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Toast to Thanksgiving - Wines For Your Holiday Celebration

Posted by Justine Fritz on Mon, Nov 21, '16

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This is a guest blog post written by Alyssa of @grapefriend for Terra’s Kitchen

The number one rule of Thanksgiving wine pairings is that there are no rules! Thanksgiving dinner is a huge mishmash of dishes, which makes multiple perfect pairings possible. So, you can either pick a more all-purpose wine for the meal or get more specific with course-to-course wine pairings. With so many wines to choose from, it is easy to be thankful for whatever wines you choose to share during your holiday meal.


Cocktail Hour

It's a holiday, so bubbles are a fun way to kick off the festivities. Also, sparkling wines generally pair with almost anything, so you can keep the bottles popping for the whole meal if a fancy celebration is your style.



Since you are serving both white and dark meat options, you ideally would have two different wines to match. For white meat, a full-bodied but not oaky white would be great - Chardonnay or a white Rhone like Grenache Blanc. Since dark meat is heavier, but not steak-heavy, you will want to choose a light red. I usually opt for a brightly berried Gamay (which is also great with cranberry sauce) or an earthier Pinot Noir.



Here where it's gets tricky since there are so many sides with so many flavor profiles depending on your tradition (or experimentation). Most sides, though, are a better pair for whites. Most vegetables pair well with crisp, acidic whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Gruner Veltliner. Side dishes like sweet potatoes are better with a fuller bodied white (like the ones above that you'd pair with the white meat turkey).



Pie time! My favorite pairing is pecan pie and a tawny port - it's sweetly walnut-ty and so good with sticky pecan pie. For pumpkin or apple pie, try something light like a Moscato d'Asti. Plus, it's fun to begin and end the meal with bubbles.


Alyssa is the founder of, a blog that interweaves wine and pop culture. After studying at the American Sommelier Association, she started grapefriend to give people a place to have as much fun finding out about wine as they do when they’re drinking it. In addition to her blog, you can follow her adventures in wine on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat or Twitter @grapefriend.


Did you know that all of our meal kit recipes include wine and beer pairings by @grapefriend? Check out our full menu for her most recent suggestions and drink along with your dinner!


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Topics: Recipes, side dishes, meal kit, Thanksgiving wine pairing, wine pairings, holiday meal, turkey