Your Ultimate Guide To Thanksgiving Dinner Wine Pairing


By Jessica D Festa

Turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing are all quintessential parts of your Thanksgiving dinner—as is something to toast with.

When it comes to wine pairing and knowing which glasses to use when, however, you’re not alone in feeling confused. It’s not easy to understand the difference between a Burgundy glass and a Bordeaux glass, or why Champagne really should be in a flute over more bulbous glassware.

Luckily, the following tips can help you take your Thanksgiving dinner up a notch with minimal effort and time:

Don’t Use the Same Glasses for Every Wine Pairing
The reason a sparkling wine goes in a Champagne flute is all in the slender, narrow design, which helps the drink retain those bubbles that make it so special. The small shape of the Port glass, on the other hand, holds in concentrated aromas and allows you to warm the liquid with your hand.

Wayfair Basics 18 Piece Wine & Champagne Glass Set by Wayfair BasicsDoes the idea of cooking the turkey, arranging the Thanksgiving decorations, and having to sort through 100 different glasses make you want to throw your baster out the window?

Not to worry: you can start with the 18-Piece Wine & Champagne Glass Set to separate glasses for bubbly, whites, and reds. If you want to class it up even more, the following point is essential.

Understand Red Vs. White Glasses
Red wines tend to be bolder, so glassware will reflect that by being taller with a larger bowl to hold in aromas and let them open up as you sip. The typically larger opening means a smoother drinking experience with less bitter tannins. White wine glasses and their smaller bowls are shaped to preserve floral aromas while keeping the wine cool and bringing the liquid closer to your nose.

Knowing this, you’ll be able to further narrow down your glass selection depending if your preferred wine is full-bodied or more light-bodied. You should do this if you truly want to maximize the flavors and aromas of the wine you’re drinking—which makes sense if you’re buying a wine that justifies it. There’s no reason to drink a $10 bottle of wine out of a $60 glass.

Start With the Basics
OK, so maybe you’re not trying to win a Host of the Year award; you’ll still be able to enhance the Thanksgiving dinner wine pairing experience with some refined glasses. You can invest in fine Champagne flutes and Ouverture Magnum Red Wine Glasses by Riedel, which are constantly praised by sommeliers as one of the world’s most versatile wine glasses.

Know the Importance of Aerating Your WineChance Visual 48 Oz. Wine Decanter by Wade Logan from Wayfair
Aerating your wine refers to exposing it to air, which allows the drink to get more expressive.

While aeration begins the moment you open the bottle of wine, you can help the process along with the Chance Visual 48 Oz. Wine Decanter by Wade Logan, which has the added benefit of separating the wine from any unwanted sediment.

Get Creative Beyond Wine
You shouldn’t feel limited to just one kind of pairing. In fact, cocktails, beer, and even virgin drinks can make excellent accompaniments to the meal. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Seasonal items tend to pair well together. Autumn fare will pair well with pumpkin beers, and cocktails laced with cinnamon, fig, and pear.
  • Pair dishes with drinks that have similar characteristics or complementary flavors—just make sure they’re the same intensity. Otherwise, one with overpower the other.
  • Understand hops. If you’re going to serve a course paired with beer, understand that hops cut through fat (making that IPA a great companion for a cheese plate!) and make spicy dishes even hotter.

Looking for a versatile wine glass for your Thanksgiving dinner? Check out the Riedel Ouverture Magnum Red Wine Glasses on Wayfair!


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