Turkey and wine

Best Wines to Pair With Turkey

Thanksgiving is all about coming together with friends and family to give thanks and show appreciation for all of the blessings in your life, and if you’re like us, one of those blessings is an incredible glass of wine. Your turkey dinner is an amazing time to sit and truly enjoy some great wine pairings. Ultimately, wine pairing is a matter of personal preference. While it’s great to try new things, if you know you absolutely hate a Zinfandel, try the less intense Pinot Noir instead. The only real rule to wine pairing is to do what makes you, and your palate, happy. That being said, we’ve got some guidelines as to where you might want to begin your search for the perfect wine/turkey pairings.

Champagne/ Sparkling Wines/ Rose
If you want a super simple pairing that will work with everything served from appetizers to dessert, look to Champagne, Rose and other sparkling wines. Sparkling wines have an acidity level that makes them easy to pair with dishes filled with herbs, cranberries and turkey. The effervescent quality of Champagne and sparkling wines help them to cut through truly rich foods like that gorgeous pecan pie.

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is perhaps the most traditional red wine pairing when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. It has a lighter body than red wines like Cabernet and is softer on the palate than a Merlot. Pinot Noir typically features lush, berry fruits with an earthy undertone that pairs well with everything from the turkey to the cranberry sauce.

Zinfandel
Nicknamed the All-American grape, Zinfandel is another versatile red that pairs well with not just your turkey, but other trimmings on the table. Zinfandel is fuller in body than Pinot Noir and has a more intense flavor profile. As with Pinot Noir, Zinfandel has impressive fruit notes and it also features a bit of spice, both of which make it an excellent accompaniment to herb-laden dressings and both white and dark meat turkey.

Chardonnay
Another traditional Thanksgiving wine, Chardonnay is a pretty standard white at the table. An oaked Chardonnay has a round mouthfeel and is usually a bit creamy. The toasty oak flavors combine well with holiday classics like mashed potatoes and gravy and of course, your turkey. If you aren’t a fan of oaked Chardonnay, an un-oaked version of this white wine features more crisp citrus and apple flavors.

Riesling
Depending upon the Riesling, you may find that it is quite sweet or very dry, but the flavor profile of Riesling’s make them an excellent white wine choice for Thanksgiving dinner. Fruits such as apricots and apples and hints of delicious honey make this wine a great pairing for your sweet potato casserole as well as your turkey.

Remember that when it comes to wine, your tastes and preferences are more important than sticking to traditional wines that you don’t enjoy. If you feel adventurous, try pairing a few wines with your meal. Serve rose with appetizers, Pinot Noir or Riesling for dinner and finish with a sparkling wine. Savor your wine and your time with family and friends by picking a wine pairing that is meant for turkey.

Coffee and wine on the table.

How You Take Your Coffee Could Suggest What Wines You Will Enjoy

When it comes to picking out wine it can be overwhelming to decide exactly what wine varietal will be most enjoyable to your specific tastes. When it comes to your morning cup of coffee, it’s probably incredibly easy for you to determine exactly what suits you. In fact, your coffee routine is most likely second nature; you like what you like and you stick to it. Interestingly, the way you enjoy your coffee can actually help you figure out what wine varietals may be most suited to your palate preferences. There are three main components that guide your palate through a drink, both coffee and wine. Here, we share what these guides are and what wine you might like based upon how you take your coffee.

Your Palate
Your sense of taste is directly related to your sense of smell. Aroma, a term used both for coffee and wine, is an important aspect of your palate profile. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term body in reference to wine, such as a full-bodied red, but you might not be exactly positive what that means. The body of your drink, coffee or wine, is simply how your drink feels inside your mouth. You may change what type of body you prefer based on your mood, the weather and whether you are drinking wine to celebrate a big promotion or unwind after a hectic day. Lastly, acidity is an important element of your palate profile. Acidity may seem a bit difficult to determine, but it’s actually quite simple. If you were to pick up a piece of sour candy right now, would you like or not? If you would, you prefer drinks that are highly acidic, zesty and lively. If you would rather not pucker up with sour candy, you enjoy a light acidity.

Women having coffee in a bar.

Your Coffee of Choice
Black – If you enjoy a straightforward cup of black coffee, chances are you will enjoy a wine with an equally straightforward, strong flavor. Wines that feature spicey notes and a higher level of acidity are great choices to look to. Argentinian Malbec, Cabernet Franc or a Beaujolais nouveau are all wines that fit the flavor profile for a black coffee drinker.

Coffee with Sugar – If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you probably drink your coffee with a bit of sugar. Looking for sweeter wines is a good bet if you take sugar in your coffee. Some wines to start with are Moscato, Riesling or Zinfandel.

Coffee with Milk – If you take your coffee with milk, you enjoy soft, smooth flavors. When you’re looking for a wine that suits you, look for an aged wine with low acidity. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon are two choices that have low acidity but still feature a smooth texture and flavor.

Espresso – Espresso features a thick, bitter flavor that suggests you would find wines with hearty flavors and high tannins pleasurable. Consider Chianti or Medoc wines if you enjoy a strong, bitter flavor.

Tea – Tea drinkers we have you covered too. Not everyone enjoys coffee so if tea is more your speed, look for wines that are dry and savory. A Sauvignon Blanc or Sangiovese are crisp, fresh and bright flavors that tea drinkers will appreciate.

Of course, when it comes to wine the most important rule is to drink what you like. However, if you find you’re having a hard time getting started finding wine varietals that you do like, this may be a fun way to experiment. Use this guide and see if how you take your coffee really does have an impact on the wines you prefer.

Servers pouring red and white wine.

A Guide to Common Wine Varietals

The enjoyment of a great glass of wine is one of life’s simplest pleasures, though sometimes it may not seem simple to select your wine. Wines are available in so many varieties and have so many subtle, and not so subtle, differences that it can be downright overwhelming when you start to select wines. Often, when buying a Riesling or a Cabernet Sauvignon, you know what you are getting; which is wine produced using the Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. But if you pick up a bottle with the word “varietal” on the label you may not be positive what it is that you’re choosing. Simply put, varietal means that the wine was produced using a specific wine grape. Further, in the United States, wine varietals indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the wine so that you have an idea of what flavor to expect. Some, but not all, bottles even include the percentages for every grape used in the blend. To make you more confident in your next wine purchase, Resveralife composed a guide to the most common wine varietals.

White Wines
Chardonnay – Wines produced using the Chardonnay grape are often medium to full bodied and complex. The most prominent notes in Chardonnays tend to be citrus fruits, melon, pineapples, peaches, butterscotch, butter and vanilla. There are other notes available such as apple, fig, pear, spice and hazelnut.

Riesling – With origins in Germany, Riesling is a grape that grows well in all wine districts. These wines are most typically fruity, fresh apple flavors are particularly prominent, and can be floral as well. Riesling ranges from dry to very sweet, with many having a semi-sweet taste with an acidity for balance.

Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be herbal and quite light. The herbal flavors often are reminiscent of grass or bell peppers. Sour fruits such as apple, pear and gooseberry or tropical fruits and blackcurrant, may also be present. Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be crisp with a strong acidity.

Red Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon – One of the world’s most popular wines, Cabernet Sauvignons are full-bodied and complex. These wines tend to be a bit dry and firm. Flavors can range from currant, plum, black cherry and spice to olive, peppers, herbs, tobacco, vanilla and mint, to name a few. The oak barrels in which Cabernet Sauvignon wines are aged are responsible for vanilla or toasty cedar flavors the wine may have.

Pinot Noir – Another immensely popular red wine, Pinot Noir is fresh and delicate. These wines are smooth, rich and have soft tannins. The most prevalent notes of Pinot Noir wines are raisins with undertones of black cherry, raspberry and spice.

Merlot – Merlot is a supple and smooth wine with a round texture and very soft tannins. The popularity of this wine is caused by its ease of pairing (nearly anything can be paired with a Merlot) and its softness, which is not what one associates with many red wines. Wines produced using Merlot grapes feature cherry, black cherry, herbs, green olive and chocolate.

The wine selection process is a bit easier when you have a bit of background knowledge of common wine varietal. The label on a varietal wine will indicate which grape is the dominant grape in the blend, and may indicate the other grapes used as well. However, it is not required, and indeed it is illegal for a wine to label itself as a varietal is there is no dominant (75% or higher) grape used. When the word “varietal” is present on a label, it indicates what you can expect regarding flavor and finish. Branch out and try a different wine varietal for a new, and delicious, experience.