Wines To Pair With Your Christmas Turkey

I’m willing to bet that one of the most popular search terms through November and December is as follows

“wine to match with turkey”

it makes sense. Christmas is when we all get together, eat a lot of food and drink a lot of wine. Finding the perfect wine to parter with the meal is a big deal, and people tend to panic when confronted with such a decision. Luckily, turkey is your friend, it’s a good match for a lot of different wines.

Think about the turkey itself, it’s low fat and  not overpowering in its flavour. Avoiding tannins in red wines is vital if you’re selecting a red wine, and avoiding sweet white wines is the key. If you follow those two simple steps, you’re likely going to make a good choice.

When I’m looking to pair a wine with the Christmas turkey I’ll usually go for an old world Pinot Noir or a Californian Zinfandel. That’s the go to pairing, because one bottle of wine for a family of 7 is obviously not enough. Avoid the really heavy Zinfandel wines, to ensure you don’t overpower the meal. I have a few suggestions from our range below. If you fancy something different, an old Rioja or Gamay will do the trick.

If you’re a white wine fan then you’re in luck. You can pair a medium body Chardonnay, mineral Sauvignon Blanc or a light Pinot Gris and it will work wonders. If you fancy something a little different, serve up a Viognier, it’s fragrant and fresh and absolutely delicious when paired with a juicy bird! You can also serve up a sparkling wine with a little body, Champagne is ideal but Italian Prosecco’s can stand up to the task.

A picture of some Christmas wine

Pinot Noir

Domaine Maurice Gavignet Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013

You need a fat chequebook (if we still use those these days?) when you go wine shopping in Burgundy. It’s a region whose massive reputation for world class wine, especially Pinot Noir, is practically unrivalled, and we all know how that translates – £££s! But, if you look hard enough, there is value to be found. And here it is. From an excellent producer within the sub-region that boasts the best reds, Côte de-Nuits, this Bourgogne demonstrates the reputation without having to re-mortgage.

Rioja

Finca Manzanos Rioja Reserva Especial 2009

Crafted from 100% estate grown grapes, all hand harvested in small batches to ensure they are in perfect condition upon arrival at the winery. 95% Tempranillo with the lesser known of the Rioja varietals Mazuelo making up the rest. A long ageing process in top-notch French and American barriques, and bottle, respectively, before being released at optimum readiness to drink. That’s not to say it won’t provide excellent drinking for years to come. Like most Riojas – pair with food to get the full enjoyment.

Gamay

La Reine de l’Arenite La Madone Fleurie 2014

The vines are between 40 and 90 years of age and deliver grapes with superb concentration and character. This is a perfumed and aromatic red with a notable floral twist of violets. This gorgeous wine is silky and elegant throughout the palate with an abundance of blackcurrant and red berry fruits. Perfect match with a roast leg of lamb in winter, or in summer, chill and serve with roast or barbecued chicken.

Chablis

Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Vaulignot 2013

If you want the real deal, there’s no point buying the cheap supermarket Chablis. Frankly, you’re better off with a good, basic Bourgogne Blanc. Instead, buy from a great area and a great producer – money well spent. This classic Chablis has all the minerality and wonderfully intense flavours that you would expect from a Premier Cru. Described by Chablis authority Andrew Jefford as “a domaine to follow”, this wine, from the 6th generation of the Moreau ‘dynasty’, is robust, rich and intensely fresh.

Sauvignon Blanc

Belmonte Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Introducing Dr. John Forrest – New Zealand’s Winemaker of the Year 2000 and still raking in the awards. If you’re a fan of Cloudy Bay a) this is the same grape variety, b) it is made next door, c) you can actually buy it! This has a price tag that would make most of its neighbours blush and is so good that we bought the lot! Drink chilled when you want to… chill.

Viognier

Les Grands Chemins Marsanne Viognier 2014

Marsanne produces wines that are aromatic and taste of apricot, pear and spice. Viognier produces wines that exude jasmine, honeysuckle, apricot and vanilla. When blended together the result is sensational and you have a shining example right here!

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