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Which Wine with Turkey?

red and white glassesAfter speaking with several sommeliers, I have compiled some helpful ideas. There are whites, reds, or sparkling wine selections that go well with turkey. A nice dessert wine, such as Port, goes well with pumpkin or pecan pie.

Red Wines

Young reds tend to have berry flavors which go well with turkey and its accompaniments.

Pinot Noir

The classic pairing: if red wines are normally your favorite, Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine for holiday feasting. More robust than white wine, Pinot Noir has very little tannin and will likely blend well with the entire holiday meal. Serve it slightly chilled; about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine of this harvest - barely any time passes between when the grapes are picked and the bottles are out to the consumers. It celebrates the grape harvest of the year. The wine is released from France on the third Thursday of November, just in time for Thanksgiving.


How does this young Beaujolais Nouveau taste? It's a very white wine style, since it has not been with the skins for long and has hardly aged at all. It should be drunk chilled - around 45� F, and is a light, fruity wine. It goes well with turkey, or with brie and edam for a pre-dinner snack.


Since Beaujolais Nouveau is a reserved name for wine from a particular region in France, other vinters have created their own name for a similar product. Trader Joes, for example, uses Valdiguie for their version.

White Wines


If you and your guests prefer dry white wines, dry and oakey Chardonnay is the favorite choice with turkey depending on the particular tastes of your family and guests.

White Burgundy, Sauvignon Blanc

 Sauvignon Blanc or a White Burgundy are also good all-around choices that pair well with everything from mashed turnips to turkey stuffing.

White Zinfandel

If your guests prefer their wines on the sweet side, White Zinfandel is the all-purpose favorite to go with most of your turkey feast.

German whites

Head for the German wine aisle at your favorite wine shop to pick out a light but slightly spicy Gewurztraminer that's always a good match for the holiday bird. A slightly sweeter Riesling will also pair well with any dish at a Thanksgiving or holiday table. If the label says 'Kabinett', the wine is made from the earliest harvest. That means the Riesling will be a dryer wine. A Sp�tlese is a bit sweeter, but still retains the dryness of the wine — and is usually a favorite in American homes. An Auslese will be even sweeter and makes a better match for the dessert than the turkey.

Sparkling wines

Surprise! If sparkling wines are your favorite, may we suggest another white wine that's sure to put family and guests in a holiday mood. How about a top quality champagne? Our favorite producer is Domaine Chandon.

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