What to Drink with Your Turkey

The Thanksgiving table spread can be tricky for wine pairing. All of that fruit, salt, and sugar, plus the various turkey preparations, means one size does not fit all. Dry white wines tend to fade in the presence of such seasoning. When going with a white wine, a little residual sugar is definitely your best friend. Think high-acid, low-alcohol, fruity wines — lighter-bodied reds; medium-bodied whites; and when in doubt, bubbles.

ROASTED TURKEY

reisling wine

Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling, courtes Chateau Ste. Michelle

A traditional oven-roasted turkey cooked to juicy perfection screams for the cherry, raspberry, and strawberry red fruits found in New World Pinot Noir and Grenache. If only white will do, try a medium-dry or medium-sweet Riesling.

Treveri wine

Treveri Cellars Sparkling Rosé NV, courtesy Trevor cellars

Tendril Wine Cellars Tightrope Pinot Noir 2013 (Willamette Valley; $64)

Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (Willamette Valley; $30)

A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir 2014 (Oregon; $20)

Latta Wines Upland Vineyard Grenache 2012 (Snipes Mountain; $40)

Tempus Cellars Art den Hoed Grenache 2014 (Yakima Valley; $28)

Quady North Bomba 2015 (Rogue Valley; $25)

Trisaetum Ribbon Ridge Estate Riesling 2015 (Ribbon Ridge; $32)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling (Columbia Valley; $22)

SMOKED TURKEY

Rosie Cellars Wine

Rotie Cellars Southern Blend 2015, courtesy Rotie Cellars

Our favorite way to prepare a turkey requires an overnight brine and hours of slow smoke to tenderize and flavor the almost-national bird. Rhone blends (e.g. GSMs) and lighter-bodied Zinfandel work well with lean smoked protein without overwhelming it with tannin.

Rotie Cellars Southern Blend 2015 (Washington State; $48)

Angel Vine Columbia Valley Zinfandel 2012 (Columbia Valley; $20)

DEEP-FRIED TURKEY

Dangerous and delicious, the crazy tradition of deep frying a huge bird yields crispy-skin results and plenty of extra fat that keeps the meat moist. Choose something sparkling to help cleanse your palate between bites.

Argyle Brut 2014 (Willamette Valley; $28)

Argyle Spirit Hill Blanc de Blancs 2013 (Willamette Valley; $50)

DRIED-OUT TURKEY

Just in case your mother-in-law forgot to brine the bird or left it in the oven a little too long, err on the side of something sparkling with a pinch more residual sugar. Plus, the bubbles will help cut the rivers of gravy you’ll need to assist your smile-and-swallow efforts.

Argyle wine

Argyle Brut 2014, courtesy Argyle

Treveri Cellars Sparkling Rosé NV (Yakima Valley; $18)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer 2015 (Columbia Valley; $10)

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