Yes, there is no problem pairing a glass of wine while having turkey on Thanksgiving, as wine imparts fruity and refreshing flavors with turkey. Generally, wines like Gewürztraminer or Chardonnay, known to be more flavorful and expressive, pair perfectly with turkey.
However, even the fruity and light wines also match perfectly with turkey as they match the turkey’s weight and maintain the subtle meat flavor.
However, for those wondering does wine goes with turkey, there are a few things you need to know first. So, let’s learn more about different combinations of wines with turkey and some basic rules for pairing these two.
Wine Pairing With Fried Turkey
Wine pairing with turkey is not much complicated as you know that wine and lighter foods and seasoning go pretty well with one another. A light, fruity and acidic wine is the best combination with tender, juicy and fried turkey.
Wine enhances the flavors of turkey with its heavy acidity and alcoholic content, giving your taste buds some true pleasure.
However, the turkey gravy’s saltiness level and traditional flavor must match the wine. You can always pair a glass of full-bodied Chardonnay with some oak aging with fried turkey. It will add the perfect blend of vanilla and butterscotch flavors to your meal.
Red Wine With Turkey
There are so many options available in red wine to pair with turkey. Wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais Cru are just the perfect choice. However, first, you need to understand some basics about the different options of red wine available in the market. Here are some worldwide popular matches of red wine with turkey:
The Pommard or Gevrey-Chambertin crus of Pinot Noir gives exceptional taste when paired with turkey. You can pair generous amounts of Pinot Noir or Gevrey-Chambertin with traditional gravy to get the perfect flavor and texture. This is the best choice for lovers of Pinot Noir wine.
This is a match made in heaven and goes perfectly with Thanksgiving turkey. You can also go for the lighter option of Santenay or Fixin.
These Pinots also give a fantastic flavor to your treatment and are less expensive than traditional wine.
However, it would be best if you remembered that some lighter Pinot styles like Volnay could overpower your turkey with intense flavors. So instead, you can opt for any of the delicious choices among Santa Barbara County or Willamette Valley from Oregon.
You can expect a perfect balance of fruity flavors and acidity levels in these sweet and spicy Pinots.
Mornington Peninsula from Australia is the go-to option if you are planning a sweet and romantic dinner. Pinot Noir will make your cold leftovers of roasted turkey eventful and surprisingly tasty.
This is the classic choice of wine that pairs best with turkey. Not all Gamay wines are lightweight; some wines are known for their power and depth.
Wines like Morgon or Moulin-à-Vent are a great Beaujolais Cru that can be paired with nicely cooked turkey on any day.
It also has higher acidity levels that are perfect to balance out the richness and weightiness of turkey. Unfortunately, Beaujolais Nouveau is a little too fruity and sweet for this meal.
But you can surely try the Gamay from Beaujolais, which has more rustic and fruity flavors.
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A blend of dark luscious fruits with high acidity levels, Aged Bordeaux wines also greatly complement turkey flavors. You can pick light, medium, or full-bodied Bordeaux wines to complement your delicious meal.
However, you must be innovative and choose more suitable wines for your meal. For example, wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and St-Estèphe for the creamy texture of turkey gravy and the richness of stuffing.
These medium-bodied, full-flavored wines are best paired with richly cooked turkey on Thanksgiving.
Many great options can help you cherish the flavors of roasted or fried turkey. While pairing a glass of red wine with turkey doesn’t seem challenging, avoid using wines with a heavy oak influence.
White Wine With Turkey
In the case of white wine, Chardonnay is the best choice to pair with your delicious turkey dish. Chardonnay wines have a higher acidity that balances the richness and thickness of cream and butter in your entree.
When you have a variety of foods at your table, it’s best to have the zingy and crispy Riesling white wine as drinks for the meal.
You can also go for Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio if you are not a great fan of Chardonnay.
Both these wines have high acidity levels that match perfectly with turkey gravy. However, these wines might overpower your meal slightly as they can be pretty strong in flavor and aroma.
These engines pack all the necessary flavors for gravy like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and Thanksgiving dinner.
If you love Sauvignon Blanc, choose the lighter option from Oregon or British Columbia. However, if you don’t have the time to cook the whole bird in your oven, you can use turkey breast. The pink meat of roasted turkey is rich in flavor and can go perfectly well with light Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Noir & Turkey Pairing
Pinot Noir is the best wine to pair with your dish for turkey lovers who want a meaty, hearty, and perfect Thanksgiving dinner. The red wine has enough concentration in fruit flavors to balance out the richness of turkey.
In addition, Pinot Noir is said to have an affinity with poultry, and the match can’t get better than this.
Pinot Noir is also excellent for family dinners as it goes well with kids. However, it would be best to be careful when selecting Pinot Noirs for such occasions as lighter versions can overpower Turkey’s taste and make your meal seem dull and flat.
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However, cheap quality Pinots are often watered down with flavoring agents, which takes away their authentic taste. On the other hand, premium quality Pinots will cost anything over 40 dollars.
Some Basic Rules Of Wine Pairing With Turkey
If possible, use wine of the same vintage and region. Otherwise, you might look at a completely different wine with nothing in common with your dish. Here are a few basic rules for pairing wine with turkey:
Embrace Acidity Level
Too much acidity can kill your soul, so don’t go too far with bitterness and acid. On the other hand, a slight tinge of sweetness can go well with turkey. Use a variety of wines to balance out their flavor levels.
Do not be afraid of reaching out to match wine you might not have wanted to buy this year or last year, for that matter. A medium acidity level is a perfect option to experience myriad turkey flavors.
Go For Fine Tannins
Many wines don’t have enough tannin to pair with turkey. However, taking some time to find the right wine can reap dividends. Fines tannins are perfect to go with a dish that is full of meat.
The meaty flavor of a word makes the wine more aggressive as you need its fusion in more quantity. Fine tannins pair well with poultry and help bring out juicy flavors from your roasted bird.
Oak-Aged WineAs Top Choice
Winemakers target oak trees or barrels when they add tannin or oak notes to their wines for better texture and depth of flavor. Oak is generally associated with robust, extensive, and heavy flavors. However, oak wines can spoil the balance of wine to turkey.
That’s why you need a few fine tannins such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to balance out the richness of the turkey dish.
Sweetness levels in wine increase on aging, and this can pair pretty well with your Thanksgiving dinner. However, sweet wines are better suited for family feasts rather than Thanksgiving dinners due to their tendency to overprice diners’ taste buds.
So instead, try adding some fudge cubes, chocolate sauce, or nuts to the fondue pot and give it a little twist.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a good wine for Thanksgiving turkey?
If you are looking for a medium-bodied wine that can complement your turkey dish, you might want to go with the Beaujolais blends such as Beaujolais-Village and Beaujolais-Villages. Also, the Gamay wines from the Beaujolais region in France will help you bring out sweet and fruity flavors in your dish.
2. What kind of red wine goes with turkey?
Many red wine options are perfect to pair with turkey. However, Merlot or Cabernet are some of the best options for a creamy texture in gravy and stuffing.
3. Do you drink red or white wine with turkey?
Cabernet Sauvignon and St-Estèphe is the perfect option for your Thanksgiving dinner if you want to pair red wine with turkey. However, if you are looking for white wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio will do a great job balancing vivid turkey flavors.
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