Thanksgiving Wine Pairings to Please Everyone

Thanksgiving dinner table full of food.
Photo by: Bhofack2

Thanksgiving may look a bit different this year. Smaller gatherings mean smaller Turkeys and Hams. This may be the perfect year to have Cornish Hens. Those little birds are ideal for a single serving. Or maybe it means lots of leftovers.

Whichever direction your Thanksgiving takes you, I'm sure there will still be familiar foods gracing your table. And your wine pairings will be just as important as always. 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

  • 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!