Thanksgiving Wines That Deserve a Spot on the Table, According to Sommeliers

Bottles of wine against burgundy table cloth
Courtesy Images; Unsplash

Turkey may be the star of your Thanksgiving feast. But a curated lineup of the best Thanksgiving wines? That’s your supporting cast. Because your feast is a cornucopia of flavors—herb-spiced stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes, slabs of pumpkin pie—the wine pairing possibilities are practically endless.

To help narrow things down, sommeliers and other wine experts shared the reds, whites, and bubbles that make it to their tables on Thanksgiving Day. These bottles are versatile enough to move through courses, though some pair especially well with specific dishes. Whether you’re gifting or hosting, here are nine Thanksgiving wines that really shine.

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Bottle of Saint-Chamant Champagne
Saint-Chamant Champagne Courtesy Image

1. Saint-Chamant Champagne

Hosting rule No.1: Start a special meal with bubbles. “It lends itself well to a toast and pairs well alongside appetizers,” says Rebecca Carey, regional director of food and beverage of Lore Group’s Washington D.C. properties, Riggs Washington D.C. and Lyle Washington D.C. Because Thanksgiving is a special meal, Carey recommends splurging a little with Saint-Chamant Champagne. “This is my go-to winter Champagne, with toasty almond notes,” she says. “It’s cozy but fresh.” If you’re having a big feast and looking for a budget-friendly alternative to Champagne, cava is good too.

[$53.50; vivino.com]

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Bottle of Terres Dorées L'Ancien Beaujolais Villages
Terres Dorées L’Ancien Beaujolais Villages Courtesy Image

2. Terres Dorées L’Ancien Beaujolais Villages

Just south of Burgundy is a little place called Beaujolais that cuts loose with its affordable and light red wines that come from thin-skinned gamay noir grapes, which have a playful bubblegum aroma thanks to the carbonic maceration process. Nouveau Beaujolais is especially popular around Thanksgiving, mostly because that’s when it’s released. But this Terres Dorées L’Ancien Beaujolais drinks closer to a cru Beaujolais (more texture and complexity) than it does nouveau Beaujolais (the affordable harvest wine), notes Dylan Melvin, sommelier for Foxtrot Market in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. “If you’re a cranberry sauce or sweet potato fan, this is a great wine to enhance those flavors,” he says. Tasting notes include fresh raspberries, strawberries, leather, and black pepper.

[$22.99; wine.com]

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Bottle of LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay
LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay Courtesy Image

3. LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay

For a wine that’ll pair perfectly with side dishes and deep-fried turkey, go with the LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay, Melvin suggests. This wine is not your typical luscious chard. It’s balanced with fresh acidity, making it exceptionally food-friendly. You might get notes of Golden Delicious apple and toasted oak—the perfect sip with stuffing.

[$25.49; totalwine.com]

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Bottle of Ron Rubin Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018
Ron Rubin Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018 Courtesy Image

4. Ron Rubin Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018

Dry, medium-bodied with loads of fresh cherries and strawberries, this pinot noir is silky on the palate and can stand up to some of the richer dishes on your Thanksgiving table, according to Stefanie Schwartz, sommelier at Crown Shy in New York City. It’s also a good match for the trickier-to-pair dishes like cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.

[$25; ronrubinwinery.com]

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Bottle of Gamble Family Sauvignon Blanc
Gamble Family Sauvignon Blanc Courtesy Image

5. Gamble Family Sauvignon Blanc

Sauv blanc is crisp, fresh, and acidic, which is the opposite of the creamy goodness of mac n’ cheese and buttery mashed potatoes, says wine expert Nia Ruth, owner of the Nia Ruth Wine Club. “Sauvignon blanc’s acidity will cut through the butter, cream, and cheese for a wine and food match made in heaven,” she says. This classic from Gamble Family bursts with notes of white peach and fresh honeycomb.

[$41.99; vivino.com]

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Bottle of Darioush Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Darioush Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Courtesy Image

6. Darioush Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

For a go-to Thanksgiving wine, Brendan O’Donovan, a certified sommelier based in Napa Valley, California, recommends Darioush Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. “In its youth, it consistently displays a lighter body and fruit forwardness that makes it a wonderful pairing with brined, herb-roasted turkey,” he says. “Wild strawberry and bright red cherry pour out of the glass, with notes of rose petal, baking spice, and black tea surrounding great depth and complexity.” For extra credit, a well-structured acid backbone will stand up to the cranberry sauce, while the earth and spice notes carry home the stuffing and sweet potatoes.

[$139.99; wine.com]

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Bottle of 2016 Chateau de Montfrin ‘A La Douceur d’Aller’ Cotes du Rhone Red Blend
2016 Chateau de Montfrin ‘A La Douceur d’Aller’ Cotes du Rhone Red Blend Courtesy Image

7. 2016 Chateau de Montfrin ‘A La Douceur d’Aller’ Cotes du Rhone Red Blend

Nicknamed “turkey wine,” this red blend marries syrah and grenache, and has notes of black cherry, blackberry liquor, pepper, and baking spices, notes Tamy Rofe, sommelier and co-owner of Colonia Verde and Disco Tacos in Brooklyn and Comodo in New York City. It’s smooth and the body is structured with a finish of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso beans. Plus Chateau de Montfrin is passionate about organic farming and making clean wines. “This wine is truly November in a bottle,” says Rofe. “It’s one that I can always count on to be my turkey’s right hand man at this time of year.”

[$40; wine-searcher.com]

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Bottle of Primarius Reserve Pinot Noir
Primarius Reserve Pinot Noir Courtesy Image

8. Primarius Reserve Pinot Noir

Skip the beer and savor your pumpkin pie with a glass of silky Oregon pinot. Primarius Reserve Pinot Noir starts with aromas of dark cherry and spice, according to Desi Saeva-Johnson, sommelier at Lodge KOHLER in Green Bay, WI. But the clove, cinnamon, and ginger spice flavors that linger on the palate make it a noble pairing with pumpkin pie. It also pairs well with the good ol’ Thanksgiving tradition of watching football—as the winemaker Sarah Cabot plays in the Women’s National Football Conference for the Oregon Ravens.

[19.99; totalwine.com]

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Bottle of 2020 Roussanne La Pradera Vineyards
2020 Roussanne La Pradera Vineyards Courtesy Image

9. 2020 Roussanne La Pradera Vineyards

Considered Texas’s answer to chardonnay, roussanne has floral aromatics and refreshing acidity with a wider range of pairing possibilities than an oaky chardonnay. “The first time we smelled our 2020 Roussanne it reminded us of a high-quality butter, which makes this the perfect wine to pair with all your Thanksgiving dishes,” says Kelsey Kramer, the in-house sommelier at William Chris Wine Company. “Butter goes with everything from cauliflower mashed potatoes to turkey or your green bean casserole, so this wine will enhance your full Thanksgiving spread.” The roussanne also has notes of lemon, apricot, and cantaloupe and delivers a clean finish.

[$32; wine-searcher.com]

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