What Red Wine Goes With Turkey

Regarding the pairing of red wine with turkey, there are numerous options available for consideration. As a wine enthusiast, I have spent many years exploring and experimenting with different combinations to identify the perfect red wine that enhances the savory flavor of turkey. I am thrilled to present my own findings and recommendations to you today.

The Versatility of Turkey

Turkey, with its tender and juicy meat, pairs well with a wide range of red wines. Whether you prefer a light-bodied, fruity wine or a full-bodied, robust one, there is a red wine out there that will enhance your Thanksgiving feast.

Pinot Noir: A Classic Choice

One of my all-time favorite red wines to pair with turkey is Pinot Noir. This elegant and versatile wine has a smooth and delicate character that complements the subtle flavors of turkey beautifully. The red fruit aromas, such as cherry and raspberry, in Pinot Noir bring out the juiciness of the meat, while the earthy undertones add complexity to the pairing.

I highly recommend trying a Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region of France or a cool-climate region like Oregon or New Zealand. These regions are known for producing exceptional examples of this grape variety.

Zinfandel: Bold and Spicy

If you’re looking to add a bit of spice and intensity to your turkey pairing, Zinfandel is an excellent choice. This red wine has bold flavors of ripe berries, black pepper, and hints of spice that can stand up to the rich flavors of the turkey. Zinfandel’s robust character and high alcohol content provide a satisfying contrast to the meat’s mildness.

For a truly exceptional experience, opt for a Zinfandel from California’s Paso Robles or Sonoma County. These regions are renowned for producing Zinfandels with exceptional fruit concentration and complexity.

Consider the Seasonings

When selecting a red wine to pair with turkey, it’s important to consider the seasonings and flavors that accompany the bird. If you’re planning to serve a heavily seasoned or herb-infused turkey, you may want to choose a wine with more pronounced flavors to match.

Cabernet Sauvignon: A Bold and Robust Choice

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that works wonderfully with turkey, especially if it’s seasoned with strong herbs like rosemary or thyme. This wine’s bold tannins and rich flavors of blackcurrants and dark chocolate can hold their own against the intensity of the seasonings, creating a harmonious pairing.

For a memorable Cabernet Sauvignon experience, explore offerings from Napa Valley or Bordeaux, France. These regions consistently produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines that beautifully complement roasted turkey.


Pairing red wine with turkey is a delightful adventure for wine lovers like myself. Whether you choose a delicate Pinot Noir, a bold Zinfandel, or a robust Cabernet Sauvignon, each wine brings its own unique qualities to enhance the flavors of this beloved Thanksgiving staple.

Remember, experimenting with different wine pairings is part of the fun. So, don’t be afraid to explore and trust your palate to find the perfect red wine to accompany your turkey feast. Cheers!