The Best Thanksgiving Wines Under $20

As much as Thanksgiving is about the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, it's also about the social gathering. Whether we're with friends celebrating a Friendsgiving or with family we haven't seen since this time last year, kicking back with a glass or two of wine is something we can fully get behind.
It's a holiday for feasting and relaxing and, I propose, drinking really great wine at an exceptional value.
And, any host, whether it's your mother or the neighbor in 5C, appreciates you bringing an extra bottle or two. You won't find anything basic or boring in the selection here, but you also won't have to break the bank, thanks in part to wine guru Mariel Goddu of Coeur Wine Co. and Tiffany Hoang of Colangelo & Partners, who didn't flinch when challenged with choosing reasonably priced wines that deliver on taste. Ahead, 20 delicious bottles that range from the perfect aperitif to the ideal dessert wine (and, yes, we did taste all of them, just to be sure). Oh, and any of these, we think, you could pair with the turkey-cranberry-stuffing sandwich you sneak in the middle of the night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Val d'Orcia.
Light, crisp, and perfectly bubbly, this delicious sparkling wine from Italy is ideal for kicking off Thanksgiving Day with friends and family.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mulderbosch.
Because denying yourself the pleasure of sipping pink wine just because it's not summertime would be a shame. This South African Cab Sauv rosé, with its strawberry notes and balanced acidity, ought to convince you that it's worth drinking year-round.
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Photo: Courtesy of Qupé.
This is one of the more popular producers on the list, but it's well known (and beloved) for a reason. Drink this Central Coast red with the main course. Its spicy, black pepper, and dark fruit notes can stand up to even the most robust stuffing dish.
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Photo: Courtesy of Nipozzano.
My mom adores Chianti, and with this bottle, it's easy to see why. Fruit-forward and medium-bodied, this dry Italian varietal is delicious paired with your favorite green-bean casserole or your crispy-skinned turkey leg.
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Photo: Courtesy of Chateau Vartely.
Big and bad-ass, this red blend could be enjoyed with the main meal, but you might want to save it for dessert. The black fruit, hints of leather, and red-cherry notes make it a good choice for a spicy sweet potato pie or pecan tart.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tariquet.
Dry and fruity, this bottle has some terrific minerality. If there's a cheese plate starting off your holiday meal, this is the one to reach for.
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Photo: Courtesy of Blanco Nieva.
If you haven't given much thought to Spanish wines, now's the time to do so. This highly rated bottle (like a Pinot Grigio but fuller-bodied) tastes of citrus, bright grapefruit, and fresh green herbs.
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Photo: Courtesy of Avignonesi.
If you're like me and appreciate a little oak, you're going to love this red (mostly Sangiovese). A burst of fruit — think cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries — indicates that it'd go especially well with your great aunt's cranberry sauce, along with that raisin-studded stuffing.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tio Pepe.
Sherry: It's not your grandmother's wine. This Spanish varietal makes a fantastic aperitif — especially if there're Marcona almonds around for pre-turkey snacking. It does have a strong, kind of funky taste that may take some getting used to, but its versatility makes it a must-try.
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Photo: Courtesy of Arnaldo Caprai.
Looking for a smooth and crisp white to carry you through hours of family time? This Italian grape (think apple, apricot, and lime) is just the one.
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Photo: Courtesy of Vera.
Portugal has been gaining a lot of well-deserved recognition. While I love drinking this chilled Vinho Verde on a hot summer day, I also think it makes a great all-purpose, easy-drinking wine on a holiday where the dishes range from intensely sweet (sweet-potato casserole) to wildly savory (oyster stuffing).
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Photo: Courtesy of Philosophy.
If you care at all about organic wines, this Zinfandel is a great choice. Since it's bold and complex, with flavors of raspberry, cedar, and vanilla, I recommend drinking it with turkey smothered in a rich gravy. It's full-bodied enough to handle the richest foods.
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Photo: Courtesy of Damilano.
Fruity with pretty good acidity. The light vanilla and more potent violet and cherry notes are what add to this Italian grape's yum factor. Great on its own or with the big dinner, this is a bottle you'll want to remember.
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Photo: Courtesy of Marvelous.
Made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and a little Viognier, this wine has tropical notes that are impossible to miss. The subtle, creamy oak is what makes me want to sip it after every bite of buttery mashed or roasted potatoes.
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Black plums + fresh figs and just enough spice make this decidedly elegant Côte du Rhône a perfect choice to pair with your turkey.
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Photo: Courtesy of Alentejano Tinto.
I almost can't imagine a better wine (fruity, floral, subtly spiced) to drink with Thanksgiving dinner — bonus points if your turkey happens to be smoked.
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Photo: Courtesy of Carballal.
Another organic bottle, this Spanish wine smells of fresh, white peaches and has a rich salinity on the palate, so it's both refreshing and assertive.
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Photo: Courtesy of Keuka Lake Vineyards.
The rosemary notes in this deep, red Cab Franc make it a no-brainer to sip alongside a turkey breast and potatoes roasted with the same herb. And, with some red and black cherry also present, this is a wine that you'll want to drink the whole night.
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Although Greece is often underrepresented in wine stores and restaurants around the country, it's gaining traction on the grape front, and this bottle is a good example as any. It's a clean wine with stone-fruit flavors and ripe citrus, making it a crowd-pleasing favorite.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bacalhoa.
If Thanksgiving weren't known for its fantastic desserts, I'd probably skip it and have a glass of this instead. One sip and you get oranges, black tea, and raisins. It has a long finish and would go great with mom's apple pie à la mode.