Best Wine for Thanksgiving

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: 40 Exciting Bottles & Food Pairings

by Hunter Robillard

Which wines would go best with turkey and the battalion of mains and sides at your Thanksgiving dinner?

Should you go for a lively white or rose wine, an expensive Champagne, or a luscious red?

While there are no fixed rules, there are definitely some wine styles that work better than others.

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together the best red, white, rose, sparkling, and dessert wines to choose from based on your Thanksgiving menu. Get ready to delight your guests!

Further reading

Best Red Wines for Thanksgiving

When it comes to red wine, go for wines with a lighter body, low tannin levels, and balanced acidity. (It’s better to pair the full-bodied and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc bottles with red meats.)

1. Pinot Noir

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classy choice for your Thanksgiving dinner - it has the right amount of acidity with hints of red fruit and earthy undertones. 

This is a great pair for turkey, dishes with cranberry sauce, and creamy mashed potatoes. 

Best wines to serve:

  • 2017 Hartford Family Winery Hartford Court Land's Edge Vineyards Pinot Noir ($45)
  • 2014 Olivier Bernstein Chambertin Grand Cru ($620)

2. Beaujolais

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Beaujolais

Another all-time favorite Thanksgiving wine is the French Beaujolais. It’s a light dry red wine made from the Gamay grape variety. The palate has refreshing acidity and delightful red and dark fruit flavor notes.

It’s an excellent pair for a rich turkey dinner or a side dish like roasted veggies and green bean casserole. 

Best wines:

  • 2017 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages ($16)
  • 2021 Domaine Leroy Beaujolais Villages Primeur ($127)

3. Zinfandel

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Zinfandel

If you prefer a full-bodied red wine for your Thanksgiving meal, go for a bottle of traditional Zinfandel (a great alternative if you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon fan). This wine has jammy flavor notes with hints of plum, baking spice, and pepper hints.

Pair this wine with some dark turkey meats and dishes with rich spices like cinnamon and clove.

Best wines:

  • 2014 Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($103)
  • 2018 Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel, Russian River Valley ($51)

4. Syrah

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Syrah

Syrah is a luscious red wine with a rich texture and a bold flavor profile with hints of spice and black fruit.

This bright red wine is a great accompaniment to various Thanksgiving dishes with lots of herbs and white turkey meat.

Best wines:

  • 2016 Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie Cote Brune ($583)
  • 2019 Francois Villard Cornas 'Jouvet' ($34)

5. Rhone Blends

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Rhone Blend

If you’re in for a more sophisticated and refined red, go for a classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. This traditional French wine has fig and berry fruit flavors balanced out by delicate earthy undertones.

This makes most Rhone blends the perfect wine match for roasted veggies and traditional turkey dinner with gravy and cranberry sauce. 

Best wines:

  • 2012 Chimere Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($1,161)
  • 2017 Domaine Santa Duc Chateauneuf-du-Pape 'Les Saintes Vierges' Rouge ($47)

Best White Wines for Thanksgiving

For the white wine lovers out there, we’ve got some great options that are the perfect combination of fruity citrus flavors and fresh acidity.

1. Viognier

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Viognier

Viognier has a medium body with a honeysuckle aroma and ripe stone fruit flavor notes (similar to Chenin Blanc.) 

Pair a glass of this easy-drinking wine with a traditional holiday stuffing or some buttery mashed potatoes.

Best wines:

  • 2018 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon ($128)
  • 2017 Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher ($55)

2. Gewurztraminer

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Gewürztraminer

Gewurztraminer has an opulent floral nose, spicy hints, and dominant peach and apricot flavors. 

This wine comes in both dry and sweet styles - so choose your favorite and pair it with a Thanksgiving dish with cranberry sauce, green bean garnish, or meals with a touch of sweetness.

Best wines:

  • 2018 Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin Selections 'Roen' Sweet White Alto Adige ($50)
  • 2018 Weingut Pfluger Biodynamite ($24)

3. Riesling

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Riesling

This is another great white that comes in both sweet and dry styles. Whichever wine style you choose, you’ll experience an enchanting aroma bouquet of flowers, honey, and spice with irresistible white fruit flavor notes and low acidity.

Pair a glass of sweet or dry Riesling with herb-infused dishes, sweet potato casserole, and turkey.

Best wines:

  • 2017 Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese ($336)
  • 2018 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain ($89)

4. Pinot Gris

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Pinot Gris

If you want a universal white wine that will pair with a variety of dishes, go for a traditional Pinot Gris. This wine has apple and lemon tasting notes, accompanied by mild acidity and light floral aromas.

A glass of Pinot Gris can be a great accompaniment to savory dishes with pronounced herbal flavors and even your favorite pumpkin pie.

Best wines:

  • 2014 Domaine Comte Senard Aloxe-Corton Blanc ($103)
  • 2018 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain ($93)

5. Sauvignon Blanc

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Sauvignon Blanc

This elegant wine has a light body, mild acidity, and citrus flavor notes with grassy underlayers. 

Sauvignon Blanc is an easy-drinking and flavorful wine that goes well with traditional turkey stuffing, gravy, brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes.

Best wines:

  • 2020 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux ($266)
  • 2019 Tabali 'Talinay' Sauvignon Blanc ($27)

Best Rose Wines for Thanksgiving

Here are some great Rose wine options that will elevate your Thanksgiving dinner to the next level.

1. Dry Rose

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Dry Rose

If you’re a dedicated Rose wine lover, we’ve got some good news for you! Rose can pair with almost all Thanksgiving dishes.

To make sure you’ve got the perfect match, just go for a dry and crisp pink wine like Provencal or Pinot Noir Rose. 

Best wines:

  • 2016 Rose & Arrow Estate Hopewell Hills Pinot Noir ($101)
  • 2017 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose ($31)

2. Sparkling Rose

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Sparkling Rose

And if you prefer your blush wine to be fizzy, you can go for a pink sparkling wine like Rose Champagne. Its light and fruity palate pairs well with high-fat, salty, and sweet dishes.

Best wines:

  • Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Brut Rose ($479)
  • Pierre Sparr Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose ($19)

Best Sparkling Wines for Thanksgiving

To bring extra flair and festivity to the Thanksgiving table, consider adding a classic sparkler like:

1. Prosecco

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Prosecco

If you’re looking for a good quality affordable bubbly, go for a traditional Italian Prosecco

This wine has citrusy fruit flavors, bright acidity, and delightful fizziness, which make it a great match for the main course. And if you feel creative, you can even make some Prosecco Thanksgiving cocktails.

Best wines:

  • 2016 Ca' dei Zago Col Fondo Prosecco ($22)
  • 2019 Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Cartizze DOCG ($43)

2. Champagne

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Champagne

The French cousin of Prosecco is a bit pricier, but it can definitely make your Thanksgiving dinner exceptional.

Pair a glass of this fancy sparkling wine with chutney, dried fruits, baked Brie, various stuffings, or even a piece of apple pie.

Best wines:

3. Lambrusco

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Lambrusco

Lambrusco is a slightly sparkling wine with dominant red fruit flavors. This red wine comes in both sweet, off-dry, and dry styles, and it can definitely bring out the festive spirit to your Thanksgiving meal.

It’s an excellent wine pairing to your turkey dinner and dishes like sweet potato pie, cornbread dressing, and cauliflower stuffing.

Best wines:

  • 2018 Podere Il Saliceto 'Falistra' Lambrusco di Sorbara ($32)
  • 2019 Cleto Chiarli Villa Cialdini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco ($18)

Best Dessert Wines for Thanksgiving

Here are some great dessert wine options for those who have a sweet tooth. These sweet wines are also the perfect match for your Thanksgiving desserts.

1. Sherry

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Sherry

Sherry is a fortified wine with rich nutty, spicy, and fruity flavors coated in a delectable sweetness from the very first sip.

Pair a glass of Sherry with pecan pie, a cinnamon pumpkin pie, or apple pie with roasted nuts.

Best wines:

  • Osborne Pedro Ximenez Viejo Sherry ($246)
  • Fernando de Castilla Antique Oloroso Sherry ($53)

2. Port

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Port

Port is another delicious fortified wine with a buttery mouthfeel accompanied by dried fruit and caramel flavors. 

This is the perfect wine match for various desserts, including cranberry-apple cobbler, caramel pecan pie, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Best wines:

  • 2011 Burmester Colheita Port ($27)
  • 1977 Guedes Vintage Port ($236)

3. Muscat

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Muscat

The sweet Muscat wine comes in both red and white wine styles. Whichever one you choose, you’ll encounter a fragrant nose and intense fruity flavors enhanced by the wine’s sweetness.

Muscat is a great Thanksgiving wine to pair with pumpkin and chocolate chip cake or applesauce bread.

Best wines:

  • 2017 Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria ($62)
  • 2020 Quady Winery Orange Muscat Essensia ($23)

4. Sauternes

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Sauternes

This elegant wine has rich apricot and honey flavors with nutty hints and zesty acidity. 

Sauternes is a great wine pairing for all sorts of cheesecakes since its acidity cuts through the dessert’s rich texture. 

Best wines:

5. Asti Spumante

Best Wine for Thanksgiving: Asti Spumante

This is a sweet, slightly sparkling Italian wine with rich stone fruit and citrus notes, and bright acidity. 

Serve Asti Spumante chilled along with glazed brown sugar cakes or apple, cranberry, and cinnamon cookies.

Best wines:

  • 2018 Cascina Fonda Bel Piasi ($18)
  • Gancia Spumante Asti DOCG ($11)

Let the Thanksgiving Feast Begin!

Best Wine for Thanksgiving

Here’s an important tip for picking Thanksgiving wines: When preparing for Thanksgiving, stock up on several bottles of each wine style. This way,  you’ll make sure there’s a great wine match for all the dishes you’ve prepped, and all your guests will be satisfied with the wine options.

If you’re having a smaller Thanksgiving dinner, get some universal wine styles like Pinot Gris and Beaujolais. 

Whatever you choose, remember to enjoy every sip of your festive tipple!

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