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Turkey Wine: Pairing for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

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Turkey Wine

As the long days of summer have past, what do we have to look forward to? Why turkey, of course! It is Thanksgiving season and this girl likes turkey with all the trimmings! So, lets talk turkey (terrible, I know).

Thanksgiving is a meal where the wine is an important factor. For some it is a meal accent, for some it is a social lubricant, but for all it is an opportunity to indulge in a beautiful pairing opportunity that will lead to ultimate taste bud satisfaction. I am a firm believer that there is no reason to compromise on taste when you are pouring for a crowd. And so, here are my budget turkey wines that you aren’t ashamed to share with the connoisseur and not upset to share with your Bud Light-loving rellies!

First, we will go through a few of the Chardonnays that make my eyes light up and warm my soul. Let’s note that Chardonnay is a dynamite turkey wine. It happens to complement the bird quite well, but it’s particularly good with the herbs that we love with our turkey. As a general rule, a barrel-aged Chardonnay will complement thyme and rosemary. It has a nice thick mouth feel which is excellent when paired with a filling meal and it will eliminate the worry that your dinner guests will notice if the turkey is dry! Perfect!

Now, some Niagara Chardonnays that are making my mouth water today are….

2010 Sketches Chardonnay

This wine is not only affordable at $19.95 a bottle, it is done in 100 percent French oak and has a fruit profile for the ages. The French oak lends to the vanilla and baking spice that you will smell as you breath in this beautiful wine, while the fruit profile screams citrus with the classic Niagara tropical note of grilled pineapple. Yum!

Available at Tawse Winery, $19.95

2010 Triomphe Chardonnay by Southbrook

This wine is ideal for the free-range turkey lover as it is organic and biodynamic certified! Impress the table by discussing how one with the world you are when this dynamo hits their glass. This bottle has beautiful peach and apricot notes complemented by a citrus flare. Racy acidity and bright palate cleansing make this an excellent choice for your turkey dinner.

Another wine that gives even more bang for your buck is the Rose. A Rose loves to be served with turkey, and the reasons are endless. First, the clean palate complements the meat as it works to enhance the naturally juicy flavors of the bird. Second, it is a bang-on pairing for most of what you eat with turkey. For example, can you think of any other wine that befriends the cranberries? Third, it is usually incredibly well-priced and generally well-liked. The Roses of the world were once an overly sweet not so serious wine, but today this wine style is making a comeback! Winemakers are seeing the light and making dry Rose wines with nice complexity and interesting blends. I love this trend.

2011 Ladybug by Malivoire

This wine has been a family tradition for years. The wine itself is interesting with a really beautiful complexity – even the most discerning wine lover could find a reason to love this bottle. It has a pink and orange hue in the glass and gives off a very distinct and inviting raspberry note. It is a playful wine that can’t help but bring some life to the table be it in palette or palate!

Available at the LCBO or at Malivoire, $15.95

2011 Sibling Rivalry Pink by Henry of Pelham

Not only is the name of the wine synonymous with the competitive anecdotes at the dinner table, this wine is a talking piece in and of itself. The price is out of this world at $13.95 a bottle, and the wine ain’t too far behind it! In the glass the wine is as it should be, a beautiful pop of pink. It is the ultimate in cool branding to have at the table and with heavy hitting wines like Cabernet, Gamay and Syrah bringing their best to the ring – it is a knock out hit every time.

Available at the LCBO or at Henry of Pelham, $13.95

And so, turkeys, I hope that you have found some inspiration for your family entertaining needs. As a family entertainer myself I know the struggle of finding great wine at a price that is justifiable for a room full of people who normally don’t sip on the most sultry fruits of this earth.  Onwards and upwards sipsters. Go out into the world and spend less for more… and be thankful for it.

The Author

Allie Hughes is the wine and culinary contributor to Naturally in Niagara, feasting on the decadent experience that is life in this region. With a fine wine sensibility honed at the International Sommelier Guild, Allie is taking the journey of Niagara by the glass with you with each new taste. Allie is also the creative mind behind the marketing of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and owner of Hughes & Co., a boutique social strategy firm.

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