How to Pair Wine With Thanksgiving Meals

There are more bottles of wine sold in the US for Thanksgiving than any other time of the year. But unless you are a consummate wine buff, knowing what variety to pair with a meal that involves so many dishes and flavors can seem overwhelming. One way that you can increase your knowledge about fine wines, is by joining a reputable wine club such as WSJwine. There are even discounts and coupons that can cut costs as you enjoy each distinct vintage.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to start learning about wine, so we are breaking down the 4 main types of wine that go with a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.


Chardonnay remains the most popular choice for white wine, but experts disagree as to whether it is too much flavor for Thanksgiving. To avoid overpowering the meal, try something lighter and sweeter such as a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. The Gold Medal New Zealand Sauvignon originates from the Golden Mile, origin of the modern world’s best Sauvignon Blancs. The pale gold wine has notes of passion fruit, citrus zest, and black currant leaf with a refreshing finish. ($18.99/bottle at WSJwine)


Red wine compliments the main Thanksgiving meal, in part because it stands out so boldly against the autumn colors of the table. Serve a lighter red that is not too tart or loaded with tannins, or everyone might fall asleep before dinner is over. A Pinot Noir like the Top-Estate Sonoma Pinot, is aromatic and full bodied with a hint of black cherry and a spicy finish. Grown in California’s oldest premium winery, the growers recommend pairing it with game meats. ($24.99/bottle at WSJwine)


For a celebratory occasion such as the Thanksgiving holiday, a sparkling wine might be just what the doctor ordered. When serving sparkling wine with a meal, use a dry or brut version, not sweet. Alessandro Gallici Prosecco Brut NV is Italy’s favorite bubbling wine without being very expensive. It is made from the Prosecco grape that has grown around the hills of Venice for many centuries. It is considered to be dry, fresh, and fruity. ($17.99/bottle at WSJwine)


If you are having trouble deciding between red and white, you could compromise with a chilled pink wine instead. Top Estate's Rare Prosecco Rosato is a top rated, gently sparkling, or frizzante, rose wine that originates in Prosecco, Italy. The Bolani family adds a dash of the red grape Refosco to their estate-grown Prosecco, to make a refreshing blend reminiscent of Gala apples, red pears, and strawberries that is not too sweet. ($16.99/bottle at WSJwine)

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