Your kitchen bursts with the aromas of roasted turkey and fresh-baked pumpkin pie. Laughter echoes as loved ones chatter.

Thanksgiving Dinner sits at the heart of these moments, a feast symbolizing gratitude—and let’s not forget, the perfect bottle of wine to crown the table.

Here, we unravel the vintner’s secret. What wine truly harmonizes with the Thanksgiving medley? From savory sage stuffing to tangy cranberry sauce, each dish pulls you in a different direction.

It’s an epicurean puzzle, one you’re about to conquer.

By journey’s end, you’ll navigate the vinous waters like a seasoned Sommelier. Trust, with every Wine Pairing tip folded into your culinary map, you’ll elevate that holiday spread.

Dig into wine and holiday pairings that go beyond the conventional. From Autumn wine choices to Dessert wines for Thanksgiving, the goal? A symphony of flavors—a glass in hand as integral to the meal as the golden turkey itself.

What Wine Goes with Thanksgiving Dinner

Dish White Wine Pairing Red Wine Pairing Rosé/Sparkling Wine Pairing Dessert Wine Pairing
Turkey Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé Riesling
Ham Riesling Zinfandel Dry Rosé Late Harvest Gewürztraminer
Stuffing Viognier Grenache Brut Champagne Sauternes
Cranberry Sauce Sauvignon Blanc Gamay Prosecco Moscato
Green Bean Casserole Vermentino Merlot Sparkling Wine Vin Santo
Sweet Potatoes Gewürztraminer Syrah/Shiraz Lambrusco Port
Pumpkin Pie Riesling Beaujolais Moscato d’Asti Tawny Port

Understanding Thanksgiving and Its Wine Culture

Brief History of Thanksgiving

So, way back when, there were these Pilgrims and Native Americans, right? They had this massive feast to celebrate a good harvest.

Think of it as the OG Thanksgiving. There wasn’t any Macy’s parade or football, but they probably had some killer dishes. Now, whether they had wine, I can’t say. But it sets the mood, doesn’t it?

Role of Wine in Thanksgiving Celebrations

Fast forward a couple of centuries. Wine’s taken center stage. Think about it. What’s better than listening to Uncle Bob’s wild stories with a glass of wine in hand?

Wine’s become a staple, not just because it’s delish, but because it complements the food, makes the atmosphere feel more festive, and, let’s be real, sometimes you just need a glass to handle all the family drama.

There’s this certain ritual to opening a bottle, pouring it, and toasting to what you’re thankful for.

Plus, there’s always that buzz around what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone’s got an opinion, from Aunt Martha to your wine-connoisseur friend. And hey, that’s what we’re here for!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Thanksgiving Wines

Variety of Thanksgiving Dishes

First off, Thanksgiving isn’t a one-size-fits-all kinda meal. Some people are all about the traditional turkey, while others might go vegan.

And let’s not forget the regional dishes. Cornbread in the South, clambake in the Northeast, tamales in the Southwest. So many flavors, so many wines.

Personal Preferences and Dietary Restrictions

Then there’s the personal touch. Maybe your sister’s gone gluten-free, or your bestie’s doing the whole keto thing. Or perhaps you’ve got that one cousin who swears by organic everything.

This isn’t just about food, folks. Wines have their quirks too. Some are more sugary, some are dry, some are fruity. Knowing your crowd is key when figuring out what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner.

Budget Considerations

And of course, the moolah aspect. Not all of us want to splurge on a bottle that costs as much as the entire meal.

There are some killer affordable wines out there that’ll wow your guests without emptying your wallet.

The Versatility of Sparkling Wines

Why Choose Sparkling Wines

Pop! That’s the sound of elevating your Thanksgiving to the next level. Sparkling wines aren’t just for New Year’s Eve; they’re a Thanksgiving game-changer.

Why, you ask?

They’re crisp, refreshing, and have these tiny bubbles that make everything feel fancy.

Plus, with a neutral palate, they dance well with almost everything on your table. So, when you’re wondering what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner, remember the charm of the sparkle.

Pairing Sparkling Wines with Thanksgiving Dishes

Ah, the best part. Imagine taking a bite of that golden-brown turkey and then sipping on some bubbly.

The effervescence cuts through the richness, making every bite an experience. And those side dishes?

Creamy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce – sparkling wines complement them all. So, if you’re feeling adventurous or just want to shake things up, consider popping a bottle or two.

Top White Wines for Thanksgiving

Guess what? Whites are where it’s at for Thanksgiving. They’re generally lighter, fruitier, and, honestly, pretty darn versatile.


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Characteristics of Riesling This is like the fun, quirky cousin you always want to hang out with. Riesling is aromatic, often with hints of apple, pear, or even peach. Sometimes sweet, sometimes dry, it’s got a zestiness that keeps things lively.

Pairing Riesling with Thanksgiving Dishes With its fruity overtones, Riesling pairs incredibly with spicier dishes. Think spiced sweet potatoes or even that spicy stuffing. The sweetness also makes it a buddy for turkey, especially if you’ve got a sweeter glaze or marinade going on.


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Characteristics of Gewürztraminer Try saying that five times fast! This wine is an aromatic powerhouse with vibes of lychee, roses, and sometimes a touch of spice. It’s like the drama queen of wines, in a good way.

Pairing Gewürztraminer with Thanksgiving Dishes It’s bold. It’s flavorful. It stands up to dishes with big personalities. If you’ve got some curry in the mix or anything with a touch of heat, this wine’s your go-to. And for the turkey? Oh, it’s a match made in heaven.

Sauvignon Blanc

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Characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc Here comes the cool kid on the block. Sauvignon Blanc is zesty, with hints of green and tropical fruits. It’s like taking a mini tropical vacay in the middle of fall.

Pairing Sauvignon Blanc with Thanksgiving Dishes It’s all about the green. Green beans, Brussels sprouts, and even that herb-laden stuffing. The crispness balances out richer dishes and adds a touch of brightness to the meal.

Pinot Grigio

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Characteristics of Pinot Grigio Smooth operator, that’s Pinot Grigio. It’s light, citrusy, and just a tad bit pear-ish. It’s the kind of wine that never clashes, always harmonizes.

Pairing Pinot Grigio with Thanksgiving Dishes It’s like the best supporting actor of wines. Pinot Grigio goes with everything, making it easy for those who just can’t decide. From turkey to pies, it’s got your back.

Albariño and Viognier

Characteristics of Albariño and Viognier These two, though distinct, share a vibrant aromatic profile. Think floral, peachy, and sometimes even a bit nutty.

Pairing Albariño and Viognier with Thanksgiving Dishes Seafood starters? These wines are on it. They also love roasted veggies and, believe it or not, can be a refreshing contrast to richer dishes. So, if you’re pondering what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner, give these a whirl!

Top Red Wines for Thanksgiving

You’ve heard of the reds, right? They’re bold, they’re sultry, and they bring some major flair to the Thanksgiving table. Let’s unbox these bad boys.

Pinot Noir

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Characteristics of Pinot Noir

Enter the superstar. Pinot Noir is like that effortlessly cool person everyone wants to be around. It’s medium-bodied, with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and sometimes a hint of earthiness. It’s kind of like autumn in a glass.

Pairing Pinot Noir with Thanksgiving Dishes

This gem is turkey’s best friend. The soft tannins, the fruity vibes, it just works. Whether your turkey is roasted, grilled, or even deep-fried, Pinot Noir complements it like no other. And the cranberry sauce? Oh boy, it’s a dreamy duo.


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Characteristics of Zinfandel

Zinfandel’s the wild child of the bunch. It’s got this zing, often bursting with blackberry, plum, and sometimes even a touch of spiciness. It’s the wine that tells you stories.

Pairing Zinfandel with Thanksgiving Dishes

Got some sweet and savory action on your plate? Zinfandel’s here for it. It’s especially fab with ham, if that’s on your Thanksgiving menu. But even with the classic turkey, Zinfandel adds a punch that’s hard to resist.


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Characteristics of Syrah

Dark and mysterious, that’s Syrah for you. Think flavors of dark fruits, pepper, and sometimes even a smoky hint. It’s like the intriguing book you can’t put down.

Pairing Syrah with Thanksgiving Dishes

If your Thanksgiving leans more towards the rich, hearty side, Syrah’s got you. It pairs brilliantly with lamb or any meat with a robust flavor. And if you’re throwing in some root veggies? Syrah’s all over that.

Beaujolais Nouveau

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Characteristics of Beaujolais Nouveau

Young, vibrant, and oh-so-fresh. It’s like the wine version of a spring day, even in the middle of November. It’s fruity, with hints of banana and pear drops. Honestly, it’s just fun in a bottle.

Pairing Beaujolais Nouveau with Thanksgiving Dishes

This wine is practically shouting, “I’m here for Thanksgiving!” It’s light enough for the turkey, playful enough for side dishes, and brings a youthful energy that’ll make even Grandma’s stories seem new.

Alternative Choices for Thanksgiving Wines

When pondering what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner, don’t be afraid to color outside the lines!

Rosé Wines

Not white, not red, but somewhere fabulous in between. Rosé’s crisp, fruity, and oh-so-versatile. Think of it as the wildcard. Whether you’re having a light salad starter or diving into the main course, Rosé’s got the range.

Sherry Wines

This one’s for the adventurous souls. It’s nutty, it’s rich, and it adds a whole different dimension to your Thanksgiving feast. Especially if you’re looking to elevate your dessert game. Speaking of which…

Pairing Wines with Thanksgiving Desserts

Fortified Wines

Think wines with a bit of an oomph. Port, for instance, with its rich, fruity character, goes brilliantly with chocolatey desserts or blue cheese if you’re into that kind of thing.

Late-Harvest Wines

The sweetness in these wines comes from grapes left on the vine a tad longer. They’ve got a syrupy, fruity essence that’s basically dessert in a glass. Pair them with pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or any pie, really.

FAQ On What Wine Goes With Thanksgiving Dinner

What’s the best red wine to serve with turkey?

Turkey’s the main act, right? Go for a Pinot Noir. Its light tannins and berry notes? Chef’s kiss with white and dark meat. Plus, that hint of earthiness just gets the autumn vibe.

Can I pair white wine with my Thanksgiving turkey?

Absolutely, white’s a hit! A buttery Chardonnay complements the rich flavors. It’s like they’re old pals, bringing out the best in each other, especially if you’re serving a creamy gravy.

What kind of wine should I pick for a crowd?

Think festive wine selections. A versatile Riesling or a fruity Beaujolais. They’re crowd-pleasers and pair well with a range of flavors from your Thanksgiving feast. And they’re not too heavy, keeping the conversation as light as the wine.

Is there a wine that matches well with all Thanksgiving side dishes?

Seek harmony in a bottle of Zinfandel. Its balance of fruit and spice plays nice with everything from sweet yams to herby stuffing. It’s the Switzerland of wines—neutral but delighting everyone.

Should I opt for a sweeter wine for Thanksgiving dinner?

A semi-sweet wine like a Gewürztraminer works wonders. It’s a friend to both sweet and savory, bridging the gap between candied sweet potatoes and savory turkey. Sweet, but with enough sass to stand up to the boldest of sides.

Is Champagne a good choice for Thanksgiving?

Oh, you fancy, huh? Well, Sparkling wine celebrations are a thing! Champagne’s bubbles cut through the richness of the meal. It’s a welcome, refreshing palate cleanser between bites. Toast to gratuity, and let those bubbles dance!

How many different wines should I serve?

I’d say at least two—a white and a red. Cover your bases. A Harvest wine like a Sangiovese and a creamy Viognier perhaps? This way you respect the non-conformists at the table, too.

Can I serve rosé at Thanksgiving?

Why not? Rosé’s not just for summer picnics. It’s a jack-of-all-trades, pairing nicely with both the light and heavy hitters of your table. It’s understated elegance that won’t overpower but will certainly hold its own.

What wine goes best with pumpkin pie?

After all those flavors, wrap it up with something sweet—but not too sweet. A Riesling with a touch of sweetness or a Spätlese level will complement, not clash. It’s the encore to your meal’s symphony.

Any tips on serving wine during Thanksgiving?

Keep reds slightly chilled, whites just right; we’re not in the Arctic, nor the Sahara. Pop the Champagne as you start, let the reds breathe like they’ve run a marathon, and keep the whites in the fridge, sneaking out just before showtime. Easy does it.


So, we’ve swirled our way to the finale, haven’t we? Discovery’s in the air, much like the scent of that Thanksgiving wine eagerly awaiting its debut alongside the annual feast.

Together, we ventured beyond simple grape expectations, didn’t we? Found that picking what wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner isn’t just about red or white. It’s about characters and stories in each bottle, echoing the togetherness, the joy, the gratitude.

We’ve unfolded the crimson folds of a bold Zinfandel and heard the crisp pop of Sparkling wine celebrations. The autumn wine choices are diverse – a Pinot Noir quietly conversing with turkey, a Riesling sweet-talking the sides, or a Chardonnay bridging flavors with a creamy whisper.

Thanksgiving wine suggestions? Consider them shared, like the best stories around your dinner table. Cheers to moments poured with intention, shared with love, and savored with every glass raised. May your choices reflect the richness of the season and the warmth of your heart.

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