white wine and red wine as well.

Meats like ham, beef, pork roast, steak, duck, and deer are ideal options for red wine pairing. Turkey can also be paired with red wine but steer clear of Cabernet. Cabernet carries a lot of tannins so it is generally too sharp. Opt for a lighter red such as those that offer more of a bright berry flavor.


*White wine has less resin which is the ingredient that gives a wine that dark, bold flavor. Having significantly more resin, red wine has a fuller and richer taste. Thus, it pairs well with thick and hearty foods.

Sparkling Wines for Thanksgiving

Sparkling wine has become a favorite Thanksgiving Dinner wine and for good reason! Sparkling wines are an excellent choice because they add a festive vibe to the meal. With sparkling wines you don’t have to decide which foods it pairs best with- they go with pretty much everything! They definitely take the work out of Thanksgiving wine pairing. Since sparkling wines or champagnes are often served at many social gatherings they may come off as cliche. Investing the time to pair a red or white wine with your dinner is a bit more elegant and high-end. Either way, serving wine with your Thanksgiving meal will surely make the evening extra special!

A Quick Thanksgiving Wine Reference

Riesling wine is a white blend that works well with most Thanksgiving meals. Other white wine types that pair well with holiday foods include Sauvignon, Grenache Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Albariño. Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Petit Sirah, and Zinfandel are fantastic red wines for the holidays. Rosé and Sherry are other popular wine flavors that will help make your Thanksgiving celebration an unforgettable good time.



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