What Wine Goes With Turkey Dinner

When it comes to enjoying a delicious turkey dinner, finding the perfect wine pairing is essential for enhancing the flavors and creating a memorable dining experience. As a wine enthusiast and self-proclaimed foodie, I have …

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When it comes to enjoying a delicious turkey dinner, finding the perfect wine pairing is essential for enhancing the flavors and creating a memorable dining experience. As a wine enthusiast and self-proclaimed foodie, I have spent countless hours experimenting with different wine varietals to find the ultimate match for this classic holiday meal. Let me share with you my insights and personal favorites, so you can confidently choose the perfect wine to complement your turkey dinner.

The Versatile White Wines

White wines are often the go-to choice for pairing with turkey as they offer a refreshing and crisp flavor profile that complements the poultry’s delicate taste. Here are a few white wine options that I highly recommend:

1. Chardonnay: With its buttery texture and notes of tropical fruits and vanilla, a well-balanced Chardonnay can bring out the richness of the turkey meat. Look for an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay to avoid overpowering the meal.

2. Sauvignon Blanc: If you prefer a lighter and zesty wine, Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice. Its herbaceous flavors of citrus, green apple, and grassy undertones provide a refreshing contrast to the turkey’s flavors.

3. Riesling: For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their wine, a semi-dry or off-dry Riesling can be a delightful pairing with turkey. The fruity notes of apricot, pear, and honey can balance the savory elements of the meal.

The Classic Red Wine Options

While white wines are often the traditional choice for turkey dinners, red wine enthusiasts need not despair. There are several red wine options that work surprisingly well with turkey:

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1. Pinot Noir: Known for its versatility, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for turkey dinners. Its light to medium body, with flavors of red berries, cherries, and earthy undertones, harmonizes beautifully with the mild flavors of turkey.

2. Zinfandel: If you prefer a bolder and fruit-forward red wine, a well-balanced Zinfandel can provide an interesting contrast to the turkey’s flavors. Look for a Zinfandel with moderate tannins and notes of ripe blackberries, spice, and black pepper.

3. Gamay: A lesser-known red wine, Gamay can be a surprising and delightful pairing choice. This light-bodied wine, with its vibrant red fruit flavors, low tannins, and refreshing acidity, complements the turkey’s flavors without overpowering them.

Considerations for Rosé and Sparkling Wine

If you’re inclined towards a more vibrant and effervescent wine experience, don’t overlook the possibilities of rosé and sparkling wine:

1. Rosé: A dry or off-dry rosé can be an excellent choice for a turkey dinner, especially if you’re looking for a wine that bridges the gap between white and red wines. Its refreshing acidity, fruity flavors, and subtle tannins can create a delightful pairing with the turkey.

2. Sparkling Wine: Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava, a bottle of bubbly can add a festive touch to your turkey dinner. The crispness and effervescence of sparkling wine can help cleanse the palate between bites and enhance the overall dining experience.


Choosing the perfect wine to pair with your turkey dinner is a delightful adventure that allows you to explore different flavors and sensations. Whether you opt for a classic white wine, a versatile red wine, or a vibrant rosé or sparkling wine, remember that personal preference plays a significant role in finding your ultimate pairing. Experiment, trust your taste buds, and most importantly, enjoy the process of discovering the perfect wine to accompany your turkey feast.

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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