Need A White Wine For Thanksgiving? Sommeliers Say Reach For These First

It’s not *all* about the reds.


Don’t love reds? You’re in luck. “In my opinion, many classic Thanksgiving dishes pair better with white wine than red wine!” says Emily Blackman, beverage director of Bell's and Bar Le Côte. Read on for her holiday favorites and more expert recommendations.

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“Roasted turkey, stuffing with herbs, mashed potatoes with loads of butter... dishes like these would be delightful with some chardonnay from the Mâconnais,” says Blackman. “For a more quality wine from this region look for Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran or Viré-Clessé on the label. Bret Brothers Viré-Clessé is a personal favorite of mine!”
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“Given the variety of often rich holiday dishes, [this wine] would prove a great partner,” says Richard Vayda, director of wine and beverage studies at the Institute of Culinary Education. “[It’s] made from mostly pinot noir with lush ripe apple and toasty notes, pairing well with the roasted turkey and rich pan sauce.”
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“Don’t be afraid of the chardonnay as it can be an extremely versatile wine, which is what you want on the holiday table with there being so many options,” says Coly Den Haan, sommelier and owner of wine shop Vinovore. “There is still some richness to it to hold up to bolder dishes, yet a nice lift and brightness to clean the palate between bites!”
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Silverlake Wine
Dönnhoff Riesling Trocken
“Instead of looking for a wine to go with a single food item, come with a wine that will go with everything,” says Leah Fitzgerald, bar director at Salazar. “A dry riesling, such as Dönnhoff Riesling Trocken, is a wonderful option since it can pair with anything from cheese for appetizers or even stand up to the turkey itself.”
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“A great white wine to bring to Thanksgiving this year is a Sancerre. My personal favorite for the season is Les Chasseignes by Clément et Florian Berthier,” says Vinya Wine founder and sommelier Allegra Angelo. “This wine pairs wonderfully with green bean salad, turkey breast, and thyme-roasted carrots.”
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“This season, Go There Wines Sauvignon Blanc Merwah Blend by Maria Frangieh is my pick,” says Drew Hairston, beverage director and sommelier at Maydan. “It's got what I need from a sauvignon blanc: grapefruit, grass, and tartness for drinkability, while the blended Merwah has a honeyed richness that makes it food-friendly. “
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“A skin-contact white wine like the 2021 Cup of Ambition Trebbiano pairs really well with most foods, especially around the holidays,” says Southold Farm + Cellar founder and winemaker Regan Meador. “Serve it at red wine temperature and pair with dark meat turkey or on the colder side for appetizers.”
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“Keller is one of the giants of German wine and its ‘Limestone’ offers everything you want out of a cheeky Thanksgiving white,” says Arjav Ezekiel, wine director and co-owner of Birdie's. “It's versatile, spry, and electric, making it a perfect counterpoint to all the richness of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.”
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Mondillo Vineyards
Mondillo 2021 Dry Riesling
“This wine is a stunner and would sit well on the Thanksgiving table, specifically with turkey and stuffing,” says Brianne Cohen, certified sommelier and wine educator. “Serving up all of the markers for quality riesling: bracing high acidity, minerality, and a faint petrol note.”
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“[This] is an excellent chardonnay with the most balanced kiss of French oak, perfect to pair with Thanksgiving dinner,” says Amy Racine, beverage director of JF Restaurants. “The texture is great with creamy dressing but has bright acidity and a saline-like quality from the ocean influence. I love it with the crunch of celery in stuffing!”
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Stolpman Vineyards
Uni White 2021
“A blend of roussanne and chardonnay [gives you] a rich wine to complement the buttery mashed potatoes and stuffing,” says Kara Flaherty, beverage and retail director and certified sommelier, Take Root Hospitality. “At the same time, hints of pear and white flower work perfectly with squashes and sweet potatoes.”
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