Uncorking the Best Wines for Thanksgiving

best wine for thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with family and friends, and sharing a delicious meal together. A key component of any great Thanksgiving meal is the wine selection. The right wines can complement the flavors of the food and enhance the overall dining experience. In this article, we will explore some of the best wines to for Thanksgiving, including types of wine, popular brands, and the importance of serving wine in the correct types of glasses.

The Best White Wines For Thanksgiving

white wine for thanksgiving

White wines are generally best paired with lighter Thanksgiving dishes, such as turkey, seafood, salads, and vegetable-based dishes. For example, a crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc can complement the flavors of roasted vegetables or a fresh green salad. A rich and buttery Chardonnay can pair well with the creamy textures of mashed potatoes or a squash casserole. A refreshing Riesling can balance the sweetness of cranberry sauce or glazed carrots


Chardonnay is a classic white wine that pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner. It is a medium to full-bodied wine with notes of apple, pear, and vanilla.

  • Kistler Vineyards, Sonoma Coast – $100
  • Peter Michael Winery, Belle Cote – $125
  • Ramey Wine Cellars, Russian River Valley – $40
  • Far Niente Winery, Napa Valley – $65
  • Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley – $40
  • Shafer Vineyards, Red Shoulder Ranch – $60
  • Paul Hobbs, Richard Dinner Vineyard – $90
  • Patz & Hall, Dutton Ranch – $50
  • Talbott Vineyards, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard – $40
  • Lewis Cellars, Napa Valley – $75


Riesling is a sweet wine that pairs well with salty dishes, making it a great choice for Thanksgiving. It is slightly sweet with a crisp finish.

  • Egon Müller, Scharzhofberger Kabinett, Mosel, Germany – $200
  • Joh. Jos. Prüm, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese, Mosel, Germany – $60
  • Dr. Loosen, Erdener Prälat Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel, Germany – $80
  • Trimbach, Clos Sainte Hune, Alsace, France – $200
  • Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain, Alsace, France – $80
  • Donnhoff, Oberhauser Brucke Spätlese, Nahe, Germany – $50
  • Schloss Johannisberg, Grunlack Spatlese, Rheingau, Germany – $40
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle, Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington – $20
  • Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spatlese, Mosel, Germany – $50
  • Dönnhoff, Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Auslese, Nahe, Germany – $70

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing and crisp white wine that pairs well with lighter dishes. It is light and refreshing with notes of citrus.

  • Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand – $30
  • Grgich Hills Estate, Napa Valley, California – $40
  • Robert Mondavi Winery, Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley, California – $25
  • Dog Point Vineyard, Marlborough, New Zealand – $20
  • Kim Crawford, Marlborough, New Zealand – $20
  • Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley, California – $30
  • Merry Edwards Winery, Russian River Valley, California – $40
  • Oyster Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand – $15
  • Matanzas Creek Winery, Sonoma County, California – $25
  • Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley, California – $30

The Best Red Wines For Thanksgiving

red wine for thanksgiving

Red wines are generally best paired with heartier Thanksgiving dishes that feature rich and savory flavors, such as roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, and red meats like prime rib or beef tenderloin. For example, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can complement the delicate flavors of roasted turkey, while a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon can stand up to the robust flavors of red meats and gravies. A spicy Zinfandel can pair well with bold, herbaceous stuffing or cranberry sauce.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classic red wine that pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner. It is light to medium-bodied, with notes of cherry and spice.

  • Flowers Vineyard & Winery, Sonoma Coast – $70
  • Kosta Browne, Russian River Valley – $150
  • Siduri, Santa Lucia Highlands – $35
  • Belle Glos, Las Alturas Vineyard – $55
  • Domaine Serene, Evenstad Reserve – $85
  • Williams Selyem, Russian River Valley – $100
  • Sea Smoke, Southing Vineyard – $90
  • Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune – $50
  • La Crema, Russian River Valley – $30
  • Meiomi, California – $25


Zinfandel is a bold red wine that pairs well with flavorful dishes. It is full-bodied with notes of blackberry and pepper.

  • Turley, Old Vines – $50
  • Ridge, Geyserville – $45
  • Seghesio, Sonoma County – $30
  • Ravenswood, Teldeschi – $45
  • Dashe, Dry Creek Valley – $30
  • Bedrock, Old Vine – $45
  • Robert Biale, Black Chicken – $50
  • St. Francis, Old Vines – $25
  • Hartford, Old Vine – $40
  • Cline, Ancient Vines – $15

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that pairs well with heartier dishes. It is rich and complex with notes of black cherry and chocolate.

  • Silver Oak, Napa Valley – $125
  • Caymus, Napa Valley – $100
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Artemis – $70
  • Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Alexander Valley – $60
  • Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley – $60
  • Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley – $70
  • Opus One, Napa Valley – $350
  • Shafer Vineyards, Hillside Select – $300
  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Insignia – $300
  • Beringer Vineyards, Private Reserve – $125

The Importance of Serving Wine in the Correct Types of Glasses

Serving wine in the correct types of glasses is important because it can enhance the wine-drinking experience. The shape of the glass can affect the aroma, taste, and overall enjoyment of the wine. For white wines, it is best to serve them in a glass with a smaller bowl and a narrow opening. This helps to preserve the wine’s aroma and acidity. For red wines, it is best to serve them in a glass with a larger bowl and a wider opening. This allows the wine to breathe and helps to enhance its flavors and aromas.

There are also specific glasses designed for each type of wine. For example, a Chardonnay glass has a wider bowl to allow the wine to breathe and release its aroma, while a Riesling glass has a narrower bowl to concentrate the aromas and flavors of the wine. A Pinot Noir glass has a larger bowl to allow the wine to breathe and develop its complexity, while a Zinfandel glass has a slightly smaller bowl to focus on the wine’s fruitiness and spice.

In addition to the shape of the glass, the material of the glass can also affect the wine-drinking experience. Crystal glasses are preferred over glass or plastic because they are thinner and more delicate, allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable drinking experience. The clarity of crystal also enhances the color and appearance of the wine.


When it comes to selecting the best wines for Thanksgiving, there are many factors to consider, including the type of wine, the brand, and the glassware. Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are great choices for white wines, while Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon are great choices for red wines.

Serving wine in the correct types of glasses is also important, as it can enhance the overall wine-drinking experience. Choosing a glass with the right shape and material can make a significant difference in the aroma, taste, and appearance of the wine. By taking the time to select the right wines and glassware, you can create a memorable and enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner for you and your guests.

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