Pairing Wines with Turkey

Happy November! The annual challenge to find something nice but inexpensive to pair with turkey is a regular conversation I have beginning around mid-November. Texts on wine pairing suggest that the “right” wines can be either red or white, but have the following qualities: Fruity, no oak to complicate the taste, high in acidity—it “cuts through” the flavors of the turkey and side dishes, and has, at most, moderate tannins. Here are a few suggestions that I think you’ll enjoy.

Shafer Chardonnay 2017

I love all the wines Shafer produces, especially their oft-honored “Relentless” syrah. It’s rich, pure in fruit, with a lot of citrus that I really like in a white. You can find a bottle at for $50.

Marietta Old Vine Red

Zinfandels are wonderful because they are very fruit forward, often not barreled in oak, and have the flavor of concentrated jams. I love Marietta’s non-vintage Old Vine Red. It’s got terrific fruit, graphite undertones, and tastes like a $45 bottle of wine priced at $14 (at my standby,

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages 2017

Beaujolais wines, made of 100% Gamay, are perfect for turkey as they are bright, with high acidity, moderate to low tannins, and plenty of fruit. Jadot is one of Frances’ premier producers, and they sell this wine at $12. One caveat—drink it this year!

But If You Want to Splurge…

Try Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 2016 at $100. It’s balanced, but with a delicious balance of fruit and mineral flavors. I just added it to my shopping list for the holiday.

  • Jay Carter

    Jay Carter is Senior VP and Director of Strategy Services for AbelsonTaylor. Jay has worked for 31 years in the medical advertising industry, the last 28 at AbelsonTaylor. He’s had the pleasure of working with some of the finest minds (and hearts) in pharma. Along the way, he’s developed a passion for championing health brands to clinicians and consumers, and championing the medical advertising industry as a worthwhile career.


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