Ready for some helpful Thanksgiving wine pairing tips? These are meant to help you thoroughly enjoy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Tips
White: Let Acidity Play Center Stage. Riesling (semi-dry to dry), Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Viognier have a nice acidity that marries beautifully with most of the dishes you’ll serve, especially the heavier dishes. Also, these wines do a nice job cleansing the palate.
Red: Find Reds that Support the Food. I recommend Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel. Pinot Noir is the food friendliest of all red wines, so it’s one that you should be sure to have. Pinot Noirs often have aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, cranberry and mushroom, making it a good match for Thanksgiving. Syrah and Zinfandel are bigger reds that support the heavier dishes.
Sparkling Wines and Rosés: Celebrate with These. Sparkling wines and dry rosés pair beautifully with just about every Thanksgiving dish, so include them and encourage people to try them. Like the acidic whites, these wines are good cleansers, seemingly giving you more room for the delicious food.
Family Style: The Best Approach. Serve all the wines you decide will work well with your meal, and let people choose which ones they want. You can suggest pairings, but leave the pouring and drinking decisions up to your guests. They’ll be happier, and you’ll have an easier job – something to be thankful for.
Dessert: Serve Sweet Desserts with Sweeter Wines. Be sure the wine you serve with dessert is sweeter than the dessert. If it’s not, both the dessert and the wine might taste a little bitter. Safe bets with sweet desserts are ports and late harvest dessert wines. These also pair well with more savory desserts such as caramelized nuts, blue cheese and figs. Fruity Cabernet Sauvignons also work well with savory desserts.
I hope you found these Thanksgiving wine pairing tips helpful. More importantly, I hope you have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. Be grateful for your family and friends. Be grateful for the food and wine you have on your table. Be grateful for all the positive things you have in your life.
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Betty, I plan to serve that awesome WineShop At Home 2009 Revel rose table wine with dessert. I love the sweet, strawberry like flavor – will go perfect with our cherry pies.
Thank you for these and all the wonderful wine tips you give us in your blog.
Thanks, Lee! I hope that your pie isn’t too sweet. If it is, the Revel rose might not be sweet enough.
Love this and am going to SHARE it. Wine and turkey is always difficult to pair up. I love the Pinot Noir idea. As long as I start off with something REALLY yummy for my first glass, I am less discriminating as the day goes on. 🙂 But, I think lots of us are stumped on what kind of wine to serve on Thanksgiving, so thank you for this, Betty.
I think my favorite for the entire meal is sparkling wine. It’s luxurious, and it makes the whole meal sparkle. But you can’t go wrong with Pinot Noir 🙂
I am going to enjoy a nice Pinot with my Thanksgiving meal. I agree, it is the food friendliest of the reds. I had a Pinot with my vegetarian meatloaf last night and it was delicious.
Oh, that’s great that you did a Pinot with your veggie meatloaf. You had said you were going to do a syrah, which would have also been great. I know that Pinot will go well with whatever you serve on Thursday. Enjoy!
Thanks, Betty! That solves it, I will bring a Riesling and a Pinot Noir.
I was really wondering what was best for pairing, since it is a unique meal.
Maybe I’ll even drop a comment about my pairing choice to impress the in-laws!
Dropping a comment is very important 🙂
Thanks for the tips, Betty! You know I’m a Pinot Noir girl, so I’ll definitely have to get some bottles from you. I love, love, love Riesling as well 🙂
I’m guessing that Pinot will be the most popular wine tomorrow, so you’ll be in good company!
Two of my faves!
I love celebrating with sparkling wines! Thanks for the idea about serving family style, that will help my guests feel more at home and relaxed and it will be much easier for me because I won’t have to play bartender and chef.
I love sparkling wines too. I’m so glad the family-style approach appeals to you. I just think it’s a lot more sane.
This Thanksgiving I will continue to enjoy the Dolcetto! One of my favorites along with the Pinot Noir! Betty thanks for the wine tips!
Happy Thanksgiving to All!!
You still have Dolcetto left? Wow! I’m jealous! Enjoy!
I didn’t realize a desert wine should be sweeter than the desert you are serving. We are serving traditional Pumpkin Pie & Pecan so I’ll try the Late Harvest I have in my stash.
I usually serve Cabernet with dinner because it’s just usually a safe bet for me. But I think I will try the Pinot this year. Thanks for the tips.
You’re welcome. Your pumpkin pie will be very happy being paired with a Late Harvest wine 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
I read this too late (day after), but this is still great information to have and refer to for any future meals! We had a red Italian wine with dinner last night as well as several white wines and champagne that were also offered by our host, but I stuck with the red and was very happy! Your article is inspiring me to explore some different wines I don’t usually consider. Hope your thanksgiving day was wonderful!
I’m so glad you had a great red wine with your Thanksgiving dinner. And you’re right. This information will come in handy for any big meal that you serve or enjoy.