Domenico Winery + Osteria

thanksgiving wine pairings including turkey

Don’t Miss The Best 10 Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

The holidays are right around the corner. It is time to think about how to pair the best wines with Thanksgiving dishes can enhance the meal’s flavors and create a delightful dining experience. Here are some Thanksgiving wine pairing suggestions:

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Appetizers

We are going to keep this one simple with two words: sparkling wine!

To get Thanksgiving festivities, a glass of bubbly always does the trick. More specifically, a dry sparkling white wine – as it has the lightness to go with simple appetizers and the acidity to cut through the creamiest (like a decadent baked brie!) Dry sparkling gives you a wide range of options to please various palates – you can go for a more fruit-forward Prosecco or a more earthy mineral Blanc de Blanc Champagne, the choice is up to you!

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Turkey

thanksgiving turkey wine pairing

The traditional centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal needs an equally impressive bottle to pair.

What’s excellent about turkey is that – as a white meat – it can easily pair with both red and white wines. That means more pleased palates at Thanksgiving lunch or dinner! So, which wines you ask? Consider pairing your turkey with a medium-bodied red with earthy undertones like Pinot Noir. Its cherry notes and herbaceousness go flawlessly with the gameness of turkey.

Looking for a white wine? A wine with body and crisp fruit like a slightly oak Chardonnay will do the trick. It has the acidity to handle gravy and the body to keep up with a good slab of turkey meat. Not a fan of Chard? We recommend going for a zippy dry Riesling. It has beautiful orchard fruit characters and herbal notes that pair phenomenally with turkey.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Side Dishes


We understand that there are many kinds of stuffings out there. But, let’s talk about a classic, simple stuffing. Though its flavors are still complex – with various herbs and seasonings – a safe pick is an approachable medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or a rustic, earthy Chianti.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

There is a lot of wine pairing fun to be had with mashed potatoes and gravy. Fortunately, this classic sidekick to turkey can go just as easily with turkey’s best wine pairings. This creamy, savory side can be complemented by a buttery Chardonnay paired with your turkey or a light red wine such as Pinot Noir or even a Beaujolais.

Cranberry Sauce

One of the simple tips in wine pairing is matching flavors. The tartness of cranberry sauce pairs well with the tartness in wines like a vibrant Grenache. However, the sweeter cranberry sauces will go wonderfully with sweet wines like a Gewürztraminer or a sparkling Rosé.

Sweet Potatoes or Yams

What we love about sweet potatoes or yams on Thanksgiving is how the dishes carry both sweet and savory elements. This may seem like it will make wine pairings complicated, but have no fear! An off-dry Riesling will balance everything. Or, you can even twist it up with a zesty Chenin Blanc.

Green Bean Casserole

We couldn’t leave out this classic! Green bean casserole’s creamy texture pairs well with a crisp, acidic white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied red like Beaujolais.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Dessert

And, that means pie – lots of it!

thanksgiving pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Pie

The tried and true Thanksgiving dessert classic has many wine friends. Pumpkin pie can be paired with a sweet, full-bodied wine like a late-harvest Riesling, a sparkling Moscato, or a rich and nutty Sherry.

Apple Pie

What is very fun about this dessert is that it doesn’t have to pair with a sweet wine. The fruity, cinnamon flavors of apple pie can be complemented by a light-bodied Pinot Noir, an oaked Chardonnay with toasty and buttery notes, or – if you want to be extra fancy – a vintage Champagne with brioche undertones. If you do want a sweet wine though, slightly sweet Riesling will do just the trick.

Pecan Pie

The rich, nutty flavors of pecan pie go well with a sweet, fortified wine such as a tawny Port or a sweet Madeira.

We hope you enjoyed this round-up of Thanksgiving wine pairings. Remember that these are just suggestions, and personal preferences may vary. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consider both the weight of the dish and the wine. Enjoy experimenting with these pairings to find the combination that works best for your Thanksgiving feast.