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Thanksgiving wine pairing tips: What to drink with each dish

Shelby Krause
MakeItGrateful.com

From cranberry sauce to turkey to even pumpkin pie, every dish needs a wine to be its date this Thanksgiving. We’ve got the perfect Thanksgiving wine pairing for all of your favorite holiday dishes.

TO KICK OF THANKSGIVING DINNER

As a sommelier, I believe every get-together, celebration or holiday should begin with a bottle of bubbles to toast the night. This Thanksgiving, why not cheers to all the things you are thankful for or just cheers to surviving the holidays with family? Either way, it’s a great way to add a little bit of sparkle to the beginning of the night.

Try Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2016 for $35.99

More:Low-carb baked Brie en croute is a gorgeous holiday appetizer

toasting with wine glasses in front of chicken dinner

TO PAIR WITH TURKEY

Turkey is the main event. Whether you’re roasting for hours, deep-frying in the backyard, buying it already made, or eating someone else’s possibly overcooked turkey, these are the wines that will be a hit no matter how the turkey tastes.

If you prefer white wine: There’s no other white to have with turkey than chardonnay. It’s rich in body and flavor. The creaminess and bright acidity will go perfectly with all flavors of turkey.

Try Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2017 for $10.99

If you eat fried turkey: Continue drinking the bottle of bubbles you were drinking when you first arrived. Or better yet, open up a nice bottle of Champagne. The toasty notes and high acidity of Champagne will cut through the fattiness from the oil used to fry the turkey.

Try Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve for $53.00

If you prefer red wine: There are two ways to go. Pinot noir is always a crowd-pleaser and goes wonderfully with turkey. It won’t overpower it, yet it has enough structure and notes of cherry to go along with your cranberry sauce as well.

Try Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir for $59.99

If you eat turkey but don't love turkey: Zinfandel has lower tannins, which will help cover up any dry turkey that may come your way this holiday. It also screams fall with notes of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla.

Try Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Bambino Zinfandel 2016 for $23.99

TO PAIR WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

There are many great wines to pair with cranberry sauce, but we suggest a glass of rosé. Notes of strawberry and, even cranberry make it the perfect match. It also won’t steal the show away from the sauce. In fact, it will probably have you going for seconds.

Try Matthiasson Rosé 2018 for $27.99

More:3-ingredient cranberry sauce 3 ways

TO PAIR WITH STUFFING

What’s Thanksgiving without stuffing? If you love stuffing, pick up a bottle of Beaujolais. Made from the grape Gamay, it is similar to a pinot noir, but at a better value with low tannins. We recommend you serve it with a slight chill. In fact, Beaujolais has its own celebration on the third Thursday of November called Beaujolais Nouveau day. Based on that alone, you should be celebrating Thanksgiving with a bottle of Beaujolais. Look for a bottle that says “Nouveau.”

Try Domaine Georges Descombes Morgon for $26.99

TO PAIR WITH MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY

Oh gravy — it’s one of those things you typically eat once a year but dream about all year. Soon you’ll be dreaming of it with the thought of a glass of GSM with it as well. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre is a classic blend from the Rhone Valley. It’s full of smokiness, earthy and savory qualities, as well as bright juicy fruits.

Try Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane 2007 for $39.97

More:7 Instant mashed potato hacks to make them better for the holidays

TO PAIR WITH PUMPKIN PIE

Of course there’s got to be pumpkin pie at dinner. With a slice of pie, pour yourself a glass of slightly chilled Madeira. With notes of honey and caramel, it will be a heavenly way to wash down a bite of pumpkin pie full of fall spices.

Try Broadbent 5 Year Madeira Reserve for $26.99

Looking for another Thanksgiving-approved drink? Check out our expert bartending tips below to easily create craft cocktails at home.