Best Red Wines To Pair With Turkey
Here are some of the best red wines to pair with turkey:
- Pinot Noir: This wine has high acidity, which makes it the perfect match for turkey. Two of the best varieties of Pinot Noir to pair with turkey are Burgundian Pinot Noir and Australian Pinot Noir, as these are both medium redds that complement the flavour and texture of turkey well.
- Rioja: According to Masterclass, Riojas is made predominantly from the Spanish Tempranillo grape, but it is a blended wine that also contains several other grape varietals.
- Merlot: If you want something that is a crowd-pleaser, then go for a Merlot. It has a smooth velvety taste that most people around your dinner table will enjoy with their turkey. Chilean Merlots are a good option.
- Beaujolais: Usually, Beaujolais wines are made from Gamay grapes. Beaujolais wine is low in tannin. Although there are white variations of this wine, red wines are more widely produced.
Wine Pairings With Fried Turkey
- ChampagneChampagne’s high acidity cuts the high fat content of a deep-fried turkey. Champagne’s mild flavor blends with whatever seasonings you use in your deep-fried turkey batter.
- LambruscoThis sparkling red wine’s bright acidity aids in digestion and its fruit flavors serve as a pleasant contrast to savory fried turkey. If you choose to make a cajun fried turkey, the low alcohol content of Lambrusco keeps your spice levels from overwhelming patrons.
Inspiration For Garrigue Herb Roasted Turkey
Imagine yourself driving through the French countryside, windows rolled down on a warm, sun drenched day. Smells of lavender, thyme and rosemary waft in. That fresh herb aroma can be captured in the character of a wine, and that quality is called garrigue.
When I was contacted back in 2015 to see if Id be interested in trying a potential Thanksgiving wine pairing involving the garrigue herbs and some Languedoc AOP wine, I was all in! While I do often fall back to Pinot Noir with the fairly traditional turkey we eat on Thanksgiving, I like to experiment, too.
And I especially like food and wine pairings where both elements grow together in the same region. That concept worked very nicely when we originally made this Garrigue Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with a Wine from Languedoc pairing we came up with for the November 2015 Thanksgiving edition of Wine Pairing Weekend.
We came back in 2019 to update the recipe and wine pairings to give you some additional ideas for your Thanksgiving meal or other holiday gathering.
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Best Types Of Wine Perfect For Pairing With Turkey
There’s a wine to pair with virtually any food, including turkey. Pairing wine and turkey is a matter of personal preference, but certain pairings will enhance the flavor profiles of both the wine and the turkey. While many people specifically seek wine pairings with turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, these wines will taste great with turkey any time of the year.
Best Wine To Pair With Turkey
Each turkey dish is different and calls for unique pairings, but a Burgundy Chardonnay, Rioja Bordeaux, or Spanish Garnacha are excellent options. A Burgundy offers yellow plum, lemon, and pear flavors with a denser mouthfeel and fresh aromas. You can get its full aromatic value by swirling wine before drinking it.
The Rioja Bordeaux is a prime choice for richer meals. This is one of a few red wines that isnât too strong for turkey, as it has plum and herb notes, a full mouthfeel, and stronger tannins.
Spanish Garnacha is another versatile red wine that brings plenty to the table for a turkey pairing. This wine has deep red fruit flavors like pomegranate, cherry, and red apple, balanced by botanicals like violet and cinnamon.
While each of these wines work great for any turkey meal, remember that the best wine pairing is your favorite one. Ultimately choosing a beverage to go with a meal is a matter of personal preference. By thinking unconventionally, you may come across an aged wine or meal pairing that blows your mind.
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Red Wines To Pair With Turkey Dinner
This might be my new favorite answer to the question, What should you drink with Thanksgiving dinner? This sparkling red wines flavors will surprise and challenge the palatebut in a good way! Its a Pinot Noir, made in the méthode champenoise with only 1% residual sugar. A wine designed to serve with food, this is not your normal aperitif sparkling wine. In fact, I encourage you not to pop the cork before dinner. But save this slightly savory, full-bodied sparkling wine to pair with your turkey dinner.
If what you crave with your traditional, turkey feast is a California Pinot Noir, then I recommend you try this one. An under-the-radar Pinot worth discovering, it has substance, thanks in part to 30% new French oak aging. But what I like is the texture. It has brightness from good acidity and fine grain tannins. Its flavor is of black cherry with just a touch of spice.
I feel lucky to have discovered this Livermore Valley red just in time for Thanksgiving. One sip and you will swear Karl Wente bottled the best of this holiday tradition. The wine offers notes of cranberries, raspberries, pepper and plums. And theres a hint of sage toward the back of the palate. To me, it echos the flavor of great turkey, cranberries and dressing. Its a well-balanced red with mild tannins, making it a welcome choice for the holiday meal or, frankly, any meal.
Top Wines To Drink With Turkey
You may already have your own favourite wine pairing for turkey but if you’re looking for inspiration here are some of my favourite matches.
The challenge with pairing wine with turkey is what else you serve with it – a full-flavoured, fruity, sometimes spicy stuffing, tart cranberry sauce and an array of vegetables that means you probably have about a dozen different flavours on your plate. That doesnt mean you cant pick a white or rosé but it does suggest something full and fruity that can cope with the onslaught.
The other consideration should be who you have round the table as both Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be multi-generational gatherings involving older members of the family who may well be set in their ways! So its worth sticking to tried and tested crowd-pleasers:
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Frequently Asked Questions About Turkey Wine Pairing
If you havenât done food and wine pairing before, it can feel like drinking water from a firehose. Thereâs a lot of information to digest , and even if you have a wine aroma kit, pointers still help.
To get on the fast track for turkey wine pairings, we researched the most commonly asked questions about it. Check out our answers below:
Pairing Wine With Tofurkey
If you are opting for a meatless Thanksgiving, popping a Tofurky roast rather than a bird in the oven, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir remain great wine pairings. Vegetarian or vegan, meatless Thanksgiving mains tend to be based on neutral grains like wheat and rice as well as soy. Like roasted or baked turkey, they need milder wine options.
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Prime Rib Or Other Beef
We didnt forget the red meat! It stands on its own and needs a bold well-balanced red wine, with strong, smooth tannins to enrich the flavor.
When it comes to beef roast, a full-bodied, dry, Bordeaux with liberal amounts of tannin often works best. Many Bordeaux wines have a sharp, mineral flavor to them that just seems to enhance the flavor and texture of the beef.
What Wine Pairs With Turkey
While you can select any wine that matches the flavor of your dish, the top three wine pairs with turkey are Pinot Noir, Champagne, and Chardonnay. Letâs break each of these flavors down and explain why they work well together.
Pinot Noir is one of the adaptable red wine types that suits meals of varying kinds. Choosing a New World Pinot Noir will offer you fruity, bold, and oaky flavors, whereas an Old World Pinot Noir is earthier, acidic, and has lower wine alcohol content.
Old World wine comes from the traditional winegrowing areas of Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain, whereas New World wine comes from any other location. This includes Mexico, the United States, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada.
Both New and Old World wine work well because turkey can be prepared with a broad range of ingredients. Go with New World for turkey meals with stronger spices and Old World for milder turkey dishes.
Champagne is a great turkey wine pairing for its higher acid content, smooth mouthfeel, and low tannin levels. Depending on the Champagne you pick, you may enjoy a bready, almond flavor, or an orange zest, melon, and apple taste. The natural fruit aromas in champagne bring out the delicate savoriness of turkey, making each flavor noticeable without overpowering your main dish.
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Best Wines To Pair With Your Christmas Dinner Virgin Wines
- Red Wine to Serve with Turkey. It may be a white meat, but its actually red wine that makes for one of the best pairings. Old World Pinot Noir is light in body and tannins and an absolute winner for turkey. With an interesting palate of strawberry and cherry mixed with mushroom and wet leaves, this is a complex red wine that complements …
Enjoy Sparkling Wines With Turkey
Sparkling wines pair well with many foods, including turkey. Often used as an apéritif, sparkling wine goes seamlessly from pre-dinner to dinner, especially with poultry such as turkey or chicken. These are especially good for meals with lots of fixings, such as Thanksgiving dinner, but they can make even an average weekday meal seem special.
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What About A Cab
For those guests who prefer something bigger than pinot noir, I would offer them a cabernet sauvignon from Washington State. Clark cabernet sauvignon from the Columbia Valley offers plenty of the blue fruit we associate with quality cabernet sauvignon wine. The cabs coming out of Washington State tend to be less extracted than their California cousins, which make them very food-friendly.
Set The Table This Thanksgiving With The Perfect Glass
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Sure, we all look forward to Thanksgiving for the usual suspectsturkey, stuffing, cranberries on everything, and the likebut often, its all too easy to forget about another important element of the meal: the wine pairing. If youre having guests over, chances are theyll come with a bottle or two in tow, but theres nothing quite like curating your wine list to bring out the best in any one dish or combination thereof .
We asked a handful of experts to recommend their go-to wines for turkey-centric meals, and they did not disappointfrom bright, zippy Columbia Valley riesling to an Israeli red blend, these are the top wines to stock for your Thanksgiving gathering.
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Averill Creek Piquette Blanc Cowichan Valley Bc $1995
Piquette is a style of wine made from rehydrating leftover grape skins and fermenting them, creating a bright, refreshing and low alcohol wine. Averill Creek uses grape pomace from Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris and the result is a wine that mirrors the flavours of a dry French apple cider. This is the perfect way to start your meal, and will please the palate of both beer and wine drinkers alike.
What Is The Best Wine For Thanksgiving Dinner
Selecting a wine to serve with what many Americans feel is the most important meal of the year, Thanksgiving, might seem hard to you.
If the thought of picking a bottle to take along to a shared Thanksgiving table gives you anxiety, get over it!
Although some prominent members of the wine industry might not love my saying this, if the food is good and the company is good and the wine has alcohol in it, youve chosen the right wine.
As you can probably tell, this article is not about the best wine with turkey but about learning to feel empowered to choose the wine thats right for you.
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How To Pair Wine With Turkey
With fall finally here, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning you should probably start thinking about what your menu is going to entail. While turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes will grace just about everyones plate, lets not forget about how important those wine glasses are too. In order to fill them with the best possible wine, start planning now by considering the following options that go especially well with turkey and traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.
Pinot Noir is always a good choice for those wine drinkers who love a solid red. This medium-bodied wine has gained fandom by being full of fruity flavors and for its legacy as a particularly tough grape to grow.
On Thanksgiving, though, Pinot Noir is a great choice because its fruity, earthy taste cuts right through the rich, fatty flavors of your turkey. For this reason, its also a good option for any succulent side dishes you might be serving as well. Due to its low tannin volume, you dont have to worry about Pinot Noir stealing the show.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine
Another light wine that goes well with Thanksgiving dinner is Riesling. Although this is traditionally a German wine, you can also find a number of versions from here in the U.S. these days too. Riesling is well known for its delicate, fruity flavor, which can be the perfect choice for washing down turkey or side dishes like crescent roles and mashed potatoes. It also makes a great dessert wine.
Kitsch Chardonnay Okanagan Bc $24
If you prefer a more generous white wine, while still offering a quenching finish, Kitsch Chardonnay is perfect. Warm buttery notes of lemon shortbread are balanced against citrus zest and granny smith apple. Its as delicious alone as it is with a mound of herbed mashed potatoes drenched in melted butter.
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Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris
You know youre in for something special right from the moment you get a whiff of the aromatics on this pinot gris from British Columbia. Its light, bouncy and tastes like stone fruit, thyme and a hint of honey, ideal flavours to play off the stuffing and starches.$21.99 BCLiquor 00776545991171. Also available at the LCBO and SAQ.
General Tips For Pairing Wine With Turkey
Turkey is a lean meat, but with plenty of flavour, particularly in the legs. .
If youre looking for a good wine with turkey, we have one simple recommendation: avoid excessive tannin! Tannins are perfect for high-fat meats and cheeses, as they will be softened by the meat.
With a low-fat meat like turkey, high-tannin wines can come across harsher and more accentuated.
Of course, you cant forget that turkey, served with gravy and mashed potatoes or stuffing, can be a fairly salty dish. Therefore a wine with some fruitiness, acidity and low tannin works brilliantly.
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Wine Pairings For A Southern Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving in the South takes the rich dishes of the north and amplifies their flavor by deep frying, bacon-infusing, and cheese-covering. These irresistible additions require their own wine pairing strategy.
Youâll need to find the right wine to complement and cut through the richness of creamy mac and cheese, deep-fried turkey, and gravy-smothered biscuits commonly found on a traditional, Southern Thanksgiving menu.
The crispness and acidity of sweet whites and sparkling wines make them great contenders for pairing with your Southern-style Thanksgiving meal. Alternatively, bold and rich reds may fit right in with heavier meat dishes and hearty sides.
Wines to pair with Southern foods this Thanksgiving include:
- Rose: sweet and crisp
What Makes This Turkey Breast Recipe Work
Our herb butter rubbed over the turkey gives it a nice golden brown color. Cooked just right, still moist with great flavor from the gravy.
We make a lighter gravy for this turkey breast, using some chicken stock along with more garrigue herbs. This accentuates the herb flavors of the dish, and also sets up some good wine pairings for the dish. Enjoy the herb roasted turkey with some of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to round out the meal.
If you are looking for another turkey breast recipe idea, try our Roast Turkey Breast with Cranberry Merlot Sauce.
Wondering what to serve with this turkey recipe? Check out our collection of 23 Creative Thanksgiving Sides!
View this article for a full set of Thanksgiving Menu Ideas, including one that features this Herb Roasted Turkey Breast.
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Best White Wine: Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling
Sarah Tracey, a New York-based sommelier extraordinaire, is a fan of Chateau Ste. Michelles Eroica Riesling as a turkey pairing. This is a perfect Thanksgiving white wine option because it’s cool, crisp, and light,” she says. “I love that this bright and zippy wine can balance out all the rich dishes on the tableit keeps your palate clean and refreshed through buttery mashed potatoes and rich casseroles.”
It’s important to keep in mind that Thanksgiving dinner is typically pretty filing. “I always recommend staying away from bold, heavy, high-alcohol wines on such a marathon day of eating and drinking!” she explains. “The green apple, peach, and citrus notes in riesling are so versatile that it’s one of the only wines I can confidently say truly pairs with everything, a must when there are so many family-style dishes on the table.