Based on the synthesis of a sufficient amount of AlN nanowires (AlN-NWs), AlN-NWs/Al composites with homogenously distributed AlN-NWs were fabricated. Microstructural observations reveal that the interface between AlN-NWs and Al matrix is clean and bonded well, and no interfacial reaction product was formed at the nanowire-matrix boundary. Mechanical properties including yield and tensile strength of the composites were improved with AlN-NWs volume fraction changing from 5 to 15 vol%, and the maximum yield and tensile strengths of the composite were about 6 and 5 times, respectively, as high as those of Al matrix. Meanwhile, AlN-NWs effectively decreased the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the composites, and the CTE of 15 vol% composite was about one half that of Al matrix. The results obtained suggest that AlN nanowire is a promising reinforcement for optimizing the mechanical and thermal properties of metal matrix composites.