If it's your job to
bring the wine to this year's Thanksgiving celebration, consider yourself lucky. Yes, choosing a few bottles of wine that will satisfy all the guests at your gathering seems like a daunting task. You'll want options that appeal to many different palettes, compliment a slew of different dishes, and, perhaps most importantly, the bottles should be affordable enough that you'll still have money left over for Black Friday shopping. That's a lot to ask of just a few bottles, but it turns out, wines that tick all those boxes aren't all that hard to find. To prove it, we asked wine educators, wine directors, and sommeliers for their best Thanksgiving recommendations. Each of their selections is under $12 and will bring a little something special to dinner. If providing the wine wasn't the Thanksgiving responsibility you wanted to get stuck with, ahead you'll find 19 bottles to help you see that you got one of the better tasks. No cooking, no expensive ingredients, and no sourcing a gluten-free pie for you this year. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
"My go-to under $12 bottle of wine to bring for Thanksgiving would have to be a rosé. It can satisfy a variety of palates, potential weather swings, and can pair with a variety of foods seamlessly. They also tend to be affordable and delicious. My favorite right now is called Squadra Rosé from the makers of Scarpetta Wine. This particular rosé is made exclusively from the Nero d'Avola grape, which hails from Sicily, and is also Certified Organic. It is dry and crisp with a hint of herbaceous-ness just waiting to be enjoyed with food. Squadra means 'Squad' and is a super playful wine to enjoy with your family or squad for Thanksgiving."
— Christine Kendig, sommelier at Husk in Greenville, SC Scarpetta Wine
2017 Squadra Rosato Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily, Italy (750 ml), $, available at
Woods Wholesale Wine More
"I'm a big fan of economical choices for big events like Thanksgiving since most hosts need to buy in bulk and are looking for quality picks for the best value. Here are a couple suggestions that I would recommend picking up (perhaps by the case!)."
— Paola Embry, CEO and Wine Director at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, AZ Delas Freres
2016 "Saint-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône, $, available at
K&L Wine Merchants Bodegas Aragonesas
Vina Temprana Garnacha 2017 Bottle, $, available at
Argonaut Wine & Liquor More
"When choosing a wine for Thanksgiving, I keep in mind that I am working with a variety of palettes. This Lambrusco is a fun crowd-pleaser and works with everything from roasted turkey to country ham. Its effervescence, lower ABV, and slightly sweet characteristics make it my first choice for a refreshing bottle to sip during a long day of cooking and merriment."
— Lindsey Ofcacek, wine director at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY Cavicchioli
Lambrusco Dolce 1928, $, available at
International Wine Shop More
"Please remember that bubbly is among the most food-friendly wines that exist, so whether it’s to start your Thanksgiving festivities or to drink all the way through to dessert, seek out sparkling wines. This Cava from Spain fits the bill perfectly and is a lot less pricey than Champagne."
— Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC Segura Viudas
Cava Brut, $, available at
"I am a huge fan of Austria's Grüner Veltliner with Thanksgiving foods because it shows great acidity and minerality (which means it can stand up to and cut through all those heavy sauces and gravies). Try this delightful Grüner that won’t break the bank!"
— Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC Aichenberg Premium
Aichenberg Premium Gruner Veltliner 2018, $, available at
"Grape: Gamay. You may not be familiar with this little grape from the southern end of Burgundy in France, but I bet you know the wines it makes (Beaujolais, anyone?). If you are looking for something light and fruity that can go with all of your Thanksgiving fare, all while keeping your prices super affordable, I recommend a bottle of Beaujolais-Villages."
— Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC Georges Duboeuf
Beaujolais Villages 2016 (750ml), $, available at
Gary's Wine & Marketplace More
"For a red wine with slightly more body, Zinfandel delivers. I love Zin with Turkey and gravy. Its medium body and loads of red fruits on the palate dance perfectly with all of your favorite sides and stuffings. Lodi, CA happens to be one of my favorite regions for Zin!"
— Sayle Milne, wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC McManis Family Vineyard
Zinfandel 750ml, $, available at
Luekens Liquors More
"Chardonnay is my favorite white for a Thanksgiving meal because it has a bit more body and structure than most other whites, so it can hold up to the heavier foods. This is a great example from France for the right price!"
— Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc Mâcon-Villages
2017 Maison Louis Jadot Chardonnay, $, available at
The Wine House More
"Beaujolais Nouveau is always released around Thanksgiving, so drinking it reminds me of the holidays like no other wine. I chill this red in the fridge for about 30 minutes before opening. I like to put it out with the hor d'oeuvres."
— Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc George Dubdeuf
Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2018, $, available at
"A Rhone blend that pairs great with turkey and all the fresh herbs and spices in the stuffing."
— Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc Chateau Pesquie
Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Terrasses 2015, $, available at
Wine Globe More
"Lighter bodied reds are a good choice for Thanksgiving, but finding affordable pinot noir or quality Beaujolais? This wine is dry, fruity, and medium-bodied. It's a wine of great value year-round, but will serve well this holiday."
— Ellisa Cooper, wine educator and founder of Decanted Diva Bodegas Castano
Monastrell 2016, $, available at
"These brothers are all things BARBERA! Their wines range from light to medium with the Villa Bella Rosa being a cuvée that's slightly leaner, incredibly fresh, and a definite crowd pleaser! This red is a perfect way to start a meal, but can absolutely hold up to stuffing and all things Thanksgiving."
— Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY Pico Maccario
Villa della Rosa Barbera d’Asti, $, available at
Wine Deals More
"I've alway been a fan of Enrique Mendoza's wines. His wines really speak to the region and are a true expression of monastrell. La Tremenda is medium in weight with the prefect amount of dark fruit and spice. This is undoubtably one of the best values in the wine world and definitely has a place on the table."
— Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director at The Standard in New York, NY Enrique Mendoza
La Tremenda Monastrell Alicante 2016, $, available at
"Garnatxa Blanca (or Grenache Blanc) is a great fuller-bodied white that can satisfy even a chardonnay drinker in your family. Perfect with an herb heavy stuffing!"
— Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA Herencia Altes
2018 Garnatxa Blanca (750ml), $, available at
"Mencia is my go-to lighter bodied red. This Mencia from Bierzo has more body than similar wines from Ribera Sacra but served with a chill it the perfect Thanksgiving pairing."
— Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA Armas de Guerra
Mencia 2017, $, available at
Empire Wine More
"This year I’ll be serving sherry, specifically Manzanilla sherry. Manzanillas are fresh and clean, with a great salinity; perfect aperitif or paired with ham."
— Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA Hijos de Rainera Perez Marin
La Guita Manzanilla (375ML half-bottle), $, available at
"The Azul y Garanza Viura (white) and Tempranillo (red) are a great value at $13 a bottle for a liter. Farmed and produced organically by 3 friends in Navarra, Spain these wines are easy drinking and sustainably conscious. Plus more wine for sharing, perfect for friendsgiving."
— Katie Putterlik, beverage director at Otoño in Los Angeles, CA Azul y Garanza
2017 Viura, Navarra Liter, $, available at
The Wine House More
"The new Usual Red is actually perfect for Thanksgiving. It's bright and fruity but still nuanced and won't overwhelm any Thanksgiving flavors."
— Rachel Vodofsky, co-founder of Vinebox USUAL
Red (Box of 12), $, available at
Usual Wines More
"For Thanksgiving, I recommend light, crisp, and refreshing wines to balance out all of the rich and decadent flavors on your table! Stemmari Grillo is a perfect choice. An aromatic white grape variety from Sicily, Grillo leads with delicate floral and melon aromas, and on the palate, lots of bright green pear and a hint of tropical fruit. The finish is clean and minerally. It's just the thing to keep your palate cleansed in between bites of mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing."
— Sarah Tracey, professional sommelier and lifestyle expert at The Lush Life Stemmari
Grillo, $, available at
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