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.

*This post was done in partnership with Cameron Hughes Wine. All opinions on the wine are my own. 

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.

The Cameron Hughes Wine Sauvignon Blanc I recommend below would be the perfect pairing for pie and for appetizers, like salads and veggies trays. The flavors of apple and melon would be a great starter wine, while being both refreshing and not overly heavy before the Thanksgiving meal.

White Wines I recommend: Cameron Hughes Sauvignon BlancChateau St. Michelle Riesling, Hive & Honey Riesling, Little Black Dress Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Middle Sister Sauvignon Blan

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 Merlots. 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.

Cameron Hughes has one of the best Zinfandels I have tried in a while. The flavors of blackberry, with a hint of peppery flavor would be such a beautiful pairing for Thanksgiving dinner. You can read more about the Cameron Hughes Wines I have tried here. 

Some of my favorite reds: Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir, Cameron Hughes Zinfandel, 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

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

*Cheers to Thanksgiving, food and family*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

By |2017-11-06T01:22:58+00:00November 8th, 2017|47 Comments

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  1. Cajun November 19, 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Oh good. I was laready going to bring Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, but clicked over to see what else you suggested. Apparently I have great taste in wine and didn’t even know it! YAY!
    Cajun recently posted…Woodsy DIY Beard OilMy Profile

  2. Lauren November 19, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    I usually drink Chardonnay!! I will def switch it up to Pinot this year, thanks for the lesson! 🙂
    Lauren recently posted…The ‘Other’ BergerMy Profile

    • Joanna Clute November 19, 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

      I would go for Pinot Noir over Chardonnay without a doubt. Rex Hill is one of my favorites:)

  3. Theresa @DearCreatives November 19, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    This is so helpful! I need to grab some wines for our Thanksgiving! Pinning to my Thanksgiving board for when I shop.
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…Home Decor DIY Project: Fall Acrylic Painted Wood SlicesMy Profile

  4. Sarah Day November 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Great suggestions – thanks for helping me with my holiday to-do list!
    Sarah Day recently posted…MeWriNoMoMy Profile

  5. […] a look at my Thanksgiving Dinner pairings for some great turkey and wine […]

  6. Sue Parke November 18, 2015 at 8:04 am - Reply

    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 🙂

  7. Lauren November 18, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I love chardonnay (I finally bought a bottle of Dreaming Tree! I havent tried it yet) but I also got a bottle of Pinot Noir so I will bring that for Thanksgiving too 🙂
    Lauren recently posted…Spiked Lemon CiderMy Profile

  8. Theresa @DearCreatives November 18, 2015 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Again, great suggestions.
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…Family Entertainment: Great America Tips And Insider Tricks You’ll Love!My Profile

  9. CourtneyLynne November 18, 2015 at 10:38 am - Reply

    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 😉

  10. Tricia November 18, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Oh this is great to know! I always like a dry white wine at Thanksgiving (and most times as well), but I don’t know too much about wines. I’ll be sure to share this one!
    Tricia recently posted…12 Signs Your Baby Has a Serious Case of FOMOMy Profile

  11. Cindy Calzone November 18, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    I am all about wine…great selections! I love trying different kinds of wine 🙂

  12. Tessa November 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    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

  13. Tanisha @ ThrityNYmom November 18, 2015 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Great options! I am bringing some wine to my family’s Thanksgiving gathering and this is a good way to pick out which one I should get. Very resourceful, thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Tanisha @ ThrityNYmom recently posted…Play date:Lego Store-Model Build ClassMy Profile

  14. Jules Ruud November 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    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

  15. Jennifer Corter November 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    This is a great list! Thanks for sharing! Saving for turkey day!
    Jennifer Corter recently posted…2015 Blog Hoppin’ Card SwapMy Profile

  16. Rae November 20, 2015 at 9:59 am - Reply

    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!

    • Joanna Clute November 20, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

      “Accidentally opened” haha. Red blends are some of my favorites, although I do admit I love Pinot:)

  17. candy November 9, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

    For people like myself you really doesn’t know anything about how to choose wine this is extremely helpful.
    candy recently posted…Blogging Grandmothers Link Party #1My Profile

  18. Ruthie Ridley November 9, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply

    This was so helpful!! I am kind of clueless when it comes to wine pairings!!

  19. Maggie Unzueta November 9, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Great recommendations! Personally, I’m a pinot grigio gal, but with turkey, pinot noir all the way.

  20. Christine November 9, 2016 at 9:04 am - Reply

    This is so helpful! I am pinning this. I have been asked to bring wine to our family Thanksgiving dinner. I am so excited about this post. Thank you!

  21. Rhiannon November 9, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Blanc de Noirs (love Chateau Margene’s take on it) sparking Riesling, Beaujolais and fortified wine with pumpkin pie 🙂

  22. Esther November 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I love wine, but I’m terrible with pairing the right wine with dinner.

  23. Tram-Anh Poprik November 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    YES! I am the worst when it comes to wine. I never know what to drink with what. Thank you for this post. It will help when I go buy wine for Thanksgiving! xx
    Tram-Anh Poprik recently posted…Brand spotlight: Carbon SoldierMy Profile

  24. Mary November 10, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Thank you! Thank you! I so needed this. Pinning. I love a glass of wine, but I always get stumped when buying bottles for a dinner party.

  25. Deanna November 10, 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

    This is great, I definitely need help. The hive and honey riesling sounds great!

  26. Mandy November 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    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 🙂

  27. Joanie @ ZagLeft November 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    What a great post. Pinot Noir is usually the wine we serve at Thanksgiving and I usually keep a bottle or 2 of Sauvignon Blanc chilled for our guests that prefer white.

  28. Angie November 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    YUM! I love a good wine-and pairing it with Thanksgiving dinner is perfect.

  29. Kate November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    So excited to try a Reisling with our turkey. Thanks!

  30. Ari November 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I’m a beer girl so I have no clue when it comes to wine! This is super super helpful! Thank you!

  31. Andria November 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Love these suggestions and Pinot Noir is one of my favourites too. I also just love how you blog about wine, you speak to my heart <3
    Andria recently posted…Cirque is Coming Back to Vancouver {Giveaway}My Profile

  32. Magically Megan November 8, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I’m so bad at pairing the right wines with things. Saving this for when I go shopping for Thanksgiving dinner so I know what to get.

  33. Samantha November 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Oooo! This is so good to know! My in-laws prefer the really sweet wines, but maybe I could get by with a Riesling. Thanks for these great suggestions!

  34. Leah November 8, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Great list, and I just bought 2 bottles of Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling, so yay me! And we got a bunch of wine in Napa last month, so win-win! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Joline November 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    We usually always have Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon and let our guests choose. Great tip about the Sauvignon!

  36. Charissa | thenotsobusymom November 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the suggestions; I enjoy red and white!! Cheers!…and Happy Thanksgiving!

  37. Mary | The Mom Friend November 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Great advice! I love Reisling on Thanksgiving, but definitely want to try that Cameron Hughes SB.

  38. Christine November 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the recommendations. I am bringing wine to Thanksgiving so now I know what I should bring. I enjoy Pino Noir, Sauvignon Blac and Riesling and was happy to see they were on your list.

  39. Marla | Because I Said So Baby November 10, 2017 at 1:24 am - Reply

    Chateau St. Michelle Riesling is my all time fav!

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