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Pairing Wines for Thanksgiving? Here’s a Cheat Sheet

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Let’s get real: Thanksgiving is basically the Super Bowl of holidays. It’s not only a time to showcase your culinary expertise, but also a chance to flex your wine knowledge. After all, what better way to elevate the holiday’s requisite smorgasbord than with expertly-chosen wine pairings?  

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Thanksgiving wine pairings can be a high-stakes game, especially if your guest list runs long. With a wide range of bold flavors on the table and so many palates to please, there’s plenty that can go wrong.  

But don’t fret. We’ve tasked Wine Enthusiast’s Tasting Department with selecting the perfect bottles to complement Thanksgiving-ready dishes from our recipe library, which is filled with modern takes on holiday classics from juicy white wine-brined turkey to bourbon-spiked pecan pie. Consider this your official Thanksgiving wine pairings cheat sheet.

With these tempting food and drink pairings, your Thanksgiving is sure to be guaranteed touchdown. 

The Best Wine to Pair with Turkey: Domaine Chante Cigale 2020 White (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

Toasted wood chips lend a smoky character to a White Wine-Brined Turkey, which shines even more brightly beside this juicy, thirst-quenching style of Châteauenuf-du-Pape blanc. With notes of crisp white pear and grapefruit, the bottling also delivers a hint of sweet spice and anise.

$52 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Green Beans: Tokara 2018 Director’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon (Stellenbosch)

The Best Wine to Pair with Sweet Potatoes: D’Arenberg 2017 d’Arry’s Original Grenache-Shiraz (McLaren Vale)

89 Points Wine Enthusiast

Middle Eastern, European and North African flavors mingle in our unique Whole Roasted Sweet Potato with Tahini and Pomegranate Molasses side, which lands sweet and savory notes in each bite. Serve it alongside this 50-50 blend of Grenache and Shiraz, which conjures notes of ripe blueberries, violets, soft peppercorn and earthy, savory spice.

$26 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Roast Carrots: The Pinot Project 2020 Pinot Noir (California)

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

Thanksgiving dinner feeling too heavy? Even it out with a light Ash-Roasted Carrots side, which also features honey-laced granola packed with toasted flax, pumpkin, white sesame and sunflower seeds, plus hemp hearts. Pair it with this straightforward Pinot Noir, which gives classic red and black cherry notes alongside a hint of cinnamon.


$14 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Mashed Potatoes: Winzer Krems 2019 Reserve Ried Kremser Wachtberg Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal)

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

A punchy side of Blue Cheese Whipped Potatoes might just steal the spotlight from your turkey centerpiece. Serve it alongside this rich and fruity Grüner Veltliner, which offers concentrated flavors of crisp apple, grapefruit and mineral.

$28 Wine-Searcher

The Best Wine to Pair with Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Altos de Torona 2021 Albariño (Rías Baixas)

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

Be the one to finally convince everybody that brussels sprouts are actually good with our bacon-laden Roasted Brussels Sprouts offering. It goes fantastically with this light yellow-hued Albariño, which packs flavors of lemon, white peach, passion fruit, dried thyme and almond.

$19 Wine-Searcher

The Best Wine to Pair with Cranberry Sauce: Jean Loron 2020 Château de Fleurie (Fleurie)

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

A fresh, sweet-and-tart spin on “Canned” Cranberry Sauce finds a perfect partner in this dry red Beaujolais, which is structured with plenty of firm tannins and filled with black fruit flavor.

$14.42 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Cornbread Stuffing: J. Lohr 2020 Riverstone Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco)

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

No matter if you’re a stuffing or a dressing person—if it’s prepared inside the bird, it’s “stuffing,” but on the outside, it’s “dressing”—Cornbread and Fennel Sausage Stuffing is sure to be a hit. The dish’s fatty undertones, supplied by rendered pancetta fat or turkey drippings, beg to be paired with this chalky-structured Chardonnay. It brims with light aromas of lemon, honey, nectarine and crushed white rock.

$14 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Macaroni and Cheese: Château de Valmer NV Brut (Vouvray)

89 Points Wine Enthusiast

Why settle for regular mac and cheese when you can have Fondue Mac and Cheese? Rich and creamy, it’s a delightful counterpoint to this fresh, textured Chenin Blanc, which serves up tight acidity and notes of green fruit and citrus.

$18.67 Vivino

The Best Wine to Pair with Apple Pie: Château d’Arche 2019 Soleil d’Arche (Sauternes)

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

It isn’t quite Thanksgiving without pie. We’re partial to Whiskey Old Fashioned Apple Pie, which combines the heady flavors of a traditional apple pie with a those of a classic whiskey cocktail, the Old Fashioned. It cries out for a glass of honeyed Sauternes, which conveys notes of apricot fruits and ripe orange peel.

$36 Wine-Searcher

The Best Wine to Pair with Pecan Pie: Kopke NV 10 Years Old Tawny (Port)

88 Points Wine Enthusiast

Not into apple pie? Go the nutty route with a dark brown sugar-packed Bourbon, Almond and Pecan Pie. Pair slices with glassfuls of this fruit-forward Port, which offers some youthful, wood-aging flavors.


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All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.