Turkey Wine Pairings From Expert Winemakers

The perfect turkey wine pairing will transform your ordinary Thanksgiving dinner into a sophisticated feast. A carefully crafted tandem of food and wine will enhance the experience for your guests and their palettes.

Throughout U.S. history, families and friends have continued to gather to observe this special day together. It’s the perfect occasion to show your appreciation for life and for one another. Sharing a wine toast over scrumptious home-cooked food is one of the best ways to express your gratitude for the previous year’s blessings.

Nevertheless, it can be tricky to determine which wines you should pair with your turkey and other Thanksgiving entrees. After all, there is a myriad of wine selections you can choose from, each with its own unique taste and aroma.

Keep reading to discover what experienced winemakers in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley recommend for your celebration. Also, learn why contrasts are important when matching wine with Thanksgiving food.

Learning From Experienced Winemakers

Winemaker cutting grapes from a vine

Experienced winemakers bring their extensive knowledge about different types of wine and flavors to match the right kind of wine with food.

The responsibility of winemakers is to guarantee the quality of the wine by tracking the growth of grapes, creating production standards, and promoting the distribution of wine products. This is equally true whether they are involved in small or large-scale wine production.

Winemakers are also commonly known as vintners or enologists. Some winemakers own personal vineyards, while others collaborate with a team of fellow winemakers to supervise the production of wine at larger wineries. This deep experience with wine enables them to understand the complexities of tastes and notes of wine to pair with food.

It’s All About Contrast

Roasted turkey takes center stage for Thanksgiving feasts across the country, paired with cranberries, stuffing, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Many families cook and serve these dishes in classic, timeless ways. Those with an adventurous culinary streak think of creative techniques to present these entrees with a fresh twist like smoked or broasted turkey with international sides.

Whether you are a purist or modernist when it comes to food, you and your family and friends are looking forward to a festive Thanksgiving feast. However, your holiday spread will not be complete without matching wines.

While Thanksgiving food is delectable and mouth-watering, it tends to be fatty as well. Drinking light, crisp wines will perfectly balance out the savory taste of heavy entrees, adding a touch of elegance while rounding out your Thanksgiving dinner.

Top Wines To Pair With Turkey

There are no absolute rules to matching wines with your Thanksgiving turkey and other festive food. Technically, you can drink any kind of wine that you like while you savor your holiday meal. Nevertheless, there are specific top wines with flavor profiles that are especially suited to complement your Thanksgiving spread:

1. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a type of red wine produced from a grape variety with the same name. It’s grown in the Burgundy region of France but also harvested in other places with cool climates like the Lake Chelan Wine Valley.

Pinot Noir works perfectly as a wine pairing for a turkey dinner. Its earthy undertones and sweet spiciness complement the rich taste of the poultry. In addition, the lively acidity that comes from the lower tannins revitalizes the palate after a heavy meal.

2. Riesling

Riesling is a German white grape variety with floral, almost perfume-like aromas, and high acidity. It’s commonly used to produce dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines.

Riesling’s unique flavor profile means it pairs easily with many dishes without overpowering their subtle flavors. It also has high acidity, which cuts through fats to cleanse the palate.

Turkey is often paired with hearty dishes that can be difficult to pair wines with, like sage stuffing or cranberry sauce. However, Riesling’s high acidity helps it stand up to these bold flavors while offering a different oaky flavor profile than typical red wines.

3. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a well-known white wine made from grapes with green skin. This grape variety originally comes from the Burgundy wine region of France but is now cultivated in different wine-producing countries around the world.

Chardonnay can be a charming wine partner of turkey and its trimmings. Its oaky flavor with a hint of spiciness can enhance the grassy flavors of the bird. The lactic acid makes dry meat more palatable, and the minerals and acids in the wine can revive the palate after too many bites of various side dishes.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is created from one of the most popular red wine grape varieties in the world. It is grown in almost all wine-producing countries with varying climates because its sturdy vines are easy to tend and cultivate.

Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by a dark aroma and high acidity. While it might seem heavier than other wines on this list, its distinctive combination of integrated tannins and fruity undertones is a surprisingly good match for turkey.

5. Chinon

Chinon wine is produced from Cabernet Franc grapes and is typically harvested from the sandy soils of the banks of the Vienne River of Chinon in France.

Though Chinon wine may not be as robust as the Cabernet Sauvignon, it is well-liked because of its balanced smoothness. It unexpectedly works as an exciting wine pairing for turkey. Its subtle floral notes will support the expansive flavors of Thanksgiving entrees without overpowering them.

Choose the Ideal Turkey Wine Pairing for Your Thanksgiving Feast

The quintessential turkey wine pairing will help you level up your Thanksgiving feast with your family and friends. Use the tips above to select the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving celebration today. If you’re still unsure which wine is best for your Thanksgiving gathering, please feel free to reach out to us for information on how and where to source the perfect wine for your turkey.

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