Best Wines With Turkey This Christmas

by Edward Richardson

Best wine with Turkey

We all know that our feathery new world friend can emerge from the furnace a touch on the bland side. The old bird’s silver lining is a free rein when it comes to wine pairing. Whites or reds make excellent matches, particularly those that are packed with flavour. Sparkling wine should not be overlooked either, especially those in richer styles. When contemplating this slightly bewildering array of options, it pays to consider what you’re eating alongside the turkey. A rich gravy, a complex stuffing, various porky accoutrements, sweeter root vegetables, cranberries, sprouts (eek!) – they all change the game when it comes to wine pairing.

Simple Not Plain

If you enjoy turkey without too many trappings, then the obvious choice is Chardonnay with a bit of oak influence. The buttery flavour and聽rich texture will elevate the bird to new heights. White Burgundy from the C么te d’Or is the obvious choice. We love the quality and value you can find in Saint Aubin. If you are pushing the boat out聽(it is Christmas after all) then consider the rich exoticism of Meursault or聽the steely energy of Puligny.

There are lots of great white options聽beyond Burgundy.聽Kumeu River聽in New Zealand is giving the C么te d’Or a real run for its money and, while it’s not Chardonnay, the creamy richness and old vine intensity of the Gran Aut貌cton聽is another fantastic alternative.

Give It Some Fizz

If you resist the temptation to drown the bird in a very rich gravy or lashings of cranberry sauce then it could be time to experiment with a sparkling wine pairings. This is highly fashionable in sommelier circles because of the versatility and textural ebullience of these wines. The all-Pinot聽Gonet-M茅deville Blanc de Noirs聽would add real sparkle to a Christmas dinner, as would richer blends like those from聽Egly-Ouriet.

Keep It Fruity

If you’re planning on going to town with the trimmings then it may be wiser to stick to red. You’ll want something with bright acidity and plenty of juicy red fruit.聽Pinot Noir is the obvious choice but it’s not quite that simple. With a rich gravy, you’ll need a younger, fruitier wine with a bit of body. A Volnay聽would be perfect, or perhaps something fruit-led from聽Mercurey, Marsannay, or Morey-Saint-Denis.聽Don’t dismiss new world options either. New Zealand is a rich hunting ground for top quality Pinot in a fruity style. We adore the wines of聽Rippon and聽Tongue & Groove.聽If the聽stuffing is聽elaborate and fatty then you’ll want some grippy tannins to balance it out. That might call for a Givry,聽Pommard,聽Gevrey-Chambertin聽or something earthier from Nuits-Saint-Georges.聽

Pinot isn’t the only show in town. Good Beaujolais works superbly with fruitier trimmings. If things are more herby, try the earthy, cherry reds from Etna’s native聽Nerello Mascalese聽or brighter styles of Sangiovese. Lightly oaked聽Rh么nes provide a spicier alternative. Bordeaux blends are fine if not too overpowering. Try something like Tassinaia which mixes plummy flesh with lifted strawberry aromatics. Claret with聽a bit of bottle age is best. Even聽the blandest bird can be resurrected by a bottle of 1996 L茅oville Barton.

Plenty Of Stuffing

If you are going for some serious stuffing or a sweeter root vegetable then it’s worth considering the rich, nutty intensity of the聽Th茅venet wines from Domaine de la Bon Gran. Viognier would be a good match for stuffing laced with apricot or apple. Try Les Gendrines from聽Domaine Pierre Gaillard or some top notch聽Condrieu.聽A proper Pinot Gris聽from Alsace would work too.聽

Don’t Get Too Saucy

A couple of things to avoid. Don’t go overboard with the sauces. The聽Cranberries will ‘linger’ (sorry) unpleasantly alongside most聽white and sparkling pairings, as will the bread sauce. Brussels sprouts are next to impossible to match so anything you can do to disguise them is probably wise.

For a full list of our ‘Best Wines With Turkey’, click the button below. Whatever you chose to drink this Christmas, we hope it brings great joy and we hope it results in a second bottle!

Best Wines With Turkey