Top pairings | Top wines to drink with turkey

Top pairings

Top wines to drink with turkey

If you were eating it entirely on its own roast turkey would be one of the easiest ingredients in the world to match. You could drink your favourite white, red, ros or even sparkling wine with it and it would work fine.

The problem comes with what you put with it - a full-flavoured, fruity, sometimes spicy stuffing, tart cranberry sauce and an array of vegetables (sprouts and carrots at a minimum) that means you probably have about a dozen different flavours on your plate. That doesn’t mean you can’t still 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 it’s worth sticking to tried and tested crowd pleasers:

My top picks would be:

  • A good full bodied Chardonnay - a Meursault if you want to impress
  • A Rhone red - Chateauneuf-du-Pape for maximum impact
  • A young St Emilion or Pomerol - provided you know your Bordeaux - or other top notch Cabernet/Merlot blends from Chile, California or Western Australia
  • A good Australian or South African Shiraz - or, if you're feeling daring, Sparkling Shiraz

What I wouldn’t do is pull out some aged and venerable bottle that you’ve been keeping for a special occasion. There’s always a danger that it will disappoint and that the cranberry sauce will just slaughter it.

When it comes to cold turkey think in terms of a slightly lighter red like a Pinot Noir or (my own favourite) a chilled cru Beaujolais or good Beaujolais Villages.

Image © msheldrake -

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Comments: 1 (Add)

Shibu on November 24 2012 at 11:04

Congrats on your closing! I think it's great that you've sttraed a blog about something that you're interested in and are willing to share your experiences. If you have the time, you could either keep up both blog sites or just combined the two topics, as you mentioned. I'm not a big wine drinker, but this is a great idea for those looking to unwind to find a place of resource. I think if the new site is a topic that you're more passionate and likely to write about, by all means keep it!

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