By Barbara Hay ~
Which Wine with Turkey is a question that comes up often during the holidays. By answering one simple question, you can probably come up with the perfect choice for you.
What do you like? The answer to that question is the most important factor in deciding what wine to have.
Do you prefer dry white wines?
If so, then Sauvignon Blanc or a White Burgundy are good all-around choices that pair well with everything from mashed turnips to turkey stuffing.
If you prefer Chardonnay, a dry, slightly oakey Chardonnay would be the natural choice for a match with turkey.
Do you prefer your wine to be on the sweet side?
Then, a White Zinfandel is the all-purpose favorite for most of your turkey feast. An alternative suggestion to white Zinfancel could be a Vouvray. Made from Chenin Blanc in the France’s Loire Valley, the wine has a fresh fruity taste with just a whisper of sweetness. This wine is widely available and many are reasonably priced wineas well.
Do you want something sweeter?
If you still want sweeter wines, you might want to try a German wine such as a light but slightly spicy Gewürztraminer which is always a good match for the turkey. Although it’s fruity and seems sweeet, it is a dry wine. For something slightly sweeter, look to a Riesling which also pairs well with any Thanksgiving or holiday dish. If the label says ‘Kabinett’, the wine is made from the earliest harvest; meaning it will be in the drier side. A Spätlese (Spätlese means late harvest) is a tad sweeter, but still retains the dryness of the wine — this is the usual favorite in American homes. For an even sweeter wine, look for an Auslese, but it makes a better match for dessert than turkey.
Oh, you prefer reds?
If you are a red wine fan, Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine for holiday feasting. More robust than white wine, Pinot Noir has very few strong tannins and can blend well with the entire meal, especially if you serve it slightly chilled (what could be called ‘cellar temperature). Put the Pinot Noir in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving it will bring out the fruit and will take away the ‘bite’ that alcohol can give when served at room temperature.
Do you just adore bubbles?
If sparkling wines are your favorite, how about your favorite Champagne?
There are, of course, many wine choices that will go with Turkey and the traditional meal. This list of tried-and-true suggestions is here to help simplify things for you. Many people make the mistake of assuming red is the way to go. The truth is: whites are fine, stay away from big reds and heavily oaked wines of any color—they won’t do your meal justice.
Now you only need to enjoy the meal and spending time with your family and guests.