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Thanksgiving Wine Pairings to Please Everyone

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Thanksgiving dinner table full of food.
Photo by: Bhofack2

Will this Thanksgiving mark a return to normal with larger gatherings around the table? Let's hope so! Just get those Turkeys and Hams early before they run out. And start considering your wine pairings to have on hand.

Luckily, most Thanksgiving foods pair with a variety of red and white wine. Have a couple of options on hand and you'll be sure to please all of your guests.

Roasted Turkey Wine Pairings

You can expect the star of the show to pair easily with both red and white wine. These options are perfect for the biggest food day of the year.

  • Dry Riesling Look for Trocken on the bottle (means dry).

  • Chardonnay Look for one with light oak like the Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay or no oak like a French Chablis.

  • Pinot Noir

  • Merlot

Glazed Ham Wine Pairings

A roasted ham with a brown sugar glaze will have that nice sweet and salty taste. Again you can please both white wine and red wine lovers.

  • Riesling Select a dry, off-dry, or semi-sweet Riesling (aka Kabinett or Spatelese). Find tips for identifying sweetness levels for Riesling in this post.

  • Shiraz/Syrah

Duck Wine Pairings

Duck is a very fatty meat, which means it pairs really well with a full, tannic red wine. That dry tannin will wash down the fat and create a nice flavor balance for the meal.

  • Merlot

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Bordeaux Consider a Bordeaux from either the right or left bank. They are a blend of Merlot and Cabernet.

Cornish Hen Wine Pairings

The Cornish hen is the perfect-sized poultry for each dinner guest. Just think, each guest can have a breast, leg, and thigh. Not a bad approach to Thanksgiving.

  • Chardonnay Oaked or unoaked would pair well with this bird.

  • Pinot Noir

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings Summary

These wines made from the 7 Noble Grapes truly are versatile and can work across a spectrum of food. Try a couple of options and see what you and your guests like the best with your main course.

Here's to a happy & healthy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Share your wine pairing approach to Thanksgiving this year. :) We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


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