How to Pair Wine at Thanksgiving – Not Just Turkey Talk

It only seemed like my good old American Family Stateside was celebrating, but that was last year…how time flies! While it’s not a UK celebration, it is known throughout the world. I’ve been fortunate to have celebrated Thanksgiving a few times, so here goes my ode to my Turkey eating friends…it’s all about how to pair wine at Thanksgiving!

We do forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It’s a time when we show our gratitude and give thanks. Families and friends, near and far, squish themselves around a table that is crammed with delicious Thanksgiving dishes that is too small for the masses, but it’s not about space, it’s about the people, food and wine. To those who’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving the thought of it might make you shiver, but it’s the chaos and laughter (and of course the Thanksgiving food) that makes it the favourite holiday of the year for the majority of people across the ditch.

If you’ve seen Thanksgiving celebrated in US family movies, there’s no exaggeration. Eager hands are willing to offer a hand, stories are shared, and then there’s the appetizing Thanksgiving smorgasbord and celebratory Thanksgiving drinks.

Clearly, you know what to eat at Thanksgiving. There’s enough turkey and sides to last weeks, and the traditional pumpkin pie is to die for – it is a true sensory elation! But forget about the food, what are the perfect Thanksgiving wines?

Thanksgiving Red Wine


Red red wine…it makes me want to break out into the old UB40 classic song. But given red wine is my favourite, it deserves first mention. A lighter bodied wine, which is soft on the palate, such as Pinot Noir, is the perfect wine match for poultry and cranberries at Thanksgiving – earthy and fruity, you can’t go wrong with Pinot Noir at Thanksgiving.

Chardonnay Thanksgiving Thanks


Thanksgiving dishes and sides that are richer in flavour, such as gravy, creamy mashed potatoes, casserole, yams and pumpkin pie go beautifully with a fully-bodied white wine, such as a Chardonnay. An oaked Chardonnay has a hint of creaminess to it, a perfect pairing to that buttery and sinful mash and gravy. An unoaked Chardonnay has more hints of apple and citrus for those who prefer a fruitier and subtler wine.

Sweet Wines and Pumpkin Pie


Lighter-bodied white wines, which have notes of flowers and fruits, such as the aromatic Riesling, creates a perfect contrast to the abundance of savoury Thanksgiving dishes. For the savoury Thanksgiving sides, opt for a dry Riesling, and save the sweeter version for dessert.

Or, if you’re looking for some delicious winter wine cocktails, there are plethora of exciting wine cocktail recipes to be explored.

Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and gathering with loved ones, but such a gathering is not a real celebration without the right wines to match. It’s time to raise your wine glass for a toast – eat pie, drink wine and be thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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