In the United States, more wine is sold around Thanksgiving than any other holiday. Dark meat, white meat, spiced dressing, gravy, tart cranberries… Pairing the perfect wines with this meal can be a challenge—even with so many of us keeping it small this year.
A good rule of thumb is to have a selection of both white and red wine on the table, ideally with both a white wine glass and a red wine glass with each table setting.
For this all-American holiday, I find it appropriate to pour American wines. The following Thanksgiving wines can be found at your local New Jersey wine store. You’ll find some shopping recommendations at the end of this post. Prices may vary.
Sparkling Wines for Thanksgiving
Sparkling wine should always be on hand for Thanksgiving as it’s both festive and food friendly. Serve bubbly to set the mood and pop a bottle for dinner as it pairs well with many food flavors.
- Gruet Winery Blanc de Noirs NV, New Mexico, $17.00
- 2015 Schramsberg Blanc De Blancs Brut Napa Valley, $32.99
- 2016 William Heritage Vintage Brut, New Jersey, $35.00
- Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Rosé Sonoma County, $18.99
- 2017 Sparkling Pointe Blanc de Blancs North Fork, $29.99
- Carboniste – Gomes Vineyard Sparkling Albariño NV, $28.99
Thanksgiving White Wines
Riesling is always a top pick for Turkey Day with its apple and honey flavors and great acidity—perfect for white and dark meat and for the bold flavors of candied sweet potatoes and spiced stuffing.
- 2017 Ravines Riesling Dry, $15.99
- 2017 Tatomer Kick-on Ranch Riesling Santa Barbara, $31.99
- 2018 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling, $16.99
- 2018 Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley, $21.99
Another much-loved Thanksgiving favorite is Gewürztraminer with its very aromatic nose and spicy palate. Great for rich casserole (think green bean) and turkey with gravy.
- 2018 Forgeron Cellars Blacksmith Blanc Yakima Valley, $19.99
- 2019 Husch Gewurztraminer Anderson Valley, $14.99
- 2018 Gundlach Bundschu Gewurztraminer Sonoma County, $23.99
- 2018 B. Lovely Gewurztraminer Washington State, $12.99
Thanksgiving Red Wines
Pinot Noir: This is THE wine for Thanksgiving as it matches up well with most foods. The fruitiness of the wine pairs nicely with sides and cranberry sauce, mushroom dishes and goes well with both white and dark meat.
- 2017 Talbott Kali Hart Pinot Noir Central Coast, $15.99
- 2018 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Dopp Creek Estate Willamette Valley, $26.99
- 2018 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County, $22.99
- 2016 Beneduce Vineyards Centerfold Pinot Noir, New Jersey, $34.00
- 2018 Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, $19.99
- 2016 Alba Vineyard Pinot Noir, New Jersey, $23.99
- 2018 En Route Les Pommiers Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, $39.99
Zinfandel: The dark turkey meat lovers will enjoy these wines which are also great with meat-based stuffing. These wines add a touch of smokiness to the foods they’re paired with.
- 2018 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel, $19.99
- 2018 Dashe Zinfandel Select Dry Creek Valley, $24.99
- 2016 Foxglove Pinot Noir Central Coast, $19.99
- 2018 Dry Creek Heritage Vines Zinfandel Sonoma Valley, $18.99
- 2016 Klinker Brick Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, $15.99
Wine Shopping in the Garden State
Plan on one bottle of wine per adult, with more just in case. Shop for wine at some of our favorite New Jersey retailers:
- Amanti Vino: Montclair, Morristown
- Bottle King: Multiple locations statewide
- Gary’s Wine & Marketplace: Bernardsville, Madison and Wayne
- Joe Canal’s: Multiple locations in South Jersey
- Princeton Corkscrew: Princeton
- Sterling Fine Wines: Sterling
- Tewksbury Fine Wine & Spirits: Oldwick
- Wine Library: Springfield
Do you have some favorites for Thanksgiving? Whatever you pour, I hope you have a great, safe holiday!