For a Napa Valley-inspired Thanksgiving, wine is a necessity. However, it's not just meant for you to drink (although feel free to pair it with a glass or two). For these Napa, California, Thanksgiving menu ideas, you'll be infusing your favorite boozy beverage into the food, too. Even if you've been cooking with wine for ages, you'll be surprised at these innovative and delicious recipes. Each one incorporates the drink in a smart, subtle way so you get a hint of vino that pairs oh so nicely with what's in your glass. These Thanksgiving recipes with wine could be the start of a new tradition!
Treat your taste buds to a trip on the Napa Valley wine train with these Thanksgiving recipes:
See photos and learn more about each of these Californian Thanksgiving recipes, below.
Add a splash of: Sauvignon Blanc
This stuffing is a classier version of the side dish your grandma made. Add mushrooms, leeks, parsley, and dry white wine for a sophisticated twist on basic stuffing. Don't worry, focaccia bread cubes supply your carb fix and broth keeps it moist. With all this stuffing has to offer, the side might steal the spotlight from the entrée. But of course, wine will still be the star of the show.
Get the recipe: Wine-Infused Stuffing
Add a splash of: Merlot
These beets are better than ever, thanks to dry red wine, brown sugar, honey, and lemon wedges. The sweet and citrus flavors add that little something extra, making these beets go from plain Jane to poached perfection. This Thanksgiving side dish with wine will go fast, so you might want to make extra!
Tip: To avoid hugging your Thanksgiving guests with pink or red hands, wear plastic gloves when working with your beets.
Get the recipe: Wine-Poached Beets
Add a splash of: Port
Butternut squash tastes sweeter than ever when roasted (the cooking technique caramelizes the natural sugars) and filled with port-marinated apricots and cherries. Add almonds, and each bite of this squash recipe is stuffed with deliciousness—it gets even better, though! Top a slice of bread with cheese, then layer on the squash and fruit mixture (a fully loaded toast is so on-trend). This easy vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe will easily be a hit with veggie- and meat-lovers alike.
Get the recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Filled with Port-Soaked Fruit
Add a splash of: Chardonnay
Wondering where the wine comes in during this recipe? It's not in the jam, if that's what you were thinking. It flavors the gravy! The thick and flavorful gravy uses dry white wine, pan drippings, and more for a tasty turkey topping. The roast turkey itself is delicious and made even better with sweet onion jam. With onion, garlic, and apple flavors, this delicious jam forms the best crust on the turkey while it roasts.
Small Crowd Swap: Make this same recipe with a couple 2-pound turkey breasts instead. Roast bone side down for 30 to 45 minutes, brush with jam, and roast for 45 minutes more (or until juices run clear).
Get the recipe: Roast Turkey with Onion Jam
Add a splash of: Ruby port
We love a glass of wine with dessert, so of course adding a splash to pumpkin pie makes it even more delicious. Give your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie a wine-infused upgrade with ruby port, pomegranate juice, and star anise. Warning: You may never go back to plain pumpkin and whipped cream again once you try this new way to enjoy pumpkin pie.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Pomegranate Poached Pears
Add a splash (...actually a bottle) of: Riesling
It wouldn't be right to have a meal made with wine without having some to drink as well! Wine straight from the bottle is fine, but if you want to step up your game, infuse it. Start with your favorite white wine, then flavor it with ginger, honey, apple, cinnamon, and more for a warm wine cocktail perfect for fall. This warm Thanksgiving punch recipe is also great for sipping by the fire after dinner's over.
Get the recipe: Mulled Riesling Punch
Choosing the right wine can be tricky, especially when you're offering several dishes. But follow a few of our food-and-wine pairing tips and you'll surely have a successful sip:
Bringing wine as a host or hostess gift or sending guests home with a favorite bottle? Make the present better by dressing it up with a custom label or cute wrapper.
With the right variety of wine and presentation, you'll look like a Napa Valley native.