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Best Wine Varietals to Pick for Thanksgiving Dinner

Updated: Nov 20, 2021


First things first about wine rules - we don’t believe in “wine rules”- we’re fans of the motto "the best wine to pair with a dish is a wine you enjoy drinking", period. Drink what you like. If you want a little guidance for thanksgiving dinner, we got you! Here are some of our tips for picking awesome wines to go with your Thanksgiving Day feast.


As a general suggestion, lighter, livelier, and lower-alcohol wines go better with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Since Thanksgiving food is rich and flavorful, you want wines that won’t clash or compete with the food. Here are the varietals we look for this time of year.


Sparkling wines

You really can’t go wrong with champagne or sparkling wines. They are obviously wonderful as an aperitif, but they can be enjoyed throughout your entire meal. The high acidity in sparkling wines is perfect for cutting through rich foods, and the minerality and yeasty notes pair perfectly with turkey!

Champagne might be a little expensive and hard to get in our current world (supply chain), but there are so many wonderful sparkling wines from California and Washington state to choose from. Cava (Spanish sparkling wines) is also delicious and inexpensive. Cava is made the same way that Champagne is produced, but with different grapes. Cava is actually far closer to Champagne (in terms of taste) than Prosecco.


White wines

Look for a crisp, acidic white wines. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are all fantastic choices. Pinot Gris and Riesling from Oregon or Alsace, France, are generally great choices! If you want to do something a little different an Alberino is also a great pairing. Bright, acidic and easy to drink. Just be cautious of Chardonnay. A buttery, oaky Chardonnay might be a little too much for Thanksgiving dinner, but unoaked could pair up nicely!


Red wines

Yes! You can definitely drink red wine with turkey. You just probably want to stay away from the heavier wines like a really jammies Zinfandel or tannic Cabernet. Stay with the lighter, younger reds. Pinot Noir is the perfect varietal for turkey and Beaujolais is always a great choice. Looking for something different? Sangiovese from Tuscany is celebrated as one of Italy’s most food-friendly wines, like Chianti Classico and Montepulciano or a red blend (super Tuscan).


And don’t worry, rosé goes wonderfully with this menu as well. Young rosés are often crowd-pleasers at Thanksgiving. They are easy to drink, and they exhibit lively fruit flavors that almost everyone can appreciate.


There you have it - those are our tips and pics for Thanksgiving and holiday wines. We hope you have a fabulous holiday season with your loved ones!


-Julia and Melissa

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