Traditional Thanksgiving meals tend to feature rich, savory dishes. Here is a short list of red and white wines that will pair well with your Thanksgiving meal. The wines at my own Thanksgiving table are coming from this list. Whether you prefer whites or reds, there’s something for everyone and many dish options on this Thanksgiving wine pairing list.
Riesling and Dry Riesling
2012 Mendocino Dry Riesling, Clif Family Winery ($22)
Clif Family Winery’s Dry Riesling is an aromatic wine, smelling of honeysuckles and orange with flavors of Granny Smith apples and oranges. This dry and acidic wine, pairs nicely with sweet potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. The natural high acidity cuts through the richness of your traditional Thanksgiving dishes. It also pairs nicely with spicy food, so if you have a non-traditional Thanksgiving dish with a kick, this would be a great choice.
2012 Riesling, Chateau Ste Michelle ($9)
The nose on this Columbia Valley wine smells of green apples, honey, and a hint of something floral. The palate is clean, crisp, with medium acidity, and green apples and honey. It pairs well with Brie, sweet potatoes, turkey, and stuffing, although it can also be easily enjoyed on its own.
2010 Oak Knoll District Chardonnay, Clif Family Winery ($32)
Clif Family Winery’s Chardonnay is a rich and round chard with refreshing acidity. This wine has a subtle cherry aroma with hints of vanilla and oak. Flavors of blackberries are present in this medium- to full-bodied wine. This Chardonnay pairs well with traditional Thanksgiving fare as the richness of this fuller-bodied white will stand up to the dishes at your Thanksgiving table.
2012 Chardonnay, Chateau Ste Michelle ($15)
This food-friendly Columbia Valley Chardonnay is smells of apples and sweet citrus fruit. On the palate, you get the apples and citrus with a hint of spice and oak. The sur lie aging softens this wine and it’s enjoyable with a variety of foods, including butternut squash and mashed potatoes with gravy.
2013 Blonde 5 Chardonnay, CK Mondavi ($7)
The Blonde Five is a light wine with aromas of honeysuckle and pear. Luscious flavors of baked apple, honey, and lemon zest give this white blend a refreshing finish on the palate. The is the perfect accompaniment to grilled shrimp, spicy chicken, mild cheeses, and spicy foods that may accompany your holiday meal.
2011 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Sokol Blosser ($38)
This Oregon Pinot Noir is full of black cherry and red fruit on the nose and the palate. Since Pinot Noir is lighter in body and softer on the palate than some other red wines (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot), the soft red berry is the perfect red wine pairing for your turkey and other Thanksgiving dishes.
2012 Pinot Noir, HobNob ($11)
For a more affordable Pinot Noir option, consider HobNob’s French Pinot Noir. This medium-bodied wine is supple with soft tannins, creating a smooth, rich texture. This wine pairs nicely with more non-traditional Thanksgiving fare such as prime rib, duck, or lamb.
2012 Lodi Native The Century Block Vineyards Zinfandel ($35)
This Fields Family Wines Zinfandel is a full-bodied smokey, peppery, and fruity wine with a soft yet long finish, and not very tannic. It pairs beautifully with a brisket or other beef dish.
2012 Red Blend, Josh Cellars Legacy ($15)
This easy-to-drink red blend pairs well with Thanksgiving staples such as turkey and stuffing. Josh Cellars Legacy offers aromas of blueberry, raspberries, sage, rosemary, and mild cigar box. The wine is dense and lush with flavors of plum, black currant, and dark chocolate. A smooth, velvety texture and a long, juicy cherry finish make this a great wine for multiple dishes. Winemaker Joseph Carr created this wine in honor of his father, making it a meaningful choice to enjoy with family during the holiday season.
How Much Wine Do I Need?
Not sure how many bottles of Thanksgiving wines you should have on hand? Here’s a quick reference to how much wine per person you should buy for your meal. On average, 1/2 of a 750ml bottle of wine is what you should have per person. Each 750 ml of wine has 5 125ml glasses per bottle.
Number of guests/How many bottles of wine:
4 guests/2 bottles
6 guests/3 bottles
8 guests/4 bottles
10 guests/5 bottles
12 guests/6 bottles
14 guests/7 bottles
16 guests/8 bottles