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.

Sauvignon Blanc grapes being grown in a vineyard.

Resveralife Eat Well: Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairings

Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white,” and the grape is one of the most widely planted because of the variety and wide range of tastes and styles. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc is largely due to the master winemakers in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, both in France. The grape has origins that trace back to the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is mainly a dry wine, though there are some regions, such as California, that produce Sauvignon Blanc that leave just a gram or two of residual sugar for a texture that is richer. The most commonly associated fruit notes in Sauvignon Blanc are peach, passion fruit, lime and green apple but what really distinguishes this wine from other whites, such as Chardonnay, is the presence of greener flavors. Some Sauvignon Blancs feature notes of jalapeno, bell pepper and grass. It is these notes that put Sauvignon Blanc in a category of it’s own.

Sauvignon Blanc 
Because Sauvignon Blanc has interesting herbaceous tastes, this wine is excellent to pair with “green” food items as well.

Artichokes.

Citrus Sauvignon Blanc
For a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus and artichokes are an excellent choice. These vegetables can be hard to pair with other wines as they can leave a metallic finish, but they pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc featuring notes of citrus. Grill or roast with herbs like rosemary for a perfect, light accompaniment to your Sauvignon Blanc. Vegetables are certainly not your only option for a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes. Prepare some authentic fish and chips or grill some chicken with rosemary, thyme, basil and white pepper. If you prefer something with a bit more heat, consider pairing citrus Sauvignon Blancs with Mexican food. Avocados and tomatoes work perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, you can go Greek and pair your Sauvignon Blanc with olives and feta cheese.

Fresh salad with green vegetables.

Herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
One of the greatest features that Sauvignong Blanc has is it’s unique, earthy tones like grass or bell pepper. Enhance this taste by serving your Sauvignon Blanc with green foods. Salads are an excellent choice and provide virtually limitless combinations to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Meats that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc include chicken, lobster and crab among many others. A simple grilled chicken with spinach salad and an herb vinaigrette makes for a wonderful meal. Another way to pair Sauvignon Blancs with green notes is to prepare a light meal of fish such as Halibut or Tilapia. If you don’t feel like cooking, call your favorite Japanese restaurant and order an assortment of sushi. For those who are a bit more adventurous, make your own sushi at home.

Sauvignon Blanc is a unique, complex white wine that features notes perfect for preparing summer foods. Prepare a great spinach salad for a daytime affair or have an ethnic feast with foods from Japanese, Greek and Mexican cultures. If you simply want to serve your Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of cheese, look for softer cheeses like goat’s milk cheese or creme fraiche.

Resveralife Eat Well: Pinot Noir Pairings

Pinot noir is produced from a red wine grape from the species Vitis vinifera or Pinot noir may be made from predominantly Pinot noir grapes. Pinot noir grapes are grown worldwide, mostly in climates that are cool. The most frequently associated region with Pinot noir grapes is the Burgundy region of France though other regions of note include the Willamette region of Oregon, the Russian River American Viticultural Areas of California and Tasmani and Yarra Valley in Australia. Pinot noir consumption continues to rise in popularity as it is a lighter wine with a lower alcohol content that many wines.

Another reason for the popularity of Pinot noir is the versatility of the wine. Pinot noir is one of the most versatile wines when it comes to food pairings. There are foods that combine with any Pinot noir, while other foods depend upon the particular type of Pinot noir and the preparation of the food. The world of food and wine pairings is no longer limited to red wine with meats and white wine with fish. Modern food and wine pairings are far more creative and a bit more complex. The Resveralife Eat Well Guide features some of the absolute best food pairings for the Pinot noir wine.

Mushrooms and baked potatoes.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms invariably pair well with Pinot noir because they have an earthy, meaty taste. Mushrooms, like the portobello mushroom, often have a meaty taste and texture, which works perfectly with a robust and meaty wine. If you feel ambitious, you can pair your Pinot noir with portobello topped steak, bringing out the richness of both. If you are looking for fare that is a bit lighter, consider a twist on an Italian classic:  mushroom bruschetta. All that is required to make this classic food is a crusty, Italian bread, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and herbs to suit your taste, such as thyme. For an even more low-key evening, pair your Pinot noir with a hearty mushroom pizza.

Freshly cooked peking duck dish with chopsticks.

Duck
Duck pairs perfectly with Pinot noir for two main reasons. The first reason is that duck has a strong flavor on its own and the second is that duck has a higher fat content than chicken. Even though Pinot noir has light tannins, compliment the fattiness of duck. One pairing that wine enthusiasts rave about is Pinot nNoir with Peking duck. A simpler to prepare pairing is roast duck with Pinot noir.

Salmon with a garnish of wild rice and basmati braised in celery, carrots and onions.

Fish
One of the most popular fish pairings with Pinot Noir is salmon. Though duck pairs well with Pinot noir for the fat content, Pinot is versatile and it also pairs equally well lighter choices such as salmon. Salmon pairs well with Pinot noir because it is a fish with a high oil content and a strong flavor. Salmon would overwhelm a white wine, but it pairs perfectly with the more rich Pinot noir. Preparing an oven roasted salmon with a butter sauce is an easy way to impress your taste buds. Other fishes can be paired with Pinot noir, providing they are a strong flavored fish. Some other fishes that can be paired with Pinot noir include anchovies, herring and mackerel.

Yellow curry with pumpkin and pork.

Pork
Pork, particularly roasted or grilled, pair well with Pinot noir. Pork and Pinot noir both share a sweet type of succulence and smoky undertones. Additionally, the fruitier notes of the Pinot noir bring out the sweet, the tangy and the savory flavors of pork. Pork and Pinot noir is such a popular pairing that there is an annual festival in Sonoma County, Pigs & Pinot, devoted entirely to the pairing of this food and drink.

Pinot noir is one of the best food wines because it pairs well with such a diverse array of foods. Resveralife recommends you to have fun trying different recipes and experimenting with food pairings for your Pinot noir.