Do You Drink White Or Red Wine With Turkey

Wine pairing is an important part of the dining experience. Whether you’re having a festive family meal or a romantic night for two, it’s essential to pick the right kind of wine.

But when it comes to turkey, how do you know whether red or white is best? In this article, we’ll explore which type of wine pairs well with turkey and why.

Turkey has a mild flavor that can work with either light-bodied white wines or medium-bodied reds. Both kinds bring out different notes in the meat, so it really depends on what flavors you want to accentuate.

We’ll look at each type of wine individually and discuss why they pair so well with turkey. So keep reading to find out if you should be reaching for white or red!

Understanding The Flavors Of Turkey

Turkey is one of those dishes that has many delicious flavors and aromas, from savory to sweet. It can be compared to a symphony orchestra; each flavor note playing its part in the overall experience.

For example, when my family prepares Thanksgiving dinner we like to combine different herbs and spices into our turkey rubs – sage, rosemary, thyme – that come together to form an incredible burst of flavor as soon as you take your first bite.

The same principle applies to wine pairing with turkey. Since there are so many complex notes present in the dish, it’s important to find something with enough complexity and texture on its own that will meld well with what’s already there.

This means choosing between whites or reds depending on which side of the spectrum you want the focus more towards: sweetness or spice? When considering white wines for turkey pairings, look for ones that have a bit of zestiness such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio paired up with lighter preps such as roasted vegetables or herb-based stuffing.

The crispness of these whites help keep things light while still providing a refreshing contrast to the richness of the turkey itself. Moving forward into red wines, they tend to provide fuller body and richer depth needed for heartier preparations featuring heavier sauces and gravies.

From Cabernet Sauvignon down to Merlot, these selections offer plenty of options for any palate looking for balance throughout their meal.

White Wines To Complement Turkey

White wines are a great choice to complement the flavors of turkey, especially when it’s cooked with herbs and spices. White wines have crisp acidity that can cut through the richness of the meat while still highlighting its flavor profile.

Depending on what sort of accompaniments you’re serving alongside your turkey, there are some excellent white wine options available:

  • Chardonnay is an obvious candidate; rich in buttery notes and fruitiness like apricot or peach, this varietal will pair very well with most types of roast turkey dishes.
  • A slightly lighter option would be Sauvignon Blanc; its grassy aromas bring out the herbal notes from the side dishes and vegetables, creating a perfect balance for your meal.
  • Pinot Grigio is another good pick for poultry – it has floral scents that work exceptionally well with roasted garlic potatoes or other flavorful sides.

No matter which type you choose, white wine should always be served chilled to really make sure it pairs perfectly with your turkey dinner.

With these suggestions in mind, let’s explore how red wines can bring even more complex flavors to enhance your dish.

Red Wines To Enhance Turkey

I think vintage Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option for turkey, it’s full-bodied and has subtle fruit flavors that pair well with the intense flavor of the bird.

Pinot Noir is also a great option for turkey, it’s light and delicate body helps complement the juicy texture of the meat.

Merlot can add a nice depth of flavor to your turkey dish, and it’s subtle tannins make it a great pairing.

Lastly, Zinfandel has notes of dark fruits and spice that make it a great option to round out the meal.

Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice when it comes to pairing with turkey.

With its smooth and rich flavors, this red wine brings out the savory notes of roasted poultry.

Its dark fruit character gives an added depth that will help create a truly memorable meal experience.

The tannins in the vintage cab can even provide a contrast to some of the richer dishes often served alongside turkey such as stuffing or mashed potatoes.

It’s no wonder why this varietal has been enjoyed for generations when serving up holiday feasts!

Whether you’re having a traditional dinner or something more unique, don’t forget about Cabernet Sauvignon for your next big get-together – it’ll be sure to please all who are gathered around the table.

Pinot Noir

Moving on from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir is another great choice when pairing with turkey.

This light-bodied red has a bright acidity that can cut through the richness of roasted poultry and will compliment any sides you might be serving up.

Its earthy notes also provide a nice contrast to sweeter dishes like cranberry sauce or sweet potatoes.

It’s easy drinking qualities make it an ideal wine for large gatherings as well – so don’t forget about this classic varietal when planning your next meal!

Considerations For Wine Pairing

When it comes to pairing wine with turkey, the possibilities are endless. Red or white can be served in harmony with this delicious bird. The choice between a fruity red and a crisp white is determined by personal preference as well as what accompaniments will accompany your feast.

A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon pairs nicely with roasted turkey dishes that have been enhanced by mushrooms, rosemary and other herbs. If you’re serving up a traditional holiday meal of roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy then a lighter bodied Pinot Noir may be just right.

For those who prefer whites, Chardonnay has enough body to stand up to heavier sides like stuffing while still complementing the delicate flavor of the turkey itself. Riesling would also work well for those looking for something slightly fruitier but not too sweet.

No matter which type of wine you choose to serve alongside your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s important to ensure there is balance among all the flavors on your plate. Too much sweetness from a dessert wine might overpower milder ingredients such as cranberry sauce; similarly, an overly tannic variety could make even seasoned dishes taste bitter and acidic.

Finding that perfect combination is key when selecting the ideal bottle to enjoy at your table! With careful consideration, you’ll find yourself choosing the perfect wine for your meal.

Choosing The Right Wine For Your Meal

When it comes to pairing wine with a meal, many factors come into play. First, consider the food being served and its flavor profile; then think about how the texture of the wine complements the dish’s texture; finally take into account any herbs or spices used to season the dish.

White wines are generally considered more versatile when it comes to food pairings. They tend to be light-bodied and offer bright acidity that can cut through richness in dishes like poultry or white fish. White wines also work well as an accompaniment for vegetables and lighter salads as they tend not to overpower delicate flavors. Here is a list of some popular white wines:

  • Chardonnay: creamy, full-bodied
  • Sauvignon Blanc: crisp, herbaceous
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris: dry, citrusy
  • Riesling: semi-sweet, floral

Red wines have bolder flavors than whites so their body should match whatever dish you plan on serving them with. Red meats such as beef or lamb need heavier reds that will stand up against their intense flavors while game birds (such as turkey) require a medium bodied variety that won’t overwhelm their earthiness and spice notes. The following list provides some examples of popular red vintages:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: fruity, tannic
  • Merlot: smooth, easy drinking
  • Syrah/Shiraz: peppery, spicy
  • Zinfandel: jammy, berry-flavored

Overall, choosing the right wine for your meal depends on personal preference but having an understanding of what works best together helps make this decision easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Temperature To Serve Wine With A Turkey Dinner?

Serving the perfect glass of wine with a turkey dinner can be tricky. It’s essential to find a balance between temperature and flavor that will elevate your meal.

The ideal serving temperature for red wines is slightly cooler than room temperature, around 55°F-65°F, while white wines should be served at 45°F – 50°F. This ensures that both types of wine have just the right amount of chilliness to bring out their complex flavors without overwhelming the subtle notes in your turkey dish.

So pour yourself a glass and enjoy!

What Type Of White And Red Wines Are Best For Pairing With Turkey?

When it comes to pairing wine with turkey, both white and red wines can be suitable options.

White wines such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc are popular choices for their light flavor that pairs well with the savory flavors of the bird.

For a richer taste, try a full-bodied red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Depending on your preference, you may also opt for a rosé or sparkling variety.

Ultimately, there is an array of varieties available to help bring out the best in your dinner!

What Are The Health Benefits Of Drinking Wine With Turkey?

Wine has long been used to pair with food, including turkey. But did you know there are numerous health benefits associated with drinking wine when enjoying a meal?

According to research studies, the polyphenols in wine can help reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. Moderate consumption of red wine also contains antioxidants that may protect against certain diseases like cancer.

Additionally, moderate consumption of white wines is linked to improved mental wellness due to their ability to increase serotonin production in the brain.

So next time you’re looking forward to indulging in some delicious turkey, don’t forget that sipping on an accompanying glass of wine isn’t just enjoyable – it’s beneficial for your health too!

How Much Wine Should I Serve With A Turkey Dinner?

If you’re hosting a turkey dinner and want to serve wine, it can be difficult to figure out how much to pour.

When it comes to the amount of wine served per person at your meal, there’s no set answer that works for everyone.

Whether you choose red or white is up to personal preference – but knowing how much each guest should get can help ensure an enjoyable evening for all!

How Can I Tell If A Wine Will Pair Well With Turkey?

When trying to decide which wine will pair best with a turkey dinner, there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

Generally speaking, white wines go better with lighter dishes like poultry and fish while red wines tend to be more suited for heavier meats.

While this is not an exact science, it can help guide your decision making process when selecting the right bottle of wine for your meal.

You should also consider factors such as texture (light or full-bodied), sweetness (dry or sweet) and acidity levels before deciding on what kind of wine to serve.


When it comes to deciding what type of wine to serve with turkey, the answer isn’t always clear-cut.

Some people may want to avoid drinking alcohol altogether and that is perfectly fine.

For those who do decide to enjoy some wine with their turkey dinner, either white or red can be a great choice depending on personal preference and food pairings.

Red wines tend to provide bolder flavors while whites bring more subtle notes; both will enhance your meal in different ways.

Ultimately, whichever you choose should depend on how much you enjoy it and how well it pairs with other components of the meal.

Whichever option you go for, one thing’s for sure – having a glass of good quality wine alongside your turkey dinner can make all the difference!

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