What Virginia Wines You Should Serve for Thanksgiving

Enjoy the best Virginia wines from Charlottesville at your Thanksgiving meal.

Initially written by Matt Brown. Editor’s Note: updated by Brittany Hall November 10th, 2023 with our latest pairing recommendations.


Wine is central to the Thanksgiving table, and now that Charlottesville’s vineyards have been rated Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, your choices have never been more scintillating! Making the right choice, however, remains the key.  Since Thanksgiving feasts bring many different types of food to the table — from sweet potatoes and savory stuffing to gamey dark turkey meat and glazed hams — finding one or two wines that work with everything means stepping away from your mainstays of a full-bodied Chardonnay or rich Cabernet Sauvignon.

You should by all means drink what you enjoy — it IS your mouth after all — but you may run into some unfavorable flavor combinations from wines with strong oak or heavy tannin flavors.

Fortunately, many of Virginia’s best grape varieties fit the bill for what the Thanksgiving holiday requires. Whether you are shopping from your local store’s selection or hitting the road to explore our many great area wineries, you can have a memorable meal this holiday enhanced by wines from our own backyard. There are strengths and weaknesses at every winery, so you will probably want to do some experimenting, but we hope these guidelines can help you find exactly what you’re looking for this season.


The recommendations below represent some favorites that can be found online, at local wineries, or other area retailers. While we will make some pairing suggestions on how each of these Virginia wines can complement your Thanksgiving table, we encourage you to do some experimenting of your own to find what works best for your palate.

Appetizer Pairings:

2021 Sparkling Rosé from Oakencroft Farm & Winery

Although Rosé is often forgotten for Thanksgiving, described as “lively and layered” this Sparkling Rosé will surely set the stage and get everyone in a celebratory mood.

Recommended Pairings: Cranberry and Goat Cheese Crostini, Rosemary Biscuits and Halloumi Cheese, Quince Jam & Almond Butter 


2021 Petit Manseng from Hark Vineyard

Crafted through stainless steel fermentation and enchanted with notes of honey and white flowers, this Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medal recipient maintains a dry profile while allowing the natural sweetness of the grape to shine through.

Recommended Pairings: Serve chilled with shrimp cocktail, oysters, or a light goat cheese and herb spread on crostini


Main Course Pours:

2022 Viognier from Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard

With refreshing hints of peach, apricot, and mango this wine offers a refreshing contrast to the main course. A viognier introduces an elegant touch to a traditional Thanksgiving meal. 

Recommended Pairings: Herb-Roasted Turkey and Traditional Stuffing

2022 Sauvignon Blanc from Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Crisp and invigorating, Veritas Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc brings a complex set of aromas with white flowers, green apple, and a burst of citrus zest. Creating a stark contrast, this varietal will enrich all the flavors of this holiday meal.

Recommended Pairings: Smoked Turkey, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

2021 Chardonnay Reserve from Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard

Barrel-aged to perfection, this 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup Silver medal winner is a perfect balance of pear and light oak. While some Chardonnay’s may be too heavy for a full meal, this wine is designed to complement your Thanksgiving meal. 

Recommended Pairings: Serve chilled with roast turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, or creamy butternut squash soup

2022 Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Franc from Early Mountain Vineyard

Due to higher acidity and tannins, Cabernets are not always the first choice for the Thanksgiving table. However, this Cabernet Franc is reminiscent of a Pinot Noir and creates a savory play on the palate. 

Recommended Pairings: Herb-Roasted Turkey, Grilled Vegetables, and a Wild Mushroom Tart


Dessert Wine:

2016 Sweet Ava’s Red from The Barn at 678 Vineyard

Crafted from stainless steel and aged in barrels for 4.5 years, this port-style varietal provides a delightful conclusion to your meal with its smooth red finish. Although versatile enough to be enjoyed throughout the entire dining experience, its subtle hint of sweetness makes it an exceptional companion for desserts.

Recommended Pairings: Rich Truffles, Chocolate Mousse, and Berry-Filled Tarts

It’s clear that there can be a wide variety of Virginia wines to accompany all the fixings at your Thanksgiving dinner table this year and we encourage you to explore them all! But, if you’re looking to simplify your shopping this year, we also recommend Michael Shaps 2023 Thanksgiving Bundle from Wine Works. Michael curated a combination of wines that will compliment all the stages of your holiday meal and comes with a great discount!


See the Charlottesville Guide’s comprehensive list of area wineries HERE.


Charlottesville native Matthew Brown has managed Wine Warehouse for over 20 years. His palate, like his pen, has matured alongside our area’s heartiest vines, and he loves sharing their stories.