The Best Wine For Thanksgiving

best wine for thanksgiving

Gobble ‘til you wobble … 

Is there anything better than a holiday dedicated to eating and drinking all day long? We think not. But just because your favorite wine is a bold Cabernet Sauvignon, doesn’t mean the Thanksgiving feast is the time to decant a nice bottle. This year, let the meal have its moment, and compliment every dish with a crisp glass of vino. After all, if you’re filling up on a heavy red, how are you supposed to save room for pie? 

To guarantee that everyone is satisfied, stock up on these wines for Thanksgiving dinner, and give thanks for a perfectly paired meal! 


Light, crisp, and refreshing — a sparkling white wine is ideal during the biggest feast of the year! The bubbles act as both an apéritif and palate cleanser, and is a convenient crowd pleaser around the holiday season. Did we mention sparkling wine pairs with everything on the table? Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and even that questionable jello salad …whatever it is, a bubbly just works. 


Unless you want everyone snoring on the couch by 3 p.m., we don’t typically recommend red wines to accompany your Thanksgiving feast (especially a heavy Cab or Malbec). The one exception? A light yet smooth Pinot Noir. Avoid high-alcohol Pinots (above 13% ABV) for a lighter flavor. Don’t forget to break out the big wine glasses to glam-up the table, and take in all the aromas that these wines have to offer. 


There’s a chance some of your side dishes required white wine, and if so, we’re willing to bet you bought Sauvignon Blanc. Good thing, because this wine works with just about anything! Use it to cook, then pour yourself a glass and offer one up to whoever else is lingering in the kitchen. After all, the chefs need to relax too … especially whoever is stuck peeling potatoes. 


This one’s for all the health nuts out there! If your Thanksgiving looks more colorful, is vegetarian, or doesn’t include a pound of butter, then Pinot Grigio is the best wine for you. This vino pairs best with light, fresh flavors and herbs. So a fancy vegetable platter, pomegranate kale salad, or stuffed acorn squash works well alongside a glass of this refreshing white wine. Even if your meal is traditional, have a bottle ready just in case — you may want something lighter in the following days to pair with the leftovers. 


Rule of thumb: The bigger your gathering is, the less you can dictate what people drink. You don’t want to be cooking the meal while Uncle Bob is complaining that there’s no red wine and your cousin is pulling on your sleeve asking for rosé. Enter the canned wine variety pack

Canned wine is economical, not as wasteful, and requires less glassware (if guests are cool sipping from the can). Traveling to someone else’s Thanksgiving shindig? Forget the sad side salad, a 24-pack of canned wine is one of the best hosting gifts you can bring. These cans pair best with football (both backyard pickup games and watching the pros on TV), and are perfect for a feast where everyone serves themselves.

Erin Hooker

Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.

Back to blog