Choosing the Perfect Wine for Turkey Day

For most families, Thanksgiving dinner is a feast featuring a multitude of delightful dishes...

Red Wine Pouring

Unfortunately, sometimes with all the culinary planning, the wine falls by the wayside! We think that pairing your meal with wine for Thanksgiving dinner is very important, so we’re taking this moment to take a closer look at the best wines for turkey. To set the mood for Thanksgiving, below are some wines we love with a brief overview of why we think they’re perfect for this holiday.

If you’re interested in learning hands-on about the best wine to pair with thanksgiving dinner, sign up for our social wine tasting “"Let's Talk Turkey & Wine".” Professionals pouring the wines will not only teach you the ins and outs of the wines they've got on hand, but you can also nosh on our buffet of appetizers that's a riff on classic Thanksgiving fare.

1. Champagne

Is it even a holiday if you’re not drinking champagne? Since Thanksgiving is only one day out of the year, we recommend popping your finest bubbly for the occasion. Champagne can be sipped throughout your dinner — as a welcome toast before the meal, during your dinner or even as a final nightcap to close out the occasion. Champagne goes well with most dishes and with its tasty acidity makes it a no-brainer for Thanksgiving.

2. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a perennially popular choice for turkey day and it’s easy to see why. It pairs well with turkey as well as many side dishes, and its high acid content makes it very easy to drink. If you’re looking for earthy and berry flavors with notes of cherry or mushrooms, pick a Pinot Noir from France or if you want something fruitier, opt for a Pinot Noir from Australia or United States.

3. Viognier

This aromatic white wine is rich enough to pair with both turkey as well as rich and buttery sides. It features herb and mineral notes that pair well with dishes like mashed potatoes or dressing. Go for some great picks from Australia and South Africa when you head to your wine shop.

4. Zinfandel

Are you a fan of fruity reds? Then a nice Zinfandel is calling your name for Thanksgiving. This is one of the most popular wines during Thanksgiving, and it’s easy to see why. It’s very versatile and depending on which bottle you buy, your Zinfandel can range from light with berry notes to spicy. It helps accentuate turkey which is more neutral in flavor with its bolder notes of fruit and pepper.

5. Cabernet Franc

This is a great red wine option for turkey as it’s a slightly lighter bodied than other reds, but still peppery enough to create a delicious flavor moment. For this wine you can stay within the United States, as California, Oregon and New York State produce great options.

6. Grüner Veltliner

Perhaps your dinner is more vegetable-forward and less focused on turkey? Then Grüner Veltliner is an excellent option. Not only is it a more under the radar pick that’s a great conversation piece, with fresh notes of citrus, green apple and white pepper, this Austrian wine is tasty without being overpowering.

7. Dessert Wine

Cap off your meal with something sweet, like a dessert wine, to go with whatever pie you’re serving. You can choose from a port or sherry, and if you want to go a fancier route, go for a Hungarian Tokaji. This wine is sweet with a striking yellow color that will bring a smile to your face. Whatever dessert wine you go with, it’s important to pick a wine that is equally sweet or sweeter than your dessert to prevent the wine pairing to come off as sour or bitter. Just pair sweet with sweet to end on a heavenly note.


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