Make your Thanksgiving Feast a Memorable Wine Dinner

Make your Thanksgiving Feast a Memorable Wine Dinner

No matter your personal style, there's a way to authentically include wine in your Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, your preferences and pacing are helpful indicators as to how to flow your wine service. Here’s a look at a few common personalities. Choose what feels right to you for inspiration.

All The Finery

Leo loves his grandmother’s china and silverware. His table is set with fine linens and elegant candleholders. He’s even got place cards with custom calligraphy by a local artist. His guests know to wear their best clothes and to bring their manners. His feast is the highlight of his social year because it’s a chance to entertain with elegance, something Leo does very well. 

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If you're like Leo, then your wine service will benefit from planning. You’ll want to have bubbly to welcome guests and whites and reds in both light- and full-bodied styles so that each course of your meal shows off your favorite pairings. As a bonus, choose a complex dessert wine to serve after the meal.


All In the Family

Cat’s favorite memories are big family dinners around the farm table, with dishes being passed and homespun tales in the air. The soundtrack to her Thanksgiving feast is laughter and the clinking of forks on her mix-and-match heirloom dishware. While there certainly is a lot of food, she’s chosen the menu mindfully, based on tradition. Cat also shops local, sourcing ingredients from farm stands and even includes some herbs and veg that she grew herself. 

If you're like Cat, you’ll want to have wine on the table that goes with everything, so people can fill their glass and be confident that each sip will be delicious. Choose wines that reflect your personal style — for example, Cat will serve natural and organic wines, and wines made as close to home as possible.

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Potluck Style

Tom is hosting Friendsgiving for the first time this year. He’s new to the United States and wants to join in this tradition, but doesn’t normally cook in the fashion of the season. He’s got friends who feel the same way about the food, but they still want to get together, so he’s called everyone over. Each person will bring a dish — he doesn’t know what they’ll make — and Tom will provide the wine. Since pairing efforts will be fruitless, Tom is going to choose bottles that are recommended by other people. 

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If you're like Tom, check out Bestsellers or Dustin’s Recs on the Verve Wine website or at the shop. This is an easy way to discover bottles that can’t miss and will charm the group no matter what’s on the table.



But What About…?

Here are some of the most common questions we get when it comes to wine at Thanksgiving or for any big group. 

How much wine should I buy for Thanksgiving? 

One bottle of wine equals four to six glasses, depending on how much you pour. One bottle will serve two to three people. A good rule of thumb is to get one or two bottles for every two people. So if you’ve got ten people coming, get five to ten bottles. It’s better to have extra, especially if people will be there a long time and will drink before and after dinner too. If you can swing it, it’s also nice to duplicate each bottle of wine you serve, in case everyone wants a second glass of the same thing.

How many wine glasses do I need for Thanksgiving?

If you're a Leo, you’ll probably want a white wine and red wine glass for each person, plus a few spares in case of a break. But if you're a Cat or a Tom, one glass per person plus a few spares should be fine.

When should I open my wine?

This will depend on the bottles you purchase. White and sparkling wines generally don’t need a lot of breathing time, and red wines can typically be opened 30-60 mins before you serve them. If you have an old, rare, or otherwise precious wine on your hands, do a bit of research on that particular bottle first. You don’t need to open all the bottles in advance — in fact, that could be a waste if you over-bought.

We’ll leave you with this. Have fun! There are no rules for drinking and serving wine. If you think it’s going to taste good or run smoothly, it will. Happy Thanksgiving from the Verve Wine team.