Stuffing, turkey, pumpkin pie, and more are all even better with wine! This holiday, try these Napa, California, Thanksgiving menu ideas to give your favorite holiday foods a vino boost. This menu will make the holiday feel like a Napa Valley Thanksgiving weekend trip (no matter where you're celebrating), and help you choose the best wine for Thanksgiving this year.

By Kayla Parker
Updated August 19, 2020
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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 Thanksgiving 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!

Napa Valley, California, Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

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.

Jason Donnelly

Stuffing: Wine-Infused Stuffing

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, the wine will still be the star of the show.

Get the recipe: Wine-Infused Stuffing

Andy Lyons

Vegetable Side Dish: Wine-Poached Beets

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!

Test Kitchen Tip: To avoid stained pink or red hands, wear plastic gloves when working with your beets.

Get the recipe: Wine-Poached Beets

Andy Lyons

Vegetarian Entrée: Roasted Butternut Squash Filled with Port-Soaked Fruit

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. This easy vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe will easily be a hit with veggie- and meat-lovers alike.

Richard Jung

Classic Entrée: Roast Turkey with Onion Jam

Add a splash of: Chardonnay

Wondering where the wine comes in during this recipe? 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 of 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

Andy Lyons

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie with Pomegranate Poached Pears

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.

Andy Lyons

Drink: Mulled Riesling Punch

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

Jay Wilde

Thanksgiving Wine Tips and Tricks

Choosing the right wine for Thanksgiving 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:

  • A full-bodied white (try unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris) or a light red (we like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais) can stand up to the turkey without overpowering lighter sides.
  • Try rosé for a crowd-pleasing, versatile option that works well with a variety of side dishes and desserts.
  • When in doubt, opt for sparkling, whether it's CavaProseccoCremant, or Champagne.

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