10 Best Wine Pairing with Turkey

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Quick Answer: Best Wine Pairing with Turkey

Turkey is made to equally complement white as well as red wines. It tastes its best when paired with wines like Grenache, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier, Beaujolais, Riesling, Primitivo, Champagne, Merlot, and Sangiovese. Pair any of these wines with turkey for an enchanting dining experience.

This is a detailed guide that you’ll ever need to find the best wine to suit your turkey dish and gratify your craving for good food.

Let’s get started.

But first, let’s get to know a bit more about turkey before we get to know the details about the best wines to pair it with.

About Turkey

Turkey meat is particularly obtained from domesticated turkeys although wild ones are also used.

It’s a popular poultry dish particularly prepared on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Usually, people either bake or roast turkeys in an oven for long durations. In South America, people brine the turkey before roasting it to boost its taste.

So, dreaming of turkey already? But before that let’s find the perfect wine match for them.

Best Wine Pairing with Turkey

These are my top picks for wine pairing with turkey –

1. Grenache

NameGrenache
OriginSpain, France
TasteDry
Primary FlavorsGrilled plum, leather, dried herbs
AcidityMedium
Serving Temperature (C)15-20 degrees C
Glass TypeUniversal
Storage (years)10+ years
Wine BodyMedium to full-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)More than 15%

Grenache is a red wine with juicy red fruit flavors with a dash of cinnamon-like spice. It’s thin-skinned and has a similar profile to that of Pinot Noir.

It comes with high alcohol content and moderate tannin levels. Grenache is available in a variety of styles, namely, dry, semi-dry, and sweet.

A medium-bodied white wine with moderate tannins and acidity is simply the best option to turn to for pairing with turkey.

Get insights regarding Grenache through this video:

2. Chardonnay

NameChardonnay
OriginFrance
TasteSweet and dry
Primary FlavorsApple and lemon
AcidityModerately acidic
Serving Temperature (C)50 degrees  
Glass TypeTraditional white wine glass
Storage (years)3-7 years
Wine BodyFull
Alcohol % (ABV)13.5 to 14.5%

Chardonnay comes with a neutral flavor. It comes with subtle notes of citrus, blossom, apple, and almonds.

It’s medium-bodied along with medium acidity and moderate to high alcohol levels.

Its dry taste and light golden shade make it visually appealing. With each sip, you experience a different flavor every time.

Chardonnay is a good pairing option for turkey as its mild fruity flavors won’t overpower the meat’s natural taste.

Here’s a video to get a complete gest about Chardonnay:

3. Pinot Noir

NamePinot noir
OriginFrance
TasteDry and sweet
Primary FlavorsCherry and raspberry
AcidityBright acidity
Serving Temperature (C)55-60 degrees 
Glass TypeBurgundy
Storage (years)5 years
Wine BodyLight - Medium
Alcohol % (ABV)12-15%

Pinot Noir comes with a rich fruity flavor along with a velvety and vibrant ruby shade. It comes with a consortium of distinct flavors each maintaining its individuality.

With a dry taste and full-bodied texture, Pinot Noir comes in distinct flavors like smokey, fruity, and earthy notes.

Pinot Noir comes with few tannins and less acidity making it a perfect pair for turkey as it doesn’t overpower its meaty taste and spice.

Check out this video to better understand Pinot Noir:

4. Viognier

NameViognier
OriginCroatia
TasteFruity and creamy
Primary FlavorsTangerine, mango, honeysuckle, and vanilla
AcidityLow acidity
Serving Temperature (C)50 degrees  
Glass TypeTraditional white wine glass
Storage (years)5-6 years
Wine BodyMedium bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)13.5 to 15%

Viognier is a white wine, primarily with fruity flavors. Its intensity ranges from light to spritz depending upon the manufacturer and how it is made.

It comes with hints of bitterness that surely won’t bother people who aren’t a fan of bitter wines. It has fewer tannins, a full-bodied texture, and moderate alcohol levels.

The fruity and subtle bitterness of Viognier perfectly strikes a balance when paired with a savory and spicy turkey.

Discover more about Viognier through this insightful video:

5. Beaujolais

NameBeaujolais
OriginFrance
TasteDry
Primary FlavorsRed Cherry, Raspberry, Currant, Cranberry, and Strawberry
AcidityMedium - Highly Acidic
Serving Temperature (C)11 - 14 degrees
Glass TypeBurgundy Wine Glass
Storage (years)2 - 3 years
Wine BodyLight-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)12.5 - 13.5%

Beaujolais is known for its light-bodied texture, moderate acidity, and low tannin levels.

It’s a red wine produced from Gamay grapes with a low percentage of Pinot Noir grapes in it.

Beaujolais is an excellent pick for a delicious turkey dish due to its light wine body and fruity flavors, as it doesn’t overpower the meat’s natural flavor.

Get to learn more about Beaujolais through this quick video:

6. Riesling

NameRiesling
OriginGermany
TasteOff-Dry
Primary FlavorsLime, green apple, jasmine
AcidityHigh
Serving Temperature (C)3-7 degrees C
Glass TypeWhite
Storage (years)10+ years
Wine BodyLight-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)Under 10%

Riesling is a white wine with rich fruity flavors as it’s rarely oaked and comes pure. It’s intensely aromatic and brings along with it a variety of floral notes.

It comes in several variants like dry, semi-dry, and sweet as well as sparkling white wine. It comes back with the vibrant and powerful heritage of Germany.

The fruity flavors, acidity, and wine body of Riesling endorse the feel and taste of turkey and will complement it exceptionally well.

Get more details about Riesling through this quick video:

7. Primitivo (Zinfandel)

NamePrimitivo (Zinfandel)
OriginCroatia
TasteDry and Sweet
Primary FlavorsRaspberry, Cherry, Plum, and Blackberry
AcidityModerately Acidic
Serving Temperature (C)17 - 20 degrees
Glass TypeZinfandel Wine Glass
Storage (years)5 - 8 years
Wine BodyMedium-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)13 - 15%

Primitivo is a red wine that comes along with black and red fruit flavors coupled with spicy pepper notes for that much-needed zing. It comes with low tannin levels making it an easy-to-go option for roasted dishes.

Its moderate acidity and medium-bodied texture make it an excellent pair with turkey as its spicy taste gets perfectly balanced.

Get insights regarding Primitivo through this video:

8. Champagne

NameChampagne
OriginFrance
TasteDry
Primary FlavorsCitrus, yellow apple, cream
AcidityHigh
Serving Temperature (C)3.3- 7.3 degrees C
Glass TypeFlute
Storage (years)5-20 years
Wine BodyLight-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)12.20%

Champagne is the perfect blend of grapes like Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay and is exclusively prepared in the Champagne region of France. That’s how it gets its name. It is a sparkling white wine that generates a velvety feel in every sip.

Sparkling wines like Champagne go incredibly well with roasted turkey. This wine comes with notes of egg and bread that’ll complement the ingredients added to your dish.

9. Merlot

NameMerlot
OriginFrance
TasteDark and fruity
Primary FlavorsBlack cherry, blackberry, plum, raspberry, vanilla and mocha
AcidityModerate acidity
Serving Temperature (C)60-65 degrees 
Glass TypeBordeaux
Storage (years)3-5 years
Wine BodyMedium to full
Alcohol % (ABV)13-14%

Merlot has a soft sensual texture that makes it a versatile beverage to go for. It comes with low tannins, while its flavors range from plums to black cherries with notes of vanilla, clove, and cedar.

You can either go for a full-bodied or light-bodied Merlot to relish along with your turkey dish as either of the two options work well for meaty meals.

To better understand the nuances of Merlot, check out this quick video:

10. Sangiovese

NameSangiovese
OriginTuscany
TasteBone-dry
Primary FlavorsCherry, roasted tomato, oregano
AcidityMedium-high
Serving Temperature (C)15-20 degrees C
Glass TypeUniversal
Storage (years)10+ years
Wine BodyMedium to Full-bodied
Alcohol % (ABV)13.5-15 %

Sangiovese is a red wine whose flavors depend upon the region from where the grapes have been obtained. You can get a dry, semi-sweet, and sweet Sangiovese wine bottle based on the sugars added to it.

Along with the fruity flavors mentioned above, Sangiovese comes with savory notes of tomatoes, smoke, herbs, and tobacco.

With medium to high tannin levels and medium to full-bodied texture, Sangiovese makes an incredible pair with turkey.

Click on the below-given link to know more about Sangiovese:

Wine Pairing Guide for Turkey

Turkey is a dish that can be paired with rich and smooth white wines to fruity and earthy red wines. One can never go wrong while pairing a glass of Chardonnay with turkey.

This is because this wine comes with crisp acidity, fruity flavors, and mineral undertones.

For the lovers of red, Pinot Noir is here. Its high acidity makes it a versatile wine to suit a variety of dishes including turkey.

Viognier is juicy, fruity, and all things floral. It adds a distinct flavor to your turkey meal, making it a remarkable option to turn to.

A bottle of Beaujolais on the dining table is just what you need for a wholesome turkey meal experience. It’s high in acidity and low tannins with a juicy mouthfeel in every sip.

Riesling is yet another versatile option to settle for wine pairing with turkey due to its high acidity and elevated minerality.

Primitivo wine goes exceptionally well with dark meats like the turkey while Champagne’s here to add some zest to your meal. Try these variants to find what’s best for you.

Recipe for Roasted Turkey

A full-sized fresh turkey is roasted on a pan with salt and pepper sprinkled into its cavity. Insert a bunch of thyme leaves, half a lemon, onions, and garlic into the turkey’s cavity.

The external surface of the turkey should be brushed with unsalted butter with a dash of salt and pepper.

You tie the turkey’s legs together with a string and begin to roast it. Roast it for around 2 and ½ hours and serve it fresh.

Here is roasted turkey recipe for you –

FAQs

What is the nutritional value of turkey?

Turkey comes packed with the goodness of nutrients like sodium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium. It is an excellent source of protein and low in fats making it safe and healthy for your heart health.

What ingredients are added to prepare a turkey?

Ingredients like unsalted butter, lemon, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, fresh thyme leaves, Spanish onions, garlic, and a full-sized fresh turkey are required to prepare a turkey dish.

For how long can turkey be stored in the refrigerator?

Raw turkey, when frozen, can be preserved for anywhere between 9 to 12 months. Cooked turkey can be stored in the freezer for around 4 to 6 months.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve made it to the end, I hope this article was useful enough for you to trace down your ideal wine pair for turkey.

Do share this with all the wine lovers you know!


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaujolais
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chardonnay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenache
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinot_noir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinfandel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riesling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangiovese
https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine/Species-and-varieties
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viognier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkling_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_wine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_wine
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Beaujolais-wine
https://www.britannica.com/topic/champagne-alcoholic-beverage
https://www.britannica.com/plant/chardonnay-grape
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Riesling-wine
https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12083881/
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https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00990/full
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34547201/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32784991/
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https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174110/nutrients
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173190/nutrients
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174835/nutrients
https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Texas/Publications/Current_News_Release/2021_Rls/tx-wine-grape-varieties-2020.pdf
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173200/nutrients
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174839/nutrients
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About Irene Clark

Irene is a supermom of 4 kids who always has a smile on her face. She's an amazing dancer - you should see her moves! - and she loves to eat, especially with wine. She also loves pop music and travels across the country with her family and friends.

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