Best Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving wine pairings

November is upon us which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Whether you’re getting together with family in-person or holding a virtual dinner party, knowing what wine pairs well with your Thanksgiving dinner is extremely important.

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, but we’re going to focus on what we feel are the basics of any Thanksgiving meal and tell you which wines pair best with each type of food.

Wine 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 let’s take a look at a few Thanksgiving staples that most groups enjoy during the holiday.

Turkey and Wine

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.

Mashed Potatoes and Wine

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.

Stuffing and Wine

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.

Wine With 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!