The best wine for your Turkey Dinner
23rd December 2019
To be honest, if you have a nice wine on your table, whatever the style and you are blessed to be enjoying a nice turkey dinner then what more can you ask for? Though, if we really want to take things that bit further and have time and a small budget to select a perfect wine to accompany your festive dinner then here are some of my thoughts…
I will usually enjoy a few wines during mealtime on Christmas day as there will usually be quite a mixture of foods on the table which means that the full plate you end up with will not necessarily be a replica of those who are accompanying you. Some people will prefer more meat over veg, some no gravy, others pile on the cranberry sauce and then the meat preferences of dark over white or leg rather than breast, salt, pepper, mustard and more. Each plate will be different so the perfect solution for all would be a bottle of red, one white and one fizzy.
For red wine, I would say a fine Beaujolais or a red Burgundy would be perfect, try and avoid too hard tannins as these may remove the softer flavours from the food. For white wine, I am thinking either a Chardonnay or a fine Riesling / Alsace.
Which is the best sparkling wine style to enjoy with Turkey Dinner?
I would be opting for a Chardonnay style and most likely something a little complex in flavours and delicately punchy. Christmas dinner will be rather a filling time and most of the flavours we have on our plate we will be totally engrossed in enjoying, we all love Christmas dinner do we not!? We need a wine that will shine though not overpower the food flavours.
Turkey will generally be less greasy meat compared to many others, much of the fat content in turkey is in the skin so if you want to enjoy a less fattening dinner you can remove the skin. Turkey is also slightly leaner than chicken with fewer calories. These reasons will mean you do not have to worry too much about choosing a Champagne that will compete against the grease / fatty food types – We simply want to choose one that will compete well against the flavours of the food and share with you fine, not too overpowering, wine flavours.
Three great Champagnes to have with Christmas Dinner:
Bernard Pertois – Cuvée de Reserve Blanc de Blancs: “This is a clean and smoothly refreshing floral and white fruit taste with a subtle kick of citrus and brioche.”
Bernard Lonclas – Blanc de Blancs Brut: “White floral and subtle yellow fruits with a touch of zesty citrus / lemon peel. The Champagne is a great character of flavours though also not being too overpowering in the palate. Leave in the glass a few moments allowing those bubbles to do their work and liven the aromas and flavours further.”
Duval-Leroy – Femme de Champagne Brut Grand Cru: “An 80% Chardonnay and just 20% Pinot Noir though we still have a smooth character Champagne. Yellow stone fruits, honey, butter toast on the nose. Elegance and finesse with crisp yet smooth citrus, honeycomb, apricot, white floral flavour.”
Just one more thing…
Can I add a rising star to this selection? Well if you are fine with an English sparkling wine rubbing shoulders with the greats of Champagne then I will throw in the Midnight 2011 Dark Dry Rosé from Fox & Fox which won the trophy as the best in the category of ‘Gastronomic’ at the 2019 The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards:
Fox & Fox – Midnight 2011 Dark Dry Rosé: “Now this is a special wine. In fact I feel ever so guilty when I open a bottle to review as I know I am taking away a piece of English sparkling wine history – I want to store these away to see the improvement and report on them in years to come! Anyway, this is a bottle that has had lees ageing for at least five years and shows off a wonderful deep red colouring. There is no wonder this stormed home in winning the title of the trophy for ‘Gastronomic’ in 2019 as it is a wonderful balance of fine red fruit flavours with subtle background spices. You’ll gather redcurrant, dark cherries, red rose petals and more in the palate. A great wine that can be enjoyed throughout the Christmas dinner from aperitif to dessert.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.