Our Favorite Recipes and Wine Pairings for an Italian-Style Thanksgiving Dinner


It’s no secret that the last two years have been a whirlwind for everyone, with many ups and downs. Now, everything is starting to look up, the world is beginning to reopen, and friends and family are celebrating the ability to gather together once again. All of this is happening just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, a day dedicated to delicious comfort food, thankfulness, and spending time with those we hold most dear.


Though Thanksgiving is predominately celebrated in North America, we Italians appreciate the tradition of going all out with an exquisite family meal. We firmly believe that food is meant to be shared and thoroughly savored. Our family in particular feels that it is important to take the time to give thanks for everything that we have, now more than ever.


That is why we selected a few of our favorite family recipes and paired them with the perfect wine for Thanksgiving dinner. We can guarantee that these pairings are sure to please every guest at your table. After all, who knows food and wine pairings better than Italians!



What wine goes with Thanksgiving dinner?

One of the main decisions a host has to make before any dinner party is which type of wine to pair with which dish. In the most basic terms, the best wine for Thanksgiving dinner is one that beautifully complements the dish you are serving. This means that you can either choose a wine that has similar flavors to the food or one that has contrasting flavors to the food.


There are many ways that you can approach these two methods, but here are a few general tips that the Candoni De Zan Family likes to follow at our gatherings:


  • -It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat
  • -Red wines pair best with bold-flavored meats
  • -White wines pair best with light-intensity meats


The members of our family greatly enjoy sharing our love of food and wine with those that we care about. We feel that learning to pair a delicious Italian wine with the appropriate meal is an art form, one that can take some practice to learn. But don’t worry! We are here to help you in your quest to find the perfect Thanksgiving wine pairing for an Italian-style dinner with your family. 



Pinot Noir and Pot-Roasted Veal

For the best pinot noir pairing, choose a boneless veal roast. The pinot noir taste is complex enough to complement a lot of different red meats but is also light enough for poultry or even some seafood. With veal being considered both red and white meat at times, it’s not surprising that they fit together so well.


For a delectable pinot noir food pairing, try our family’s recipe for a pot-roasted veal with pistachios. You will find that our elegant, light, fruit-forward, and slightly earthy Candoni Pinot Noir beautifully complements every aspect of this dish. This recipe, along with the other food and wine pairings in this blog, can be found in our updated recipe ebook, “Our Family’s Guide to Pairing Authentic Italian Food and Wine”, which can be downloaded for free from our website.



Cabernet Sauvignon and Mozzarella with Mixed Vegetables

It’s no secret that Cabernet Sauvignon has a bold personality. This makes it easy for the wine to mask a lot of subtle dishes which is definitely not what you want when you’ve put effort into making a tasty meal. Choosing a recipe with the right ingredients to make both the food and the wine stand out is a delicate dance. The best cabernet sauvignon is full-bodied and dry with unique elegance and well-balanced depth.


The Candoni De Zan Family loves to pair the Polvaro Cabernet Sauvignon with duck and veal, as well as an array of cheeses and chocolates. We recommend pairing the Cabernet Sauvignon with our mozzarella and mixed vegetables recipe from our family recipe ebook. This is a delicious appetizer that even the smallest hands can help prepare!



Chianti and Pasta Quills

If you are looking for the perfect Chianti pairing, pasta is the obvious choice. The marked acidity of a Chianti red wine allows it to beautifully complement simple pasta dishes and cheeses without being overpowering. One of our family’s favorite Chianti food pairings is pasta quills with gorgonzola cheese. This simple yet delightful dish goes wonderfully with the soft, earthy, and dry finish of our Candoni Chianti. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!


You will need:


  • ½ lb (1 cup) ricotta cheese
  • 5 oz gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb pasta quills (penne pasta)


First, put the ricotta and the gorgonzola cheese into a food processor or blender with the milk, onion, celery, and salt and pepper (to taste.) Process until quite smooth. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.


Second, toss in the pasta, stir to prevent sticking, and boil until al dente (check the package for timing as different brands vary in cooking time.)


Finally, drain the pasta—do not rinse—and dress it with the gorgonzola sauce. Toss everything together thoroughly and serve at once.






Why We’re Thankful For Food & Wine This Year

Holidays have looked a little different for everyone as of late. Fortunately, the time is coming where we can safely celebrate each other’s company once again. We firmly believe that the best way to do that is by sharing a meal and a glass of wine with those you love. You see, in Italy, sharing food with someone is akin to sharing a part of yourself.


We encourage you to try out these recipes that are featured in the updated edition of our ebook “Our Family’s Guide to Pairing Authentic Italian Wine and Food” this Thanksgiving. If your family would like more vegan options on the table this year, we invite you to also try our vegan recipe ebook!


Finally, don’t forget to share your creations with us on social media by using @candoniwines or #CandoniWines on Facebook and Instagram! Be sure to follow our Tenuta Polvaro line, @tenutapolvaro, and our Ricco wines, @riccowines, on Instagram. We can’t wait to see your celebrations come to life with delectable food and wine!



From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!


-Barbara and Caterina




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