Wine n’ About | The Wine Pairing for Thanksgiving Menus
Food n' Wine
The Wine Pairing for Thanksgiving Menus

With Thanksgiving only days away, it’s time to stock up on wine for your Turkey Day meal!

So in preparation for your upcoming feast, we asked two experts what wine to pair with a typical Thanksgiving menu. Whether the star of your spread is turkey, veggies or stuffing, Wine n’ About offer some fantastic recommendations.


Whether you’re a white meat or dark meat lover, you can’t go wrong with a lighter red wine such as an Old World Pinot Noir or Chianti. Both of these will pair with the heartier dark meat of the leg and thigh without overpowering the delicate white meat of the breast.

However, if you prefer white wine with your turkey, we recommend an off-dry (semi-sweet) Riesling, which has enough acidity, sugar intensity, and richness to be a good counterpoint for your bird.

mixed-vegetablesGREEN VEGETABLES

For green vegetables, varietals with flavors like celery, bell pepper, or herbs (or what we call “green” flavors in wine) usually work best because they complement the earthy, green flavors in the vegetables. We suggest a Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner, but with the understanding that these wines will be difficult to pair with other menu items, particularly dishes with fruit like cranberry sauce or sweetness such as sweet potatoes.


Depending on how they’re made, mashed potatoes tend to have a combination of creaminess, saltiness, tanginess, and earthiness, so you can pair just about any kind of wine with this type of starch. However, keep in mind that sweet foods pair best with wines that have the same amount of sweetness if not more, so sweet potatoes would work better with something off-dry.

Because stuffing recipes often include meat, fruit, and herbs, you need a wine that can accommodate a combination of sweet, savory, and herbal flavors. We suggest a light New World Pinot Noir or a ripe, spicy white such as a New World Viognier or an Old World Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer.


For pumpkin or pecan pie (in our case, both!), we think that a New World Muscat (particularly Australian Muscat) is a great choice because its inherent spiciness will work with pumpkin pie spices, while its caramel and nutty flavors will pair nicely with pecans.


If you’re looking to keep things simple and just want to serve one wine with your entire meal, we think white wine is more versatile and suggests sticking with a ripe, spicy white that can stand up to meat, fruit, starch, and sweetness with ease. The key is choosing a wine that matches both the intensity and sweetness of your menu as well as your personal preferences. Our choices: a New World Viognier (dry, high intensity), an Old World Pinot Gris (slightly sweet, moderate intensity) or an Old World or a New World Gewürztraminer (slightly sweet, very high intensity).wine-glass

However, if red wine is more your thing, we suggest a medium-bodied red such as a New World Zinfandel. You should stick with something straightforward and easy to drink that doesn’t overwhelm the flavors in your menu.


So if you aren’t familiar with the wines we suggested or are nervous about trying something new, just choose a wine that you know you will enjoy!

And no matter what we all end up drinking on this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s be sure to raise a glass and give thanks to everything good in our lives!