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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

It’s Turkey Time - Wine To Serve With Turkey

Posted: October 29, 2007
by: Susan Anderson

Thanksgiving is near and with that turkey and all the trimmings, what wine should you serve? To begin, I like to serve Champagne or sparkling wine as the guest are arriving or as the aperitif. It always makes a special dinner even more so. Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut is perfect for the larger group or your favorite Champagne for the more intimate dinner.

Now, to the big question the bird.  Turkey is mildly flavored so for the most part it serves as a base for the seasonings that provide the prominent flavors. Here are five ways to prepare a turkey and the wine suggestions for each style.

Simply Seasoned With Salt, Pepper & Butter: My suggestion for this style of turkey would be a buttery chardonnay from California or for a special treat a Meursault from France. If red is your preference, try a delicate Merlot or the very popular Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais Noveau is released the third Thursday in November just before Thanksgiving and has become a perennial favorite for Turkey Day.

Apple Cider Braised: When fresh pressed apple cider lends it seasonal sweetness to your bird the wine of choice should also be fruity and fragrant and have a touch of sweetness, such as a Viognier, Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Mediterranean Style With Olive Oil, Garlic &Rosemary: Nothing is better than a Grenache or Syrah based wine. I would suggest a Cotes du Rhone or a lighter style Syrah from Australia. For a smaller group of guest, serve the fragrant and elegant Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge.

Maple-Sage Glaze: A sweet and savory styled turkey calls for a fruity and earthy style of Pinot Noir. Say something from Burgundy, I would suggest a Bourgogne Rouge from Louis Jadot or Philip Le Hardi.  If you like a little more richness a New Zealand Pinot Noir would be a good match.

Southwest Spices, Grilled or Fried: Spices call for spice, so my choice for this type of bird is a lush, fruity red Zinfandel or if you want a white wine the citrusy yet spicy Gewurztraminer is your best bet. Grilled or fried foods also offer extra richness which the Zin or Gewurtraminer handle extremely well.

And as dessert or with apple pie, pumpkin, pecan or mincemeat, a sweet white dessert wine is simply divine. Try Chateau Rieussec from Sauternes. Intensely fruity notes of lemon, orange and apricot combine with honeyed vanilla notes, you taste richness but at the same time elegance.  What a wonderful way to end Thanksgiving dinner. If preparing the bird is not your thing, my suggestion to order a delicious, convenient Thanksgiving dinner delivered with all the trimmings from GourmetStation and use the wine suggestions above.

Susan Anderson

Wine Consultant


Your Comments

This time of year the question always comes up; what wine pairs well with Turkey? If you’ve been asked to bring the wine or have people coming to your house for Holiday dinner, no need to stress about what to serve. The good news is there is no correct answer. Turkey pairs well with red wine or white wine depending on what you and your guests like. Turkey is adaptable and the way it’s prepared as well as other dishes to the meal really dictate what wine to pair it with.

If you are a red wine drinker, try a Pinot Noir. It’s a nice flavored red wine that will pair well with turkey. Pinot Noir has very little tannins which means it won’t overwhelm the meal. Even though gathering around the table and sharing in a holiday meal seems like a great time to pull out a special Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been saving, don’t. They over power the meal. You could try a Zinfindel but save the “in your face” Zins for after dinner.

There are many good brands of Pinot Noir from California, Burgundy (France) and from Oregon. Find a known name brand in your price range and enjoy the meal. Serve Pinot Noir very lightly chilled. Putting the Pinot Noir in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving it will bring out the fruit and will take away the 'bite' that alcohol can give when served at room temperature. A couple of good brands

If you like white wines, try a Chardonnay or even a Pinot Gris. This is where the turkey is really adapatable. Almost any good white will work, but stay away from the sweet dessert style whites. Light and crisp Chardonnay's along with most Sauvignon Blanc's will work.. If you want to be a little more adventurous, include a Viognier. It has a floral, peach, apricot, pear, fruity flavor and is m edium in body.

Sparkling Wine also works as well, and brings a festive note to the meal. There are some powerful, yet affordable brut Champagnes that have sufficient weight and structure to stand up to a rich meal. Again, stay away from the sweeter Champagnes.

If you want to enjoy something special, try a Beaujolais. Every year in November, Beaujolais Nouveau ("new Beaujolais") is the first wine to be harvested in the Beaujolais region of France. Made from the Gamay grape, this wine is fresh, fruity, light-bodied and has hints of cherry and plums with peppery finish. It complements holiday fare well, and as it can be enjoyed slightly chilled, it can be enjoyed by those who favor a white wine.

Try one and tell me what you think! I suggest doing a trio of wines; red, white and sparkling. And let the fun and memories begin.

Here are a few wines I like:

Posted by: Mike at Nov 4, 2007 12:17:54 AM