Fifty Thanksgiving Wines

Autumn oak leaves

A spirited selection of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines for America’s favorite meal

Thanksgiving tastes evolve slowly. It can take generations for Auntie’s Jell-o mold to vanish from the table and Junior’s kale salad to colonize the void. Wine tastes, on the other hand, evolve more rapidly. One day the chatter’s all about red blends and Sherry, and then—poof!—everyone’s moved on to the Jura and rosé.

Each Thanksgiving season I review and update my canonical article on Thanksgiving wine pairing. To honor shifting fashion, I’ll edit the specifics by, say, adding Etna Rosso and dialing back sweet Riesling. But certain essentials hold true year after year. No single wine works well with every flavor on the Thanksgiving table, but I’ve discovered certain styles that are consistently successful. These run the gamut from sparkling wines to spirited whites and reds to earthier wines that are still light on tannin and alcohol.

This year, after tuning the article’s general advice, I pulled together a list of specific Thanksgiving wines that fit my recommended categories. These wines are all from recent tastings, so you might have a chance of snagging these vintages from your favorite merchant. And in honor of the holiday’s provenance, I’ve only included wines grown and made in America.

 

Fifty Thanksgiving Wines

 

Sparkling Wines

Celebratory and cleansing, sparkling wines kick off the meal and refresh the palate between rich bites:

 

Spirited Whites

Great with light meat and vegetarian options, but they can also cut through butter and cream:

 

Full-bodied Whites

These wines have the heft to balance bold flavors but they’re fresh enough not to swamp more delicate dishes:

 

Rosés

Rosé has lively acidity but often more body than white wines, and its berry flavors complement poultry and vegetable sides:

 

Juicy Reds

These act like liquid cranberry sauce for the bird, and they’re also light enough for vegetarian fare:

 

Savory, Spicy Reds

Earthier, darker red wines complement the most savory elements on the plate: dark meat turkey, sausage dressing, and bitter greens:

You might also enjoy this article on Thanksgiving wine pairing.

 

Many thanks to Terroirist for recommending this article to their readers.

All but a few of the recommended wines were samples for review. See the individual articles for complete details.

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6 Comments

  1. says: Tom

    You do know they make wine in Washington, right? Not sure how you can compile a list of 50 domestic wines to recommend and not have one from Washington.

    1. Tom, thanks for reading, and for your enthusiasm for Washington State’s wines. As you note in your follow-up comment, I did include a Washington State wine in the roundup—DeLille’s Chaleur Blanc. I’ve written extensively about Washington this season here and elsewhere after my weeklong visit this spring. Find my articles and other Washington wine reviews in the Washington State category.

  2. says: Tom

    Just noticed that you did have one, the Chaleur Estate Blanc (apologize for writing that you didn’t pick one!). Great wine but WA still way under-represented. Cheers!

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