Our Guide to the Best Thanksgiving Wines

For folks like us who look for any excuse to gather around a table and crack open bottles of wine, Thanksgiving is pretty much the pinnacle of holidays. In that long meal that stretches from early afternoon to late evening, there’s typically a beyond reasonable amount of food, a reasonable amount of family tension, and a necessary amount of wine to handle both.

Things may look a little different nowadays, but that doesn’t mean the joy of choosing and sharing delicious wine need disappear. Whether you’re podding up with family and friends or just connecting virtually, let good wine remain the constant. To get you in the mood, we’ve rounded up five tips from the crew here at Verve Wine on how to approach your Thanksgiving wine plans, whatever form the big meal takes this year.

  • Chenin Blanc - Versatile and food-friendly, we really dig chenin thrown into a Thanksgiving lineup. And these days we’re jamming on everything from benchmark Loire Valley producers to rising natural wine stars to classic examples made domestically. Pop a bottle with your cheeseboard pre-dinner or drink it straight through the turkey and stuffing; you won’t be disappointed.

  • Pinot Noir - Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, and though you can find more than a few terrific options for pinot noir made domestically (think Willamette Valley, Sonoma Coast, Santa Barbara), finding cause to open a bottle of great Burgundy is always a good plan. We look to a few key producers this time of year. If you’re swinging for the fences (and why not, it’s 2020), drinking wine made by Marquis D’Angerville and Domaine Roumier can be holidays unto themselves.

  • Chardonnay - If your Thanksgiving table leans toward the classics, then pouring well-crafted, well-balanced Chardonnay from top-notch American producers is an easy choice. Yes, just like Pinot Noir, you could throw down some Grand Cru white Burgundy here (and we won’t blame you), but the quality coming from some of our favorite domestic wine-producing sites has never been better. 

    • BeaujolaisThere’s no category of red wine aimed more at pure pleasure than Beaujolais. In the hands of the right producers, Gamay is as much crowd-pleasing as it is easy to guzzle down solo. If you’re longing for a convivial and fun Thanksgiving like us, grabbing a bottle of Beaujolais is definitely the right call. Double down and snag some in large format for an instant party in a bottle.

    • Champagne - We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again-- when in doubt, stick to sparkling. Popping a bottle of bubbly isn’t just festive, it’s also a solid staple when it comes to food and wine pairings. Champagne is naturally high in acidity so it pairs seamlessly with the array of rich sauces and tangy sides typically found on the Turkey Day menu. And to top it all off, Champagne plus dessert equals post-dinner perfection. If you’re looking for a wine to go the distance from apps to pies, Champagne is a no brainer.

    • Bourbon - We tend to stick to the wine game - it’s what we know best - but there’s something incredibly satisfying about kicking your feet up post meal with a tipple of something brown and neat. What comes next - Home Alone or NFL Football?- is a debate for another story….