What Wine Is Best With Turkey

Ah, the holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the perfect wine to pair with that delicious Thanksgiving turkey. As a certified wine enthusiast, I can tell you that …

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Ah, the holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the perfect wine to pair with that delicious Thanksgiving turkey. As a certified wine enthusiast, I can tell you that finding the right wine to complement the flavors of a traditional turkey dinner can truly elevate the dining experience. Let’s dive into the wonderful world of wine and explore the best options for this festive occasion.

The Classic Choice: Pinot Noir

When it comes to pairing wine with turkey, I always gravitate towards the classic choice of a beautiful Pinot Noir. This versatile red wine offers a perfect balance of fruitiness and earthiness, making it an ideal match for the rich flavors of roasted turkey and herb-infused stuffing. The light to medium body of Pinot Noir won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the bird, and its acidity helps to cut through the richness of gravy and buttery mashed potatoes.

Exploring White Options: Chardonnay and Riesling

While many may instinctively reach for a red, don’t overlook the wonderful white wine options that can complement a Thanksgiving turkey feast. A well-balanced Chardonnay with its buttery notes and hints of oak can enhance the creamy texture of the turkey and savory side dishes. For those who prefer a slightly sweeter option, a Riesling can be a delightful choice, offering notes of stone fruits and a refreshing acidity that pairs beautifully with various flavors on the holiday table.

Something Unique: Rosé or Sparkling Wine

To add a touch of elegance and versatility to the Thanksgiving meal, consider serving a chilled bottle of Rosé or a festive sparkling wine. The vibrant acidity and subtle fruitiness of Rosé can complement the turkey’s white and dark meat, while the effervescence of sparkling wine can cleanse the palate between bites and refresh the senses, leaving room for more delectable bites of the holiday feast.

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Personal Recommendation: Syrah/Shiraz

As a personal favorite, I often turn to a bold and flavorful Syrah or Shiraz to accompany my Thanksgiving turkey. The dark fruit flavors and peppery notes in these wines create a delightful contrast to the savory elements of the meal, and their robust nature stands up well to the array of flavors found on the holiday plate.


As you plan your Thanksgiving celebration, remember that the best wine to pair with turkey is ultimately the one that brings you joy and enhances the flavors of the meal for you and your loved ones. Whether you opt for a classic Pinot Noir, a sophisticated Chardonnay, or something entirely unique, the perfect wine can elevate the dining experience and create lasting memories around the holiday table.

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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