5 Best Wines to Pair With Turkey (2022)

5 Best Wines to Pair With Turkey Featured

Succulent, Tender, and Irresistibly Deliciouss

Turkey meat is succulent, juicy, tender, and easy to cook. In fact, properly cooked turkey packs extreme flavor concentration. So, when you have a table full of people, do not avoid turkey. And remember that it does not have to be Thanksgiving to roast this delicious bird. Before cooking turkey, however, here are some tips:

How to Defrost Turkey

If you go for a frozen turkey, give it a day in the fridge to thaw. Place it on a pan with a cookie sheet to catch the liquid the turkey might drip as it defrosts.

Avoid Washing Turkey

That is a big no-no since washing poultry in the sink will contaminate it with salmonella. Therefore, remove the turkey from the packaging and dry it off with paper towels. The salmonella bacteria will die from the heat when the turkey’s cooking.

Avoid Cooking the Stuffing Inside Turkey

Bear in mind that by putting stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey, the bird is going to overcook by the time the stuffing is ready. Instead, cook the stuffing in a separate pot. After this, you can add to the cavity of the turkey a mixture of apples, prunes, onions, carrots, celery, or whatever else you may fancy, such as stock.

Bottle
Name Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier Jean-Claude Lapalu Vieilles Vignes Brouilly Alchemist Pinot Noir 1000 Stories Zinfandel
Color White White Red Red Red
Country United States United States France United States United States
Grapes Chardonnay Viognier, Chenin Blanc Gamay Pinot Noir Zinfandel
Taste Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Meyer Lemon, Butter, Stone, Flint, Smoke, Clovee Peach, Strawberry, Green Apple, Pear, Grapefruit Raspberry, Bread Crust, Plum, Redcurrant, Forest Floor, Soil, Cinnamon Spice Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Plum, Bramble, Mushroom, Cinnamon Spice, Grapefruit, Orange Blackberry, Cocoa, Coffee, Clove, Caramel, Butterscotch
Food Pairing Turkey, Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Crab, Fried Chicken, Cured Meat, Sushi Turkey, Chicken Francese, Jambalaya, Grilled Cheese, Creamy Salmon, Sea Bass Turkey, Beef Bourguignon, Paté, Beefsteak, Veal Stew, Pizza, Indian Turkey, Tuna Steak, Venison, Pheasant, Casseroles, Salmon, Trout, Napolitana, Manchego Turkey, Lamb With Anchovies, Veal Stew, Lasagna, Sausages With Peppers, Feta
Alcohol Content 14.2% 12.5% 12.5% 14.4% 15.2%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
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What Wines Pair Well With Turkey?

As white meat with low-fat content, Turkey dries out quickly if not cooked with care. Your wine pairing should be made with a full-bodied white wine or a light-to-medium-bodied red, with subtle tannins and high acidity. That said, do not get intimidated. Succulent flavor and juicy texture make it a great turkey wine match with several grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Noir, among others.

Chardonnay

When it comes to wine pairing with turkey, you cannot go wrong with Chardonnay. The wine is crispy, packed with juicy flavors of tropicals, stone fruits, and citruses, as well as mineral undertones that bring out the best of the bird. Both Old and New World expressions are perfect to pair with turkey. Whether citrus-driven with pronounced minerality or bold, with lush, tropical fruit flavors, Chardonnay is an amazing choice to serve on Thanksgiving Day.

Viognier

Viognier is not as popular as Chardonnay, yet it goes divinely with turkey. Round and aromatic, Viognier brims with juicy notes of peaches, florals, and honeyed overtones, perfect for tender poultry meat. You can find Viognier nearly everywhere in the world, but the best expressions are from France, South Africa, and California.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir might be the best red wine with turkey. It has bright acidity, earthy flavors, and it is also versatile. That makes an ideal drink choice not only with turkey but with other courses of a dinner, too. The earthiest expressions of Pinot Noir are from Old World regions, renowned for mushroom, soil, and forest floor tastes. If you are more into fruit-forward reds, opt for a New World Pinot Noir, preferably from Oregon or Australia.


Best White Wines With Turkey

Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay

  • Winery — Sonoma-Cutrer
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Apple, Pear, Peach, Apricot, Nut, Vanilla Spice
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Meyer Lemon, Butter, Stone, Flint, Smoke, Clovee
  • Alcohol Content — 14.2%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Turkey, Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Crab, Fried Chicken, Cured Meat, Sushi
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Vibrant Aromas
  • Rounded Texture
  • Lengthy Finish
Negatives
  • Moderate finish

Tasting Notes

Warm notes of pie crust, apples, and peaches are elevated with subtle hints of baking spices and nuts. A constant creaminess offers a mouthwatering sensation, as the oak-driven aftertaste is rounded and pleasant. Rounded, and medium-bodied, this Chardonnay begins with vibrant aromas of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nuts, and vanilla spice.

The palate is creamy and delicious. There, tastes of cantaloupes and pineapples join flavors of Meyer lemons, butter, and minerals. The balanced acidity is refreshing and helps balance the ripeness out, while the finish is lengthy with hints of cloves and smoke. The Cutrer Chardonnay, therefore, might be the best white wine with Turkey.

Combining Tradition With Innovation

For over 37 years, Sonoma-Cutrer has been known for choosing quality over quantity. In fact, the winery has earned a reputation for producing high-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by combining California innovation with traditional winemaking techniques.


Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier

  • Winery — Pine Ridge
  • Country/Region — Napa Valley, California, United States
  • Type — Californian White Blend
  • Aroma — Pineapple, Citrus, Apple, Honey, Pear
  • Grapes — Viognier, Chenin Blanc
  • Taste — Peach, Strawberry, Green Apple, Pear, Grapefruit
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Turkey, Chicken Francese, Jambalaya, Grilled Cheese, Creamy Salmon, Sea Bass
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Fragrant Bouquet
  • Smooth, Mouthwatering Palate
  • Long Aftertaste
Negatives
  • Slightly Sour

Tasting Notes

Fragrances of orange blossoms, apples, peaches, and melons on the nose are followed by creamy texture, racy acidity, and flavors of stone and tropical fruits on the palate. Crispy and bold, this aromatic white blend opens with a nose of orange blossom, honeysuckle, apples, peaches, and melons, alongside hints of grapefruits and jasmine.

Medium-bodied, the bright palate is mouthwatering, showcasing flavors of apricots, nectarines, pineapples, and guavas. The tangy acidity stimulates, while delicate hints of tangerines, ginger, and pears, drive into the clean but long aftertaste.

Advocates of Biodiversity

Since 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards has produced excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District. The winery took its name from the ridge of pines, where it is nestled. Pine Ridge Vineyards owns estate vineyards spanning four different appellations within Napa Valley, Oakville, Rutherford, Carneros, and Howell Mountain. On top of this, the winery is Napa Green Certified, encompassing biodiversity and crafting wines expressive of the terroir.


Best Red Wines With Turkey

Jean-Claude Lapalu Vieilles Vignes Brouilly

  • Winery — Jean-Claude Lapalu
  • Country/Region — France, Beaujolais, Brouilly
  • Type — French Beaujolais
  • Aroma — Strawberry, Cherry, Cocoa, Rosemary, Cedar, Clovetertaste
  • Grapes — Gamay
  • Taste — Raspberry, Bread Crust, Plum, Redcurrant, Forest Floor, Soil, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Turkey, Beef Bourguignon, Paté, Beefsteak, Veal Stew, Pizza, Indian
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Dynamic Bouquet
  • Complicated, Fruity Palate
  • Balanced Oak Influence
Negatives
  • Takes A While To Decant Properly

Tasting Notes

This fine wine is heavily perfumed with the aromas of cherry and cranberry. There are also delicious layers of strawberries, raspberries, notes of sweet spices, and dried soil. All of these lush flavors make this is an extraordinary Beaujolais. This ruby-red wine benefits from decanting before serving to fully release the flavors. After letting it breathe for an hour, it reveals a bouquet of strawberries, cocoa, rosemary, clove, cedar, tobacco, and cherries. Very impressive, right?

The palate is medium-to-full-bodied and vibrant, with silky tannins and a slightly oaked sensation. This adds complexity to the mouthfeel. Velvety tannins accompany flavors of earth, bread crust, cinnamon spice, and raspberries. The long finish has a pleasing acidity.

Sustainably Grown

Jean-Claude Lapalu is an advocate of 100% sustainable viticulture, and this Beaujolais is an example of this practice. The grapevines are influenced by the Mediterranean climate, which helps them ripen to perfection. Jean-Claude Lapalu’s high-end wines and incomparable cuvées are a result of years of passionate winemaking.


Alchemist Pinot Noir

  • Winery — Union Wine Company
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon State Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Mulberry, Thyme, Wet Soil, Underbrush, Forest Floor
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Plum, Bramble, Mushroom, Cinnamon Spice, Grapefruit, Orange
  • Alcohol Content — 14.4%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Turkey, Tuna Steak, Venison, Pheasant, Casseroles, Salmon, Trout, Napolitana, Manchego
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Dynamic And Uncompromising
  • Soft Tannins
  • Lingering Finish
Negatives
  • Slightly Flat

Tasting Notes

Crafted with care and passion, this Pinot Noir is magical. Bright and fresh aromas of red berries and cherries join a palate of dark fruits and chocolate. Alchemist Pinot Noir shows vibrant nuances of raspberries, cherries, grapefruits, and blueberries.

At the same time, subtle scents of soil and game meat emerge and drive into the rounded palate. There, flavors of blackberries, plums, and licorice join a core of prunes, figs, and tobacco, as the smooth tannins contribute depth. The acidity is bright and fresh, finishing long and welcoming.

Alchemy: The Magical Process of Converting One Substance Into Another

A family-owned winery, operating for more than 14 years, Alchemist produces bright wines with minimal intervention. It embraces winemaking to the fullest, as it transforms “the humble grape into a divine elixir.” The first Alchemist vines were planted in 1999. However, the first commercial vintage under the Alchemist label was released in 2008.


1000 Stories Zinfandel

  • Winery — 1000 Stories
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Zinfandel
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Nutmeg, Clove
  • Grapes — Zinfandel
  • Taste — Blackberry, Cocoa, Coffee, Clove, Caramel, Butterscotch
  • Alcohol Content — 15.2%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Turkey, Lamb With Anchovies, Veal Stew, Lasagna, Sausages With Peppers, Feta
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Elegant Bouquet
  • Graceful Tasting Profile
  • Oak-aged In Bourbon Barrels
Negatives
  • Can Be Too Syrupy At Times

Tasting Notes

1000 Stories is the story of Bob Blue. Decades ago, wine barrels were not as widely available in the United States as in Europe because most American oak barrels stored whiskey. Yet, Bob needed barrels to mature his wine, so he decided to use the bourbon barrels.

Today, American and French wine barrels are easily obtained in the United States. However, aging 1000 Stories in bourbon barrels is a nod to the way things were. And instead of neutralizing them, 1000 Stories takes advantage of their unique nuances, enhancing the complexity and flavor of the wine. Bob produces a wine that combines American and French oak seamlessly and comes off as bold, smoky, and distinctive.

Bourbon-Fermented Wines

1000 Stories Zinfandel has a warm, rich-tasting profile, embodying smokiness and rich flavors. Full of fragrances of red berries and fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries, and cherries, it also shows the aromas of blueberries, nuts, and cloves. The wine is luscious and creamy, as jammy blackberries combine with cocoa, mocha, tobacco, and caramel notes. Finally, the fermentation time spent in bourbon barrels, means that it also shows smoky butterscotch notes.

Bob took advantage of the unique nuances of the bourbon casks and enhanced the complexity of his wine. In other words, Bob Blue is responsible for the term bourbon-fermented wine, and for a whole new genre of wine that has gained popularity in the world of wine.

Conclusion

Turkey is a fantastic type of meat, producing some of the most delicious and mouthwatering dishes. To truly appreciate it, though, you have to serve it along with creamy and high-acidity wine. Just pick any of the above bottles for the best turkey wine pairing!

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