thanksgiving wine pairings

November 20, 2014

I know very little about wine. I take pride in the fact I can pronounce the majority of the varietals correctly. as far as describing the flavor or how well they pair with a food item.. I’m not the girl. I know when I take a sip of wine if I like or I don’t. and that’s the extent of my knowledge. we all have our favorites. I tend to gravitate towards dry reds + whites, and love a good red blend. but what you like isn’t always the best selection for a crowd of people joining you for a holiday feast, such as thanksgiving. so, I called in the expert for the best thanksgiving wine pairings.

the expert just so happens to be my brother. he’s a sommelier, a trained + knowledgeable wine expert. meaning he went to school for wine, which is a school I can definitely get behind. I asked for his expertise in pairing wines with a traditional thanksgiving dinner.

best thanksgiving wine pairings

thanksgiving wine pairings c/o

for thanksgiving, you’re probably going to have a smorgasbord of side dishes that all revolve around turkey. we’re talking potatoes, veggies, casseroles, stuffing, and bread. then of course all of the pies + desserts to follow.

to keep all of your guests happy, he suggests two whites + two reds.

the reds: 

pinot noir

pinot noir is extremely versatile when it comes to food pairings. it’s balanced acidity, soft tannins, earthiness, and fresh fruit flavors will accompany your turkey dinner to perfection. pro tip: try pinot noirs from oregon or california.

syrah (or shiras in australia)

this wine will be for the bigger, bolder red wine drinkers in the family. syrah tends to be a more full-bodied red wine though with earthy notes, blue + black berries, chocolate, espresso, and black pepper flavors. it should be a great option for someone who wants a heavier red for their thanksgiving feast. pro tip: try syrahs from california or shiraz from australia.

the whites: 


this is the most food-friendly white wine that I’m aware of. it’s versatility is perfect for a meal like thanksgiving. it’ll pair with just about everything. reislings come in all sweetness levels from bone dry to extremely sweet. try to find a reisling closer to the dry side of the spectrum for dinner & save the super sweet for dessert. pro tip: try reislings from alsace, france. mosel, germany. or washington state.


this wine is generally categorized towards the more full bodied side of white wines. the reason is that chardonnay wines are typically aged first in oak barrels. chardonnay by itself produces aromas of apple, pear, melon, and citrus but the oak adds a nutty buttery element to the wine. this addition of oak should bring the proper richness to balance a heavy meal like thanksgiving dinner. pro tip: try chardonnay from california or burgundy, france.

my brother is a genius. and if we didn’t have a wine expert in the family, I would totally memorize some of these descriptions & nonchalantly bust them out at dinner.

now that you’ve got a wine list for your thanksgiving feast, it’s time to head your nearest wine store. I am a big fan of aldi + trader joe’s wine selection.

for more thanksgiving inspiration: DIY place cards + a thanksgiving tree, and apple cider moscow mules.

happy (almost) thanksgiving.

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  • Becky @ Olives n Wine November 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Le sigh. Now I want some vino 😉 I am definitely not a wine expert either but for some reason, I’d go with Sauvignon Blanc over Chard… personal preference. And then if no one else drank it. THE BOTTLE WOULD BE MINEEEE. Ahem. I’m jealous that you have a brother with this kind of knowledge at your fingertips. If I were to go to school again, this would totally be my jam.

  • Coral's Country November 21, 2014 at 10:35 am

    What great suggestions! I also really love your layout. I added you to a link-up if you’re free to do it some Thursday! Thanks!