Thanksgiving Wines Under $30


Americans buy more wine for Thanksgiving dinner than for any other holiday. Big, bold and sometimes conflicting flavors at the Thanksgiving table can make wine buying confusing. Here are some under-$30 wine recommendations that are both American-made and safe bets for Turkey Day.

Sparkling Wine

The “can’t go wrong with bubbles” motto applies to Thanksgiving perfectly. Sparkling wine is both festive and incredibly food-friendly. Here are some affordable options:

  • Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut (Anderson Valley, California): $22 – Rich and slightly oaky sparkling wine with light Asian apple aromas but with bolder flavors of ripe, juicy pear and nutty notes. Great clean, crisp finish.
  • Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé (Napa Valley, California): $25 – Pale pink in the glass with a light strawberry aroma, juicy fruit flavors and a slightly spicy finish.
  • Chateau Frank Celebre (Finger Lakes, New York): $20 – Cremant-style sparkling wine with an Asian pear flavor and long, dry finish.

White Wine

Many think of white wine as the go-to match for poultry.  Think of these value wines when pairing with turkey:

  • 2008 Thomas Fogarty Gewürtztraminer (Monterey County, California): $14 – Tropical fruit aromas and flavors of clementine, papaya and lychee.
  • 2011 Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling (Finger Lakes, New York): $12 – Pear and pineapple flavors with a trace of sweetness and a nice level of acidity.
  • 2011 Chateau Montelena Potter Valley Riesling (Potter Valley, California): $25 – Juicy pear, honey notes, long and spicy finish.
  • 2010 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma, California): $30 – Floral aromas with tropical fruit notes. Pink grapefruit, Meyer lemons, a drizzle of honey and Asian pear flavors.

Red Wine

A light-bodied, not overly tannic red wine is a popular option to pair with white and dark turkey meat and also with earthy flavors of stuffing.  Here are some solid options that won’t break the bank:

  • 2010 Hahn Winery Pinot Noir Monterey (Monterey, California): $14 – Aromas of ripe raspberries and cherries, rich with raspberry preserves with notes of pumpkin pie spice flavors.
  • 2010 Heart and Hands Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes, New York): $21 – Aromas of red berries, flavors of ripe cherries on a beautifully-balanced wine.
  • 2010 Garnet Carneros Pinot Noir (Carneros, California): $20 – Intense floral and strawberry aromas with earthy/mushroomy notes. Bright cherry flavors with slightly woodsy undertones.
  • 2008 Gundlach Bundschu Pinot Noir (Sonoma, California): $30 – Rich wine with ripe dark cherries and juicy dark berries on the nose and palate. Earthy and delicious.

If you are asked to bring wine for Thanksgiving, know that a light body red or a full body white are good options. Whatever you opt to pour, enjoy it!

Here are some of our favorite New Jersey wine shops selling some of these Thanksgiving wines:

  • Gary’s Wine – Bernardsville, Madison and Wayne
  • ShopRite Liquors – Rockaway, Lincoln Park
  • Bottle King – Hillsborough
  • Buy Rite Liquor – Milltown, Pompton Plains

Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County, NJ. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.