Thanksgiving Day is a time to reflect on what it is we’re thankful for this year. It is a time to appreciate family and friends and invite special guests over for a holiday dinner. At Just Wine, we are especially grateful for delicious wines, paired with some of Thanksgiving’s most popular dishes. If you’re wondering what wines you should be serving with this Fall’s big family gathering, here are some ideas for the perfect Autumn food and wine pairings. So gather around the table and let us help you take the guess work out of your Thanksgiving dinner wine pairings.
This is a bit of a lengthy post. You can jump to the pairing of your interest by clicking one of the links below, or just keep scrolling!
- Turkey & Wine Pairing
- Honey Ham & Wine Pairing
- Thanksgiving Dinner Fixings (Turkey Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Yams, etc) & Wine Pairing
- Pumpkin Pie & Wine Pairing
Thanksgiving’s Traditional Main Dish:
Oven-Roasted Turkey Dinner
Thanksgiving Day wouldn’t be the same without an oven roasted turkey for the main dish. No matter what the trimmings are, you’ll want to make sure you’ve roasted that turkey to perfection. Choosing wines that will compliment the focal point of the meal is important to enhance the flavours of the wine and the food.
Wines that Pair with Turkey Dinner
Red Wine Pairing with Turkey Dinner: Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a must-have for Turkey Dinner. This light-bodied red wine has beautiful red fruit characteristics like cranberry along with earthy, herbal qualities like cloves and dried herbs. The flavour characteristics mimic all the traditional flavours of Thanksgiving dinner and because of its low tannins it pairs well with both white meat and dark meat.
Our Pinot Noir wine recommendation:
Brooks Winery Pinot Noir — Willamette Valley, Oregon (OR), USA
White Wine Pairing with Turkey Dinner: Chardonnay
The weather is cooler and you’re bundling up with fall sweaters, but that doesn’t mean you need to put the white wine away. Chardonnay is a full bodied white wine perfect for Autumn meals, including Thanksgiving dinner. Choose a Chardonnay with very subtle oak treatment, rather than an over the top, buttery oak bomb. A Chardonnay with well integrated oak will match the texture of your turkey dinner without overpowering those oven roasted flavours.
Our Chardonnay wine recommendation:
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Chardonnay — Okanagan Valley, BC VQA, Canada
How To Oven Roast A Turkey
Not sure how long to cook your turkey? This link will help!
Whether you’re cooking up a frozen or fresh turkey, a stuffed turkey, a turkey loaf or turkey breasts, here are step by step instructions on how to oven roast your Thanksgiving Day turkey.
Thanksgiving Day’s Other Main Dish:
Honey Glazed Baked Ham
The sweet smell of baked ham coming from the oven on Thanksgiving Day is enough to make anyone thankful. We love to gather around the dinner table, sipping wine and soaking in the aromas of a sliced honey ham.
Wines that Pair with Baked Honey Ham
Red Wine Pairing with Glazed Honey Ham: Gamay Noir
A great option for Thanksgiving dinner is Gamay because it pairs so well with both turkey and ham. So no matter which entree you choose — or both — you’ve got a great wine match. Fruit driven with low tannins and mouth watering acidity make Gamay very food friendly.
Our Gamay Noir wine recommendation:
JoieFarm 2016 Gamay — Okanagan Valley, BC VQA, Canada
White Wine Pairing with Glazed Honey Ham: Gewürztraminer
Why is Gewürztraminer so amazing with sweet baked ham? The flavour profile of Gewürztraminer matches the tropical, honey notes of the ham. Both are very aromatic and ham is often baked with oranges or pineapple which tastes delicious with this wine.
Our Gewürztraminer wine recommendation:
Zinck Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Eichberg
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Honey Glaze
Nothing says holiday season like honey ham baking in a country kitchen.
This recipe from country music singer, Trisha Yearwood
will make you thankful for simpler times.
Don’t forget the Side Dishes: Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and Yams
Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without all the fixins. It takes a little of everything to please the whole family so don’t forget about the side dishes: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, stuffing (or as some of you say, dressing) and of course the mixed peas and corn!
Wines that Pair with Any Side Dish
Rosé Wine Pairing with Thanksgiving Dinner: Dry California Rosé
We think dry style rosé is always the way to go, no matter what time of the year. After all, it’s #roséallday! Rosé is very food friendly because of its higher acidity, low tannins and delicate fruit. You can have a glass of rosé as an aperitif during cocktail hour and continue to enjoy it throughout dinner.
Our Rosé wine recommendation:
Deerfield Ranch 2016 Checkerbloom Rosé, Sonoma, California, USA
Sparkling Wine Pairing with Thanksgiving Dinner: Prosecco
Everyone loves Prosecco. It’s a crowd pleaser and if there was ever a reason to celebrate, it’s Thanksgiving Day. Of course, no one wants to break the bank over the holidays, and Prosecco is a tasty and very affordable way of saying cheers to what you’re thankful for. Start the holiday festivities with Prosecco and drink throughout the meal if you like. It goes with everything — especially the company of good friends.
Our Prosecco wine recommendation:
La Tordera Alnè Extra Dry Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing Recipe
Grandma was right. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.
Looking for a tasty stuffing/dressing recipe, don’t mess with tradition.
Try this one from All Recipes
Thanksgiving Day’s Grande Finale:
Pumpkin Pie and Whipped Cream
Sometimes we “suffer” through dinner just to get to dessert. This is definitely the case with pumpkin pie. It’s not a dessert we think of until Fall comes around and the holiday season begins. Then, like a pumpkin spiced latte, this pie is constantly on our minds. Good thing we have the perfect wine pairings for this seasonal delight.
Wines that Pair with Pumpkin Pie for Dessert
Dessert Wine Pairing with Pumpkin Pie: Medium Sweet Sherry.
Put down the Bristol Cream and reach for a medium sweet style of sherry. Without being overly sweet, you get a mouthful of delicious dried fruit flavours with caramel, toffee, vanilla, roasted almonds and a hint of cloves. It really is the perfect way to end a meal.
Our dessert wine recommendation:
Nutty Solera Medium Oloroso Sherry — Jerez, Spain
White Wine Pairing with Pumpkin Pie: Viognier
We understand that not everyone loves the sweet stuff so we have a great alternative to dessert wine: Viognier. Often the supporting flavours in Viognier are baking spices, brown butter and vanilla which are all amazing with pumpkin pie. Balance that with a hint of honey, tonnes of fruit like apricot, peach and tangerine, and throw in that rich, creamy texture, Viognier not only pairs well with this dessert, you could carry it through the entire meal starting with the honey baked ham.
Our Viognier wine recommendation:
TH Wines Viognier — Okanagan Valley, BC VQA, Canada
Try this Great Pie Recipe:
Homemade Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
Don’t forget the Pie Topping:
Homemade Maple Whipped Cream
No matter what you’re eating and drinking this Thanksgiving, be sure to pause and say thanks for your loved wines… uh, we mean loved ones.
Did we miss a wine pairing for your favourite Thanksgiving dish?
Let us know what dish we missed. Clicking here, send us an email, and we’ll pair it with wine for your holiday!