A McBride Sisters' Guide to Thanksgiving Pairings

By McBride Sisters – November 11, 2023

A McBride Sisters' Guide to Thanksgiving Pairings

Thanksgiving can be a tricky meal to pair with wine. All those beautifully different flavors, sweetness levels, and culinary influences can make picking the right bottles a challenge – especially in potluck situations when you aren’t 100% sure what’s for dinner.

Don’t worry, though! The sisters have you covered with this quick-reference guide to the best Thanksgiving wine pairings, from appetizers to desserts to all those delicious leftover creations you’ll be feasting on afterwards. Cheers to giving thanks with the perfect wine!

Hors d’Oeuvres and Appetizers

Nothing kicks off a holiday meal like a glass of sparkling wine. The McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé makes a gorgeous pairing for your charcuterie board, spiced nuts, and bacon-wrapped dates. The bright red fruit flavors and bubbles provide a dynamic counterpoint to rich snacks, with a bold bit of zing that refreshes the mouth.

If you’re serving a cheeseboard, or an assortment of creamy dips, offer some Black Girl Magic Riesling. This white wine’s rich, full texture and apricot-like flavors make a great complement to triple-cream cheeses, classic onion dip, or super seasonal pumpkin queso fundido. The clean finish leaves your mouth ready for the next exciting bite, whatever it might be.

In California, many families start their Thanksgiving feast with Dungeness crab or fresh artichokes. Rich, succulent crab pairs well with McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé or Black Girl Magic Riesling, but artichokes need special handling – they contain natural compounds that make whatever you eat or drink next taste sweet. The best wine pairing for artichokes is dry, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, like the McBride Sisters Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s bright acidity and citrus flavors are a fantastic match with artichokes, as well as crab, shrimp, and pretty much every other type of shellfish. Make it your signature pour for fresh veggie and seafood starters!

Thanksgiving Main Course(s) and Sides

Whether your family does traditional turkey or likes to spice things up, the McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Pinot Noir delivers just the right amount of sweet red fruit, silky texture, and warm oak spice for your holiday.

This wine is light-bodied enough for turkey breast and vegetarian mains like whole roast cauliflower, but still has all the heft it needs to complement dark meat, stuffing, bacon-y brussels sprouts, or an elegant mushroom Wellington.

Unlike a lot of red wines, our Central Coast Pinot Noir has enough acid to meet your cranberry sauce where it’s at, and the tannins won’t clash with anything on the table. You really can’t go wrong pairing this wine with a traditional Thanksgiving menu, but it also flatters a huge range of globally inspired dishes like shiitake sticky rice stuffing, “Indian-ish” sweet and sour butternut squash, or turkey with Oaxacan mole.

If you’re serving something seriously spicy – or you just prefer white wine – reach for more of our zippy McBride Sisters Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This versatile, charismatic wine pairs like a dream with punchy fall salads and herb-rich dishes, as well as fiery foods like tandoori turkey or this West African-inspired tamarind and scotch bonnet-glazed bird.

And then there are the real Thanksgiving rebels. You know who you are – making your own holiday traditions with deliciously non-turkey meats. The cocoa and herbal notes of our Black Girl Magic Red Blend make a brilliant match with succulent rib roast or earthy cassoulet. For Korean barbecue, glazed pork, and any other rich meats with a touch of sweetness, the ripe cherry and chocolate flavors of Black Girl Magic Merlot get our vote. Both these reds are smooth, bold, and unapologetic – just like your Thanksgiving menu.

Thanksgiving Desserts

Desserts can be tricky to pair with wine. The dry wines you loved with your main meal can sometimes taste harsh when you’re sipping them with dessert. Solution: Pick sweeter wines when the pies come out!

Our lightly sweet SHE CAN Berry Spritz adds a fun blackberry sparkle to classic pumpkin or apple pies, and makes a fantastic pairing for dark chocolate brownies or other chocolatey nibbles. If you’ve got coconut flavors on the dessert table, reach for the island vacation vibes of SHE CAN Tropical Spritz – a natural with macaroons, coconut cookies, and beignets of all kinds. Cheesecakes on the not-too-sweet side will find a fantastic partner in our SHE CAN Crisp White, whose juicy pear and citrus flavors meld with soft floral notes.

Leftover Magic

With a little creativity, Thanksgiving leftovers can be every bit as delicious as Thanksgiving dinner. This kind of playful, and transformative cooking deserves wines to match – and we’ve got just the ones you need!

The classic Thanksgiving leftover sandwich – filled with turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce – finds its soulmate in SHE CAN Dry Rosé. Ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas bring out the best in this traditional Thanksgiving mouthful. Layering turkey, stuffing, cranberry and gooey cheese into a Thanksgiving quesadilla, though, calls for SHE CAN Berry Spritz, which has the effervescence and bright berry flavors to balance every bite.

After a while, though, everyone wants to mix things up. A leftover turkey carcass could become fragrant turkey pho, paired with SHE CAN Crisp White. Slices of breast meat that maybe weren’t picture perfect can find new life as Thai turkey laab salad, or coconut green curry, both of which pair beautifully with the lush fruit flavors of SHE CAN Tropical Spritz. Dressed up with herbs and pickled vegetables in banh mi sandwiches, your Thanksgiving leftovers take on a whole new persona – shown off by the rich red fruit of SHE CAN Dry Rosé.

Chef Claudette Zepeda’s recipe for adobo sauce or Nik Sharma’s guide to murgh makhani (butter chicken) can transform your leftover bird into an incredible filling for tacos, sliders, or wraps – or just on a plate with rice or leftover mashed potatoes. Open a can of SHE CAN Tropical Spritz or Crisp White to boost the heady fragrance with refreshing fruit aromas.

Turkey isn’t the only leftover with potential, of course. Mashed potatoes can become pan-fried potato cakes or even potato waffles in just a few minutes – just top them with lox and sour cream, and pair with SHE CAN Dry Rosé for an amazing Thanksgiving weekend brunch! (This also works fabulously with leftover stuffing; try this topped with ham or bacon and paired with the sparkling sweetness of SHE CAN Berry Spritz.) Mashed potatoes also make easy air-fried potato croquettes, seasoned with leftover herbs and some hot sauce – your new favorite happy hour snack paired with SHE CAN Tropical Spritz

If all else fails, you can always fall back on eggs. Leftover mac and cheese, roast veggies, and even grain salads get a total makeover when you put them in a frittata. Add chopped herbs to change up the flavors, maybe some more cheese from that cheeseboard, and sit down to a whole new meal in 15 minutes. Pair with whichever SHE CAN wine you like best, and pat yourself on the back for a Thanksgiving weekend done right.