Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

I can’t believe it, but it’s almost Thanksgiving! In light of that, I thought I would give you all some options on wine pairings for Thanksgiving dinner.

Believe it or not, there are certain wines that pair better with some of the dishes that we all know and love on Thanksgiving, then other wines do. There are a few specific types of wine that I think would go really well, no matter what brand you decide to get. But I will, of course, give you some of my favorite options:)A list of white and red wine pairings for Thanksgiving or whatever your holiday meal will be. Also, wine gift ideas if you are traveling.

This post gets updated each year with my latest wine recommendations for the holiday season.

Are you going to be a guest somewhere for Thanksgiving? Check out these wines to bring as a gift for your host/hostess.

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

No matter which type of wine you choose, red or white (or both!), you want to go with something that isn’t overly heavy or too rich in flavor. We all know that Thanksgiving is the time when people eat until they are as stuffed as the turkey was, so adding another heavy element in the drink department is not the best of ideas.

I’ll pick examples of some good wines that can be found at pretty much any supermarket or wine store:)

White Wines:

Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are both great options for Thanksgiving. They are both lighter and usually easier in flavor, not as intense. Sauvignon Blanc is going to bring some crispness and maybe some acidity elements to the meal, which would pair really well with turkey and ham or other meats. The Riesling can lean more on the sweet or dry side, depending on which type you get. The typical fruit flavors will go well with the other fruit flavors you have from things like cranberry sauce, and both will go well with the crispness of green salads and veggie trays.

I would avoid serving Chardonnay, only because the oak and the buttery/creamy nature of this specific wouldn’t really go well with the variety of dishes and the heaviness of the meal on Thanksgiving. Also, don’t go for anything overly sweet, such as Moscato, until dessert.

White Wines I recommend: Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, Hive & Honey Riesling, Robert Mondavi Riesling, Little Black Dress Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Middle Sister Sauvignon Blanc,

Red Wines:

My favorite reds to pair with the dishes that are served on Thanksgiving are Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Pinot Noir is my top pick for wines no matter what, but it’s especially fitting for holiday meals. The smooth flavors or plum, cherries and berries that make up a Pinot Noir are in my opinion, the accompaniment to a plate of turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Zinfandels provide more of a sweet plum or berry jam flavor with the added bonus of some spices of notes of pepper. Again, another great pairing for the heavier side dishes where the sweet and spicy will balance out richness of a casserole or creamy mashed potatoes and homemade rolls.

I would stay away from Cabernet Sauvignon and even some Merlot. They tend to be much more intense in flavor and I think pair better with a simple meat dish, rather than the variety of flavors that come with holiday meals.

Some of my favorite reds: Meiomi Pinot Noir, Blackstone Pinot Noir, Lost Angel Pinot Noir, 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel, Ravenswood Zinfandel, Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel, Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir

Speaking of Thanksgiving, check out these ways for teaching your children how to be grateful from our sister blog, Strong Girl Collective. 

What wine pairings for Thanksgiving will you be using for your holiday meal?

*Cheers to Thanksgiving, food and family*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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  1. I’m going to share with my hubby! He’s a big wine drinker, and sort of a wine snob I think haha! I’ll probably be drinking my usual – sparkling water with a twist LOL! OK I’m kidding, I might have a little wine, because I do like it. My tolerance is just pathetic! I think I like white better than red. A post like this is perfect for the clueless wine drinker like myself lol, I will definitely share 🙂

  2. What Pinot Noir doesn’t go with everything?!?! I kid…. Great selections! I’m a red kinda gal and Pinot is my fav so I’m glad it pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving 😉

  3. Wine is one of my favorite things to drink, Thanksgiving/Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year… so you can see why this blog post is one of my favorite things to read right now! Thanks for the awesome pairing ideas!
    Tessa recently posted…Wading Through MotherhoodMy Profile

  4. I recently saw online that a glass of red wine before bed can assist in losing weight because it’s better for you than a bowl of ice cream. So I’ve been having a glass a night and I found that I LOVE Merlot! I will probably have a bottle of that and Riesling at brunch but personally, I’ll be chugging, I mean sipping, champagne.
    Jules Ruud recently posted…Why We Cry in Front of Our KidsMy Profile

  5. We had our first of three Thanksgivings earlier this week and since I refuse to buy Pinot Noir (I -hate- Pinot!), we opened a Cab Sauvignon-Merlot-Malbec blend that went *perfectly* with the spices we chose to use this year. My husband accidentally opened a Viognier and that bottle was gone halfway through dinner!

  6. White wines are definitely my top choice. I’m sad to see Chardonnay is a no-no with dinner because that’s one of my favorites but what you say really makes sense. What a great list and recommendations 🙂

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