What wine goes best with a holiday turkey?
It seems as though every holiday season people ask the same question: “What wine goes best with a holiday turkey?” I gave this some thought last year, while smoking our annual 22-pound bird over a perfect oak fire, and came to the conclusion that the challenge isn’t the turkey at all. Most people know that the Turkey is the least flavorful item on the holiday menu. Take away the gravy and stuffing and you could pair just about anything from a Pinot Grigio to Zinfandel with it and it would work out just fine.
Wine Pairing at The Holiday Table. Bring on the side dishes.
Where the real pairing challenge is encountered is with all of those side dishes. What you’re really looking for is a wine that goes equally well with brussel sprouts, sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, creamed onions, cornbread and 15 or 20 other holiday table regulars. And what this means is not only a wine that manages to have a wonderful flavor but also achieves a perfect balance. One that is neither too tannic nor too acidic, equally important is that it is neither too alcoholic nor too light. It needs the crispness to cut through creamy dishes, the delicacy to enhance the flavor of subtle seasonings and the boldness to hold its own against a plethora of other, not always so complimentary flavors. The wines that follow share these qualities. And, you can be sure, all of them will match wonderfully with your holiday turkey.
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
An exuberant wine brimming with flavors of pineapple, passionfruit, stonefruit and a hint of herbaceousness. The finish is fresh, zesty and lingering.
Ferrari-Carano, Fume Blanc, Sonoma County, 2015
A delicious wine with aromas and flavors of pink grapefruit, pineapple, lemongrass, lychee, kiwi, honeydew, orange blossom, guava, white peach and lemon-lime with a touch of minerality. This wine has bright acidity and crisp freshness.
Livio Felluga, Pinot Grigio, 2015
This Pinot Grigio is straw yellow with light golden hues in color. The nose is extremely elegant, penetrating, crispy and complex, with evident notes of jasmine, and magnolia; hints of white peach, apricot, orange peel, pear, golden apple, cantaloupe, wild rose, and mint; mineral and spice components well integrated.
GABBIANO, PROMESSA PINOT GRIGIO
This Pinot Grigio is a sunny straw-yellow color. Floral notes hit the nose, with nuances of pear and honeydew melon. Citrus flavors are evident on the palate delivering complex flavors of green apple, orange, and lemon. The mouthfeel is lively and full in the structure created by the harmony of fruit and acid. The wine is light-bodied, with a long finish that reveals hints of citrus and almonds.
ANEW, RIESLING, WASHINGTON, 2012
Opening with aromas of bright fruit, subtle spice and citrus, Anew Riesling offers a harmonious blend of pure fruit flavor, heightened aromatics, and balanced acidity. Expressive flavors of fresh peach and a hint of spice give this wine a crisp, refreshing essence.
CAMPO VIEJO TEMPRANILLA, 2010
Deep cherry color that suggests a vibrant wine. Rich and intense ripe red fruit with oak nuances and subtle tones of vanilla & sweet spices. On the palate it is true to the nose, perfumed, soft and fresh with a long length on the palate that leaves memories of red fruit, vanilla and cocoa.
KENWOOD, JACK LONDON
Aromatic notes of plum and ripe raspberries combine with subtle aromas of vanilla and nutmeg. Rich well‐structured tannins provide an elegant mouthfeel and a long finish. Excellent fruit and well-rounded tannins.
ROCCA SVEVA RIPASSO
Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The wine is repassed for 11 to 14 days over the freshly fermented lees of the grapes that made the Amarone. Lush black cherry and raspberry notes with increased structure and a greater complexity. A unique wine that is noted for its intense flavors.
RAMÓN BILBAO, RESERVA RIOJA, 2009
Intense garnet red with maroon tones on the rim. On the nose it has intense and aromatic memories of fresh black fruit (blackcurrant) with a pleasant toast tone of rich noble woods. The spicy touch play with the mineral such as coal or ink, bitter chocolate of licorice. It is flavorful and has an elegant mouth feel with a wrapping sensation where nuances of red currants, firewood embers, pepper, tobacco leaves and infusions.
Why not let this year mark the holiday season where you worry less about being perfect when it comes to wine and food pairing and more so well-rounded to compliment and enhance all of the flavors that come with a traditional holiday feast sure to please every guest in your table?