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What kind of wine do you serve with turkey?

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Mild and rich in flavor, turkey has both lean and healthy white meat that actually pairs beautifully with wine. Whether sliced turkey deli meat or Thanksgiving leftovers, turkey can be easily transformed into a turkey sandwich.

And without much hassle, turkey meat goes well with sides from steamed vegetables to fresh baked bread. Even with a seemingly simple meal, pairing wine with food can be very tricky, however it is straightforward to pair wine with turkey.

What kind of wine do you serve with turkey? Turkey pairs well with Nouveau Beaujolais, white Burgundy, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz or Syrah, and Zinfandel. 

Some of the other wine option that taste good with turkey include Riesling, Rioja Reserva, Sauvignon Blanc, and Vouvray. The wine selections vary depend on how the turkey is prepared and the sauces and sides that accompany the dish.

Rather than getting the perfect match of wines to the individual dish or flavor, go for bottles that complement a wide variety of foods. 

From the rich, balanced whites to the earthly, fruit-driven reds, this article will make it possible to understand which type of wine to pair with turkey. Answered below are frequently asked questions about serving wine with turkey and how the pairing changes whether the turkey is deli style, roasted or smoked. 

Do you serve red or white wine with turkey?

Turkey typically pairs well with either a full-bodied white wine or a medium-bodied red wine. The hesitation of whether to served red or white wine depends on the way the meat is prepared and what ingredient that dish is paired with. 

Turkey is white meat with a relatively low fat content, which is why it dries out easily when not cooked properly. 

Medium bodied red wines that avoid the heavy use of oak are a great option to go for. These types of wine pack enough acidity and fruit to successfully complement, but not overshadow a wide range of flavors in the dish. 

In the meantime, white wines accompanied by some sharpness or carbonation partners well with various foods served. 

The ideal wine match for turkey requires medium or low tannins and a relatively higher level of acidity. 

Does Pinot Grigio go with turkey?

Yes, Pinot Grigio does go with turkey. In fact, it is a great white wine selection that is neither too light nor too heavy. It has plenty of fruit flavor and does not have much oak taste. 

To be specific, Pinot Grigio from Santa Margherita has strong aromas and fruit flavors of apples and citrus that pairs perfectly with a well rounded turkey meal.

Does Sauvignon Blanc go with turkey?

Yes, Sauvignon Blanc goes well with turkey and is an excellent option when you don’t have Pinot Grigio. 

This wine is known for its citrus-based flavor that can blend well with herb or mineral flavors. It is white wine that specifically pairs well with turkey and mashed potatoes. 

If you are serving turkey with salads or as an appetizer, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Marlborough have lively acidity and aromas of herbs with hint of grapefruit and passion fruit. The fruity flavors along with acidity of this wine help to digest the typically heavy turkey sides. 

Does Malbec pair with turkey?

Yes, Malbec pairs well with turkey. In general, Malbec goes well with dark turkey meat. Known as being a medium to full-bodied red wine that pairs well with more full-flavored foods. 

This wine tastes richer and fruitier when paired with turkey for dinner and does not have any super long finish as aggressive tannins found in quality cabernet sauvignon. 

If your turkey dish has pepper, sage, creamy mushroom sauce, melted cheese or blue cheese, consider serving Malbec with turkey.

Best wine to pair with turkey

The ideal wine match for turkey can be the medium-bodied red or full-bodied white wine that contains significantly less tannins and higher acidity levels.

Everyone has their preferred taste based on the variety of options available, however Pinot Noir is considered an excellent match for complete turkey dinners.

In order to find the best wine pairing for turkey, understanding how the turkey is prepared will help to narrow down the wine selection:

  • Roasted turkey: Nouveau Beaujolais, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel
  • Hash: dry or Alsatian rosé Riesling
  • Leftover turkeys (served cold): Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, German Riesling
  • Smoked: dry rosé
  • Thanksgiving dinner: Amarone, Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Kabinett Riesling, Shiraz, sparkling wine, Syrah, fruity Zinfandel
Best wine for turkey

Wine With Turkey: Conclusion

Mentioned above are some of the favorite wines that go well with turkey. However, the challenge that comes with pairing wine and turkey is what else can be served with it.

A full-flavored, fruity, sometimes spicy stuffing, and a large array of vegetables with a dozen different flavors that have to be eaten at the same time. Turkey dinners vary in scope and can accommodate a large range of flavors that go well together.

When it comes to serving turkey with wine, full-bodied white wine or a medium-bodied red wines are recommended, which include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Malbec. 

Each individual wine has its own unique flavor, tannins and acidity that tastes best with specific side dishes. 

Whether the turkey is for a holiday meal, deli sandwich or simple pasta dish, consider how the turkey is cooked and side dishes served to find the best wine pairing to complement the meal.

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