Skip to main content

The Fairway Guide to Thanksgiving Wines

What is the one thing no Thanksgiving feast is complete without? Turkey? Maaaybe, although we’ve been to a few perfectly wonderful vegetarian feasts.

Really (and who are we kidding), it’s the drinks. Because you’ll be forgiven if you forget something in the oven or glaze over the cranberries on your shopping list. But you won’t get away with skipping out on spending time with your loved ones. Those moments are made all the merrier with a few well-chosen sips.

If there are any rules for matching wines to your feast, it’s that you’ll want something that is easy-drinking and versatile—it shouldn’t be too over the top and should pair well with a variety of dishes. Medium to light bodied reds and fruit-forward whites tend to be safe bets, although a white sparkling wine or the occasional show-stopping big red can have a place, too.

To help you pick out the perfect wine(s) for your table, we’ve rounded up our favorites for Thanksgiving and selected one for each type of holiday occasion. You can find them all our wine stores—click here to see our locations.

When you want to crowd please

Cooper Hill Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot noir is a safe bet when entertaining—even more so during Thanksgiving. Because this red is on the lighter side and low in tannins, it’s versatile and easy to sip on. Oregon pinots like this one from Cooper Hill have bright red fruit notes, meaning they pair with turkey just as easily as cranberry sauce does.


If you prefer the classicsFontezoppa

Fontezoppa Carapetto Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet is the wine that many of us reach for on Thanksgiving. It’s big, bold, and makes a statement, and this is not an occasion for holding back, after all. Here’s one of our favorite Italian cabs—it really has that wow factor, with dark fruit and a long, intense aroma.


Best for impressing your guestschateau-mamin-2009

Chateau Mamin Bordeaux Graves 2009

If your foodie cousins or exacting parents in law are the ones coming ‘round, here’s a bottle to impress them with. This merlot-cabernet blend is from Bordeaux, a region in France that produces some of the world’s most highly-esteemed (and pricey) wines. Chateau Mamin is comparatively affordable, however, plus this is a somewhat older vintage—with age it gets additional complexity and notes of vanilla and smoke.


For a fancy Thanksgiving feastMontalbera

Montalbera Sparkling Cuvée Blanche NV

Sparkling wine might not be your first thought for Thanksgiving, but there’s hardly anything that a glass of bubbly doesn’t go with. Plus, it makes any occasion feel special. But we prefer to save pricier champagnes for more intimate occasions. This sparkler from Piedmont is a more accessible alternative that still feels celebratory and sophisticated. It has fragrant notes of pear that will pair beautifully with the fall flavors on your table.


Badger-mountainWhen you’re keeping it organic

Badger Mountain Organic Riesling 2017

Fairway has what you need if you are trying to put together a consciously-minded feast (have you seen our organic turkeys?). That includes the wine. One of our favorite organic picks is this riesling from Washington state. It boasts a layered fragrance of tropical fruits, along with a slightly mineral nose.

Dalton-canaanFor a kosher feast

Dalton Canaan Red 2017

We’re proud to offer a large selection of kosher items in our stores (you can even get kosher Thanksgiving catering from us!). So naturally, we offer kosher wines to celebrate with. Our recommendation is this kosher red blend from Israel, which is medium-bodied with flavors of berries, vanilla, and cloves.


PURO-DESìO-for-FAIRWAYTo sip on while you cook

Platinum Puro Desio Montepulciano 2016

Making Thanksgiving dinner isn’t easy—sometimes you need a little somethin’ to keep yourself going. This medium-bodied red from Italy is one of those anytime wines that we’d be happy to sip on while cooking or during pre-meal bites. Its freshness and intensity will also carry over nicely into the main feast.


Vertikal-RieslingFor a non-traditional feast

Vertikal Riesling Kabinett 2015

Not every Thanksgiving follows the same old formula—have you ever tried throwing an Asian- or Mexican-inspired feast? (If not, we highly recommend it.) If you’re going off the beaten path, German rieslings are great for pairing with spices and other more adventurous flavors. This one from the Mosel has a clean, floral taste with nicely balanced sweetness.


italy-isotta-manzoni-proseccoWhen you’re the guest

Isotta Manzoni Prosecco Cuvée Giuliana NV

When in doubt, go with prosecco. This Italian sparkling wine always delights with its vibrancy and sprightly bubbles, so any host would be happy to receive it as a gift. But it’s budget-friendly enough that we wouldn’t think twice about picking up an extra bottle or two (because the last thing anyone wants on Thanksgiving is to run out of drinks). Keep it chilled and have it before the meal, during, and with dessert.

Tags: , ,

Get the Latest Fairway Deals & Articles Straight To Your Inbox!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply