Best Wine to Pair With Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving wine pairings

Thanksgiving is just about here which means it’s time to decide which wines you are going to be serving up with that delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Wine is an essential part of any dinner party and choosing a wine that pairs well with your food is just as important as the food itself. A good wine pairing can elevate both the food and the wine, while introducing flavor notes you may not have experienced otherwise.

Wine and food pairings are designed to bring out elements of the wine using the ingredients of the food. For example, the fat in red meat, or a steak, can help cut through some of the tannins found in wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. This can help reduce a little bit of the dryness that you might experience if you were to drink this wine with other types of food.

We understand that a lot of families celebrate Thanksgiving with different food which means that there are a number of different wines that can go well with your meal. Not every family serves the same sides so picking a wine can get tricky, but let’s take a look at some great wines that will go well with traditional foods that are served on Thanksgiving, as well as some wines that will pair well with the whole spread.

Wine Pairings With Thanksgiving Dinner

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the United States revolves around the turkey, but equally important are the sides that you will serve with the turkey. Since America is a melting pot of different cultures, often time the turkey will be served with a variety of different sides that may pertain to a certain family’s traditions.

While one family may have mashed potatoes and gravy, another family may have roasted seasoned potatoes. While you may enjoy cranberry sauce at your Thanksgiving, someone else may serve up a side of shrimp.

Every family is going to be different, but if you’re looking for a wine that will go well with the main course (and sides) of most Thanksgiving dinners, we would suggest choosing a white and a red.

For the red wine we would suggest a classic Pinot Noir. You’ll see that we also mention this wine below as a wine that pairs well with turkey, but it also goes well with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and vegetables.

A nice Pinot Noir will have fruity notes which will help elevate those earthy flavors within the veggies and the stuffing, it is also a safe choice for those wine drinkers that love red wines.

If you’re a white wine lover, then we suggest going with a Chardonnay or a Reisling, for those that like a little more sweetness in their wine. Both wines pair well with rich mashed potatoes and poultry. They can also enhance the flavors of vegetables as well as any seafood you might serve, depending on your family traditions.

If you’re looking for a simple solution that does not involve different bottles of wine for each course or dish, then we would recommend any of these types of wines. If you’re looking to elevate your Thanksgiving this year and want to provide different wines for with each side dish, see below for different recommendations for wines that go well with a variety of Thanksgiving-type foods.

What Wine to Pair With Turkey on Thanksgiving

The most important element of any Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. This is the centerpiece of the table, the food that you spent all day thawing, stuffing, and cooking to feed your guests. It’s the heart of the table and what brings everyone together, so if you’re looking for one main food to focus on when trying to figure out your wine pairing, make it the turkey.

Our suggestion is to go with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a very balanced wine and would go well with your turkey as well as the sides served with it.

If you’re looking for a white wine that goes well with turkey, we suggest trying something like a dry German Riesling. This will pair well with some of the sweeter sides on the table.

Maybe you are feeling untraditional this year and want to try something other than turkey… may we suggest Squab? Our Austin Hope Estate Grown Grenache v. 2019 pairs very well with the meaty iron flavors of this bird.

Wine That Pairs Well With Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are another staple of Thanksgiving dinner, but what wine would go well with mashed potatoes? Well, our Cabernet Sauvignon or our Austin Hope Chardonnay v. 2020 are both incredible choices

The potatoes and gravy have a very rich flavor and texture which is complimented by the bold flavor of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the creaminess and clean minerality of the Austin Hope Chardonnay.

What Wine Pairs Well With Thanksgiving Stuffing?

If you’re having a turkey, there’s a good chance you’re going to have some stuffing to go along with it. In most cases that stuffing is going to consist of bread, onions, celery, seasonings and more, so what wine would pair best with this delicious Thanksgiving side dish?

An unoaked Chardonnay is a great wine option to pair with your Thanksgiving stuffing. There are some stuffing options that contain things like sausage or cranberries, but no matter what type of stuffing you have, a good unoaked Chardonnay wine will pair nicely.

Green Bean Casserole, Vegetables and Wine Pairings

It’s hard to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner without that delicious green bean casserole being passed around.

If you’re looking for a great wine to pair with green beans then we would recommend a Chenin Blanc or a Sauvignon Blanc. These wines pair extremely well with sweet, fall-related, veggies which is perfect for pumpkin pie or green bean casserole.

You’ll also find that Chardonnay will compliment these types of dishes as well if you’re not looking to add another bottle of wine to the table.

Seafood and Wine Pairing

Some families like to switch things up a bit and add a bit of their own culture into Thanksgiving dinner. Seafood and fish are some great ways to break up the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes if you’re looking for something new.

Depending on what sort of seafood you are serving at Thanksgiving, there can be a number of different wine pairings that would go well. To keep it simple we recommend either a Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay, depending on the type of wine you enjoy.

These two wines will go well with most types of seafood you’d find at a Thanksgiving dinner.

Wine Pairing For Thanksgiving Dinner

When it comes to wine and food pairings someone is always going to have a suggestion. In most cases those suggestions are based on how certain types of wines interact with food in your mouth and how they can change the overall experience. What a lot of these food and wine pairings don’t take into consideration is people’s differences in taste.

Not everyone enjoys all different wines, so just because you pair a specific wine with a specific dish it doesn’t mean that someone that doesn’t like Pinot Noir, for example, is all of a sudden going to love it.

The food and wine can work together to bring out different flavors you may not have experienced without them being paired, but it won’t change your dislike for a certain wine if you know you don’t like it.

If you’re not a fan of our suggestions for wine pairings for Thanksgiving, there is no harm in trying out your own pairings based on your own taste. You might find that something most people say doesn’t pair well, actually tastes pretty good.

Don’t let anyone dictate what wine you like. Try a bunch of different types and styles and form your own opinion on which wine you think best suits you and your palate. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!