Pairing Wine With Turkey | The Ultimate Christmas Feast

Harry Lambourne
25th November 2021

Will you be pairing wine with turkey this Christmas? It’s fast approaching, that one meal of the year that stands out in everyone’s mind. An iconic and highly anticipated feast that will knock everyone out and have you clutching your stomach in a contented fullness.

Indeed, it’s a meal for which planning begins months in advance. You’ve pre-ordered the perfect bird. Each and every accoutrement will know its place on the table. Key timings for all the sides will be part of the rock-solid plan.

If this much care, love and attention goes into the meal, it’d be a crime to pair it with anything less than an exemplary wine complimenting the task at hand. So, with this in mind, let’s take a quick look at 4 different options when pairing wine with turkey. This should mean that whatever your preference, you’ll be able to pick the wine which is guaranteed to make your family festive food that little bit extra special!

Pairing Wine With Turkey
Pairing Wine With Turkey This Christmas? – (Photo Courtesy of BBC Good Food)

Pairing Wine With Turkey

Before we move onto our top picks for the job, it’s best to understand exactly what you should be considering when pairing a wine with turkey. People would assume white wine would be the only way to go. However, this is not true

The crucial consideration for pairing red wine with turkey is the tannins. If you choose a wine which has big, bold tannins it’ll likely overpower not just the turkey, but the side dishes. Turkey is a lean meat, so the relative lack of fat lends itself to low tannin red wine. These include Beaujolais and other Gamay wines, Pinot Noir and Barbera.

Next thing to consider when pairing wine with turkey is acidity. The turkey, along with dishes such as roast parsnips and potatoes, or stuffing will likely have a fair degree of salt. The acidity in a wine will cut through this. More so than that, a wine with at least a medium amount of acidity will be able to stand up to the highly diverse flavours that come with a meal of this kind.

So, that’ll be what we’re looking for. Full-bodied and acidic white wine and low-tannin, acidic and low to medium body red wines will be perfect for pairing wine with turkey. 

Without further ado, here are our top four recommendations for pairing wine with turkey this festive season.

Chateau de Gaure – Campagne Chardonnay 19′ | Languedoc, France

This is one of our favourites here at Savage Vines and if you’re pairing wine with turkey, it’s certainly an option to consider. Château de Gaure are certified organic farmers and have been for over a decade. Wine critic Jancis Robinson is also a fan and I’m sure you will be to.

This Chardonnay is one of their finest. A Chardonnay reminiscent of great Burgundy Chardonnay. The oaked nature brings out a real subtle sweetness. While the use of the malolactic conversion process allows for a real creamy & buttery sensation. All the while this Chardonnay has a full body a lovely balanced acidity. This means that it’s going to be able to stand up to your Turkey fiesta!

Château Picoron – No Lemon, No Melon – White Merlot 20′ | Bordeaux, France

If you’re pairing wine with turkey, then this unique white merlot is a fantastic choice. This particular wine is from an Australian family run vineyard in Bordeaux. Château Picoron produces a rich range of unique and diverse wines made from 100% merlot. They are in the process of becoming certified organic which mean they don’t use artificial herbicides and pesticides in the vineyard.

The ‘No Lemon, No Melon’ white merlot medium bodied with balanced in acidity. This means it’ll hold up to the big mix of dishes, while not overpowering them. Beyond that, there is a real tangible taste of churned butter. This works perfectly with the rich flavours of any number of classic turkey sides. It will also ooze into the turkey that will have been basted in that same rich buttery flavour.

Charles Frey – Harmonie Pinot Noir 2019 | Alsace, France

Pinot Noir had to make it onto our list when discussing the best red wines to pair with turkey. For this, we’d like to suggest Charles Frey’s Pinot Noir. Maison Charles Frey are certified organic winemakers on a Grand Cru vineyard in Alsace, France. The Frey family are pioneers in biodynamic farming in the Alsace wine region and know what they’re doing.

This medium bodied Pinot Noir is exactly the ticket when looking for a red wine to pair with your turkey. Pinot Noir provide barrels of fresh red fruit flavours. Cherries, raspberries and cranberries to name a few, with just a delicate touch of spice and natural acidity keeping it all in check. Cranberries and turkey, now we all know that’s a match made in heaven! Pairing Pinot Noir with turkey is always going to be a good option.

Oedoria – L’Exception Gamay 17′ – Beaujolais, France

Finally, on our list of options for pairing wine with turkey, a Beaujolais. This particular example comes from the cooperative owned wine cellars of Oedoria. This group of around 300 active winegrowers have combined the powers of three historic Beaujolais cellars, dating back to 1929. This shows in what they have produced. 

The L’Exception Beaujolais is everything you’d expect from this region. 100% Gamay grapes give this delightful wine an undeniable acidity backbone. It really packs a punch that will make it right at home on your festive table. Then, the mixed fresh red berries flavour, which are beautifully balanced, will be a delight alongside your turkey this year.

There you have it! Four wines that will be a great choice when pairing wine with turkey. 2 red, 2 white and a mix of styles to hopefully leave everyone around the table more than satisfied.

Now you’ve got the main meal covered, are you wondering what to do for dessert? We’ve got you covered, we have a handy guide for dessert wines and the perfect pudding pairings. Read more here.

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