Pairing wine and food is largely a personal preference. However, there are some guidelines. These guidelines stand true across so many people that they’ve become more of rules really. Luckily, turkey is quite an easy dish to pair wines with because of the meat’s juiciness. When it comes to turkey, you have a range of options. You can pair it with fruitier or earthier reds, or even with balanced, creamy whites. If you’re hosting dinner this year, be sure to pick up some of these wines for Thanksgiving Dinner.
The decadence of chardonnay makes it a perfect fit to go alongside a turkey dinner. Select a chardonnay that has fruit-forward tones to really bring out all of the flavor that the turkey has to offer. In fact, you can even use some of that chardonnay for basting the turkey or making gravy to go alongside it. To keep it affordable and still find the perfect wine pairing, we suggest a Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County.
This one is a given. Pinot Noir is known for its versatility, meaning that it not only pairs well with a turkey dinner, but also goes with all of the other sides you might have with it – stuffing, a salad, mashed potatoes, and more. A classic Pinot Noir is earthy, with hints of mushroom that help to ground the turkey dish. You can’t go wrong with a 2015 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Rouge.
If you’re a fan of white wine but don’t want something as buttery as the Chardonnay, then Riesling is your next best bet. However, the Rieslings are usually much sweeter than the Chardonnays, so you’re substituting butteriness for sweetness. To avoid such heavy sweetness, go for a dry riesling, like the Empire State Dry Riesling 2017, that brings hints of golden apple, peach, lemon, and combines it with aromas of limestone and shale. It’s savory, yet with a hint of sweetness.
Less sugar, more spice, and everything nice. Zinfandels typically have a fuller body than Pinot Noirs and are filled with much more of a spice flavor profile. They are jammy and fruit-forward. Zinfandels can be a good complement to a turkey that was missing some herbs, basting, or marinating. It can also work better for the darker turkey meat. When it comes to pairing a Zinfandel with a turkey dinner, you can’t go wrong with a Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2012 from Napa Valley, California.
Last, but certainly not least, is champagne. Nothing can round out a hearty turkey dinner quite like a lighter, bubbly alcoholic beverage. The high acidity of champagne can complement the turkey and other sides at the dinner table. Additionally, the crispness of the champagne can also make it the perfect pairing partner for a more decadent dessert. Plus, it brings a nice touch of elegance to the meal. When having a nice turkey dinner, there’s no reason you should skimp on the champagne. We found a bottle that’s affordable, yet still brings all the class, in the Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut.
When you need the perfect wine to accompany your turkey dinner, head on over to your local Zipps Liquor, where the shelves are stocked and the staff are friendly.