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What Wine Goes with Turkey: The Perfect Pairing for Your Feast

A wine is always a must for enjoying a turkey. However, embarking on the culinary adventure of deciding what wine goes with turkey dinner is a thrilling yet sometimes daunting endeavor. But fear not, as we start a delightful exploration, demystifying what wine with turkey. In this journey, we'll navigate through a diverse array of wines from bold reds to refreshing whites and stylish rosés to ensure your Thanksgiving feast is not only memorable but a harmonious symphony of flavors and aromas. So get ready to enhance your culinary experience and savor the joy of a perfectly paired Thanksgiving celebration.

What Wine Goes with Turkey

What Wine Pairs with Turkey?

For what wine goes best with turkey, the choices are vast for offering a symphony of flavors that elevate your Thanksgiving turkey to a culinary masterpiece. Let's see some delightful pairings that will leave a lasting impression on your festive celebration.

Red Wine with Turkey

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir, particularly from bolder Burgundy crus like Gevrey-Chambertin or Pommard, creates a delightful harmony with the succulence of roasted turkey. Venturing into the Grand Cru territory, such as Chambertin, promises an extraordinary experience, yet there are equally enchanting and more budget-friendly options like Fixin or Santenay.

Lighter styles of Burgundy Pinot, such as classic Volnay wines, may find themselves slightly overpowered by the range of flavors on your Thanksgiving plate. For a global Pinot Noir experience, explore cool-climate regions like Central Otago in New Zealand, Mornington Peninsula in Australia, The Finger Lakes in New York State, or even Essex and Kent in the UK.

Beaujolais Cru

Gamay, an underrated grape variety, unveils its potential in the world of Beaujolais Cru wines. Within the 10 ‘Crus,’ focus on robust styles like Morgon or Moulin-à-Vent to infuse depth and drinking pleasure into your turkey pairing. The high acid, low tannins, and juicy profile of Beaujolais Cru make it a delightful choice, especially for those seeking a more vibrant and playful red wine companion.

Aged Bordeaux

Venturing into a different realm, Bordeaux wines, particularly those with a few years of bottle age, offer a captivating balance of fruit, acidity, and integrated tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with their big tannins and luscious dark fruit, add a layer of sophistication to your turkey dinner, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Consider revisiting Bordeaux vintages like the 2012 collection, which, after a decade of aging, unveils wines that are now drinking wonderfully.

Aged Barolo or Chianti Classico

For a touch of Italian elegance, consider Aged Barolo or Chianti Classico. These classic reds, with their intricate flavors and well-integrated tannins, offer a symphony of aromas that beautifully complement the turkey. The earthiness of Barolo and the bright red fruit notes of Chianti Classico create a captivating dance on the palate, making them worthy contenders for your Thanksgiving table.

Mature Rioja

Mature Rioja, with its enticing blend of earthy, mushroomy aromas and bright red fruit, brings a touch of Spain to your turkey pairing. The medium-weight tannins add structure without overpowering, creating a well-rounded and enjoyable ensemble. Explore the diverse options available, ranging from well-known names to relatively good value selections, ensuring a perfect match for your Thanksgiving feast.

Red Wine with Turkey

White Wine with Turkey


Chardonnay emerges as an undisputed choice, showcasing its versatility across regions. Whether from the crisp expressions of Burgundy, boasting minerality and citrus notes, or the fruit-forward variations from the New World, such as California or Australia, Chardonnay complements the herb-infused nuances of roasted turkey. The oaky richness of a California Chardonnay enhances complexity, while a French Chablis or Burgundy provides a delicate, crisp mouthfeel. The consistent interplay of acidity and fruitiness makes Chardonnay an excellent companion throughout the Thanksgiving feast.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc, celebrated for its bright acidity and zesty character, introduces a refreshing dynamic to your turkey pairing. Originating from regions like New Zealand, California, or the Loire Valley in France, Sauvignon Blanc's citrusy and herbal notes cut through the richness of the turkey, offering a vibrant contrast. Its lively profile makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a crisp and invigorating white wine experience.


For a touch of sweetness and versatility, consider Riesling. A dry German Riesling, with its high acidity and minerality, forms a delightful partnership with smoked turkey or spicier, herb-infused preparations. The wine's ability to balance rich flavors while soothing the palate adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your Thanksgiving experience. Explore options from regions like the Northern Rhone, Australia, or South Africa to discover the diverse expressions of this grape.


While perhaps less mainstream, Viognier emerges as a hidden gem in the realm of turkey pairings. Fleshy and round, Viognier's juicy stone fruit flavors and floral, honeyed undertones provide a delectable complement to tender turkey meat. Originating from the Northern Rhone, Australia, or South Africa, Viognier adds a touch of sophistication to your Thanksgiving table, creating a memorable interplay of flavors.

White Wine with Turkey

Rosé Wines with Turkey

For those seeking a trendy twist, rosé wines bring a refreshing touch to the Thanksgiving table. Opt for a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah for a richer flavor profile that harmonizes with the turkey's complexity. Alternatively, explore a Pinot Noir-based rosé, featuring subtle notes of cherry and strawberry, creating a delightful contrast with the savory turkey. Rosé's light and fruity character make it a playful yet sophisticated choice for the holiday feast.

Tips for Pairing Wines with Turkey

Navigating what kind of wine goes with turkey also involves a few key considerations:

1. Method of Preparation

Roasting: For a classic roasted turkey, lean towards a full-bodied red like Pinot Noir or a well-balanced Chardonnay to enhance the bird's natural flavors without overpowering.

Deep Frying: Opt for an off-dry Riesling to complement the savory fried turkey, with its vivacity and light body harmonizing with the crispy skin.
Smoking: Choose a Cabernet Franc to elevate the experience of smoked turkey, as its dark, ripe fruit flavors and earthy notes align perfectly.

2. Embrace Acidity

Given the complexity of Thanksgiving dishes, wines with medium to high acidity, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Champagne, help cut through the richness and cleanse the palate between bites.

3. Lighter is Better

Thanksgiving is a dense meal, so opt for lighter wines in both body and alcohol content. This ensures a well-balanced dining experience without overwhelming the palate.

4. Open Several Wines

With the diverse flavors on a Thanksgiving table and the varied preferences of guests, having multiple wine options allows for choice and flexibility, ensuring everyone finds a favorite.


Overall, finding what wine pairs well with turkey involves a delightful exploration of flavors, aromas, and textures. Whether you lean towards the timeless elegance of a Pinot Noir, the versatility of Chardonnay, the trendy allure of a well-crafted rosé, or other varietals, the key lies in understanding your turkey's preparation and your personal preferences. So, as you gather around the table, raise a glass to the art of pairing and the joy of savoring each moment with family and friends. Cheers to a Thanksgiving filled with culinary delight!

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