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Wine with Turkey


Which Wine with Turkey is a question that comes up often, and especially around the holidays. By answering one simple question, we can suggest a good wine for you.

Do you and your guests usually prefer red wines, dry whites or, possibly, wines with a little sweetness?

The answer to that question is the most important factor in deciding what wine to have. Based on your answer, I suggest that you select one of the following three wines.

-- If you normally prefer red wines, consider a Pinot Noir to go with your Turkey. It will have a bit fuller flavor than white wine choices you might make but will match quite well with the meal. Pinot Noir has very little tannin so it will not overwhelm the taste of the meal. There are many good brands of Pinot Noir from California, Burgundy (France) and also some from Oregon. Find a known name brand in your price range and enjoy the meal. Serve Pinot Noir very lightly chilled (what could be called 'cellar temperature). 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 are Sterling Vineyards Winery Lake Pinot Noir in the $20 price range and Camelot Pinot Noir in the $10 price range. I personally avoid the Pinot Noirs from Beaulieu Vineyards.

-- If you normally prefer dry white wines, then Chardonnay would be the natural choice for a match with Turkey. If you like dry white wines, then do not try to overcomplicate this. Just select a nice Chardonnay in your price range and enjoy. There are too many good ones to make suggestions. It is hard to go wrong in your selection.

-- If you usually like wine with a little sweetness, such as White Zinfandel or many of the German wines, I would suggest that you try a Vouvray. This is a widely available and reasonably priced wine from the Loire River region in France. Do not let the fact that this is a French wine intimidate you. Just understand that a Vouvray will have a nice fruit taste with just a whisper of sweetness. Expect it to cost less than $10 per bottle.

There are, of course, many other wine choices you can make that will go with Turkey and the traditional meal. This is just designed to take the guesswork and simplify things for you. Dry white wine options could include a nice Pinot Gris (Trimbach is probably the best at about $16 or $17), a White Burgundy from France (they are made with Chardonnay) or a Viognier.

You can get really wrapped up in making this a harder decision but you do not have to. Just work within these tried and true suggestions and save your time and energy on the rest of the meal as well as enjoying the time with your family and guests.