Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Wine Goes with Turkey? Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is upon us and this time of year, we always get lots of questions about what kinds of wines pair best with Thanksgiving Day dishes, especially turkey. 

Traditional roasted turkey with a clean, bright Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a traditional pairing for roasted turkey and we recommend choosing a fairly clean, vibrant one to balance the richness of the dish, especially if you're serving gravy. Our 2010 Jewell Ranch Chardonnay has bright, zesty flavors of pineapple, Meyer lemon, and golden apricot that pair perfectly with roasted turkey. If you like a more creamy Chard, we recommend staying on the more nuanced side of things, such as our 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, with subtle characters of vanilla, peach, and almond — plus a long, luxurious finish of caramel, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Herb-rubbed or grilled turkey with a balanced, elegant Pinot Noir. If you're adding lots of robust flavors to your turkey this year — either with an herb rub or by grilling the bird (by the way, we like the Food Network's straightforward Food Network guide to grilling turkey) — consider pairing it with a balanced, elegant, not-too-tannic red like our J Barrel 16 Pinot Noir with its subtle cherry aromas and well integrated flavors of cinnamon, clove, and anise. Pinot Noir also pairs wonderfully with sweet potato dishes.

Turkey confit with a dry Chardonnay or fresh sparkling wine. Curing turkey legs in duck fat results in a rich, mouth-watering dish and this year we're seeing recipes for confit turkey everywhere we look. We especially like Saveur's recipe, which emphasizes roasting the cured legs in the oven afterward — adding a crispy layer atop the buttery one. To balance this succulent, decadent dish, we recommend serving it with a clean, dry white wine — such as our 2010 J STRATA Chardonnay. We also love pairing turkey confit with fresh, citrus-inflected sparkling wine like our J CuvĂ©e Brut, with its notes of lemon zest and Fuji apples.  

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