Wine & Food

Snooth User: diggeral

what's best with turkey

Posted by diggeral, Nov 14, 2010.

I'm thinking white is too weak red is too strong Is there anything worth drinking in the blushes


Reply by vawineaux, Nov 14, 2010.

Dude, all three "colored" wines have something to offer you in the ways of pairing with your T-Day meal. At the wine store I work in, we're holding a wine tasting for this very issue. In the white category, Frisk Prickly Riesling from Australia has a hint o' fizz and just enough fruit to it that your sweet fans won't be complaining. Need something drier? Try the Lucien Albrecht Pinot Blanc....yummy! I feel Alsatian wines get no rap at all in the U.S. and it's high time this stops.

When it comes to reds, it's okay for your wine to have "a pair" and to think outside the box. Instead of Pinot Noir, try the Neckenmarkt Zweigelt. It's Austrian, chances are your family's never heard of it and it tastes amazing. If you feel like going crazier and the turkey is going to have a spice rub on it, then look no further than the Trinitas Old Vine Zinfandel. It tastes like Christmas, has a big ol' body on it and can also double as a pairing with chocolate desserts.

Lastly, if you go the Rose route, try something with a bit of a backbone to it. The first is Meinklang's Frizzante Pinot Noir. It's an easy-going sparkling from a bio-dynamic winery in Austria, which mean karmic bonuses for you. And finally, all the way from The Mother Land is Mulderbosch's Cabernet Rose. With hints of strawberry and lovely acidity, this boite will have your guests begging for more.

Hope this helps you in your decision making process. Cheers!

Reply by dmcker, Nov 15, 2010.

Just started pulling wines together for the event. Much smaller than last year for me. This year so far I've set aside:

  • Cobblestone 'Te Muna' pinot noir (Napa vintner but NZ bottling)
  • Trimbach riesling Clos St. Hune
  • Zind-Humbrecht riesling Heimbourg


Not sure of the guest list yet, nor of the menu. Not even of the venue. But will add at least one more red and one bubbly.

As you can see, vawineaux, I'm not ignoring Alsace... ;-)

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Nov 16, 2010.

Riesling with Turkey works and so does Pinot, I have also found that Rhone blends [GSM for us Aussies] and cool climate shiraz is a good match

Qu for my American friends - what about Zin?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Nov 16, 2010.


I have an 03 Trimbach Clos St Hune in the cellar - might just try your theory over christmas

Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 16, 2010.

SH in this post has also answered the thread about CdP with Turkey, and he's not even a Yank!  Thanks, mate!

My opinion is that everything and nothing goes with the turkey.  So many ways to prepare the bird, differences in side dishes.  But a point I would make is, much as us corkheads want the dinner to involve serious reflection on the wine, a lot of the guests swill it down.  I spend a lot of time picking wine for these things, but I don't usually put out the very best bottles. 

I think Zins are tough because some are jammy and my favorites, though not jammy, could overwhelm a bird, but there are plenty that can work.  If you have time to order it or go to the winery (not in stores, I am afraid), Talty Felice Connolly is a bit lighter and really elegant.  The estate Talty is also a good choice, but a bit bigger in most years.  Nalle Zin could work well, too.

I like the idea of a rose and have been deciding whether to bring one myself.  If I can still get a deal on a Tavel--there's a rose appellation with some spine-- I am leaning that way.  Or maybe a rose of Syrah from California. 

Reply by duncan 906, Nov 20, 2010.

I would happily serve most decent reds with turkey but the best white would be a Vouvray

Reply by napagirl68, Nov 20, 2010.

I think it depends on your side dishes.  IMO, turkey, even done amazingly, is a bland, boring bird.  It would pair well with most wines because it is almost neutral in character.  Now, for side dishes.... these run the gamut from the over-sweetened sweet potatoes, etc, to spicy chorizo stuffing.  I think you need to look at your sides, more so than the turkey.  I am doing a molasses brined turkey, stuffing will be cornbread (homemade then toasated) with leeks, a slew of wild mushrooms, and hot italian sausage; simple mashed yukon golds with butter and chives, forgot the starter... chipolte butternut squash soup.  And prolly simple green beans with slivered almonds for the side. 

I am not a big traditional thanksgiving meal fan.  I tried several times to do something better than turkey-   Beef Wellington one year, chipolte/pumpkin seed pork tenderloin another.  Everyone was angry, and wanted the tradition.  So I do it, but have chosen to to it simply, somewhat creatively, and not to go too overboard.  No yams/sweet potatoes this year since everyone likes the yukons better, and I refuse to serve two different potatoes at the same meal!!!   (PS- I DO like sweet potatoes ((pale skin, not th orangy yams)), especially, microwaved and topped with ricotta cheese and garlic/lemon sauteed kale-yum!).  I just think it is too much to add in many different starches on top of the stuffing.

I digress... so for MY menu, I am pouring a sauv blanc to go with the soup, and for the main meal, I plan to pour 2-3 wines as a blind tasting comparison- a sonoma coast pinot noir, a Livermore (CA) syrah-rose, and a russian river chardonnay.  I am interested to see what people like, and love to do any food gathering this way. 

My appies will be roasted almonds coated with a few varieties of things...  honey/chipolte + almonds, lavender/orange blossom honey +almonds, and soy sauce +almonds.   Also a great cheese.. hoping to find that Urgelia at Whole foods.  Will serve a few different sparklers to start.


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Nov 21, 2010.


You are being harsh on the humble Turkey, I think neutral is fair but bland and boring is a bit tough! Having said that we tend to smoother it is gravy anyway.

We don't tend to blind wines at home, mainly because my wife would summarily execute me for suggesting it.

We had a good friends birthday on the weekend and had 6 of us for dinner.

We had a large nibble plate of smoked salmon, smoked kingfish, olives, sundried tomatoes, chilli prawn and mango dip, cheese and crusty bread.  The wine was Lanson Black Lable NV Champagne [which IMHO is only average] so I kept drinking Peroni Beer until changing to a riesling.

Between Nibbles and Entre we moved onto Riesling, our friend whose birthday it was is the distributor for Penna Lane wines from Clare Valley so we had his 2010 Watervale and 2010 Skilly Hills [Clare sub regions] and a 2002 Grossett Watervale.  The difference in the two 2010 rieslings standing next to each other was noticable and the Watervale was certainly more to my style for young riesling being nice and fresh with some quite sharp acid to compliment the citrus fruit flavour, the skilly hills was good but lacked a bit of sharpness for my palate.  The 02 Grosset was Outstanding and had matured into a wonderful old riesling, still with excellent fruit freshness [viva the screw cap] but nice subtle hints of kerosene you get from older riesling.

The food match was a bit difficult to conclude because of the variety but the rieslings all seemed to compliment the fish.

We then moved onto a pumpkin and Haloumi cheese dish seved in a pastry shell and we drank a 2005 Merseult [Faiveley I think].  This was an excellent wine and with its quite strong honey overtones it matched well with the entre which had been cooked with brown sugar honey and sesame seeds.

The main was Lamb Backstrap [deboned loin] wrapped in proscuitto and grilled/baked and served on a rocket, asparagus, artichoke and green pea salad with a balsamic and mint dressing accommpanied by diced potatoes roasted with Rosemary.  We served a 1999 Hardy's Eileen Shiraz and a 2004 Yalumba Signature Cabernet/Shiraz Blend.  The Eileen was in fantastic form and is from the constellation stable [and is one of the few wines the constellation very well - mind you this was made before the bought Hardy]  The signature whilst not in the same class was a good second wine and both wines had great depth to match the lamb richness.  The salad base was not red wine friendly but did not detract from the overall mix - plus I hate peas so I only had token amounts of the salad!!.

The dessert was a lemon tart [we found a brilliant new pastry place near home and they are so good it is not worth making it yourself.  We a Clare Sticky from Mt Hoorocks and it balanced the tartness of the lemon nicely.

And then it was 1 am and we did the dishes!!!


Reply by napagirl68, Nov 21, 2010.

SH- sounds like a lovely tasting party!

Yeah, I've never been a big turkey fan.. even since childhood.  I called it a big, lazy bird in another post!  You said it yourself.. we douse it in gravy anyway!! LOL! 

I made it one year, and actually almost liked it.  I stuffed crushed garlic, fresh sage, salt and olive oil under the skin.  Inside, I put onion, sage, and celery (I usually make the stuffing separate).  The roasting was done by covering the entire bird with cheesecloth, and basting the cheesecloth faithfully every 20min with a mix of chardonnay and melted butter.  This much wine/butter in the pan is not conducive for the traditional gravy making, however.  the cheesecloth is removed for the last 1/2hr of cooking.  This process makes the bird golden and crispy. 

This year I am brining for the first time.  I plan to reduce the salt a bit, and rinse the turkey well after brining.  I do not want it to be oversalted.  I have brined pork before... a tenderloin with a vanilla brine that was fantastic.  This will be my first turkey brining... am actually thinking of a recipe I saw for a apple cider brine, instead of the molasses brine...


Reply by SilviaNorby79871, Nov 22, 2010.

i put butter under the skin and season and put butter over the top then put the turkey in an oven bag and bake in the oven that way.


Reply by CyberCellar wine, Nov 22, 2010.

It depends on how you are preparing it. If are you are serving your turkey cold on a hot summers day with salads etc. a Rhine Riesling or Chardonnay would pair perfectly however, if you're serving it hot with gravy (Northern hemisphere Christmas) you'll probably want a full bodied Cabernet Franc or Cab Sauv...either way think South African wine is the way to go ;-)

Raats - Cab Franc

Warwick - Cab Sauv

Ross Gower - Riesling

Bouchard Finlayson - Chardonnay

Reply by jtryka, Nov 18, 2012.

Well, I tried to start a new topic for this Thanksgiving and I had no luck as somehow I got stuck starting a blog post which isn't anywhere close to what I wanted to do, so here goes on this thread!

So I am heading to some friends for Thanksgiving, and I am thinking about what wines to bring.  Well I've settled on two, the first one is the 2010 L'Ecole No. 41 Grenache, I haven't tried it yet, but I think with a lighter wine it would go well with turkey and could certainly be tolerable to me!  My second choice is the 2009 Espelt-Corali Rose, which is a dry Spanish rose that I picked up at my local wine merchant on super low clearance for only $1.50 a bottle!  It should be a nice pairing with turkey, but even if it's terrible, it was less than 2-buck Chuck so how could I complain?

What are you planning to enjoy with your bird this Thursday?

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 18, 2012.

I just listed my Thanksgiving pairing guide in the lists section, if interested, here's the link:

Reply by duncan 906, Nov 19, 2012.

I agree that turkey is over-rated and over-priced.We Brits do not do Thanksgiving as that is a US festival but turkey is the traditional Christmas lunch although my family are not having it..My sister will be doing roast pork courtesy of the Scottish crofter who lives next door to her and who has promised her some of his pig that he has been feeding since March which goes on a little trip to the slaughterhouse the week before Christmas.When it comes to turkey it can be a very dry and bland meat  and as previous posts have said a lot depends on how it is served and what is served with it.I would go for a right bank claret for a red and either an off dry reisling or a Vouvray demi-sec for a white

Reply by jamessulis, Dec 10, 2012.

Many Snoothers say that Turkey is a bland tasting meat and I agree. I rarely have turkey roasted in the traditional way. I buy ground up turkey meat and make them into burger patties. I flavor both sides with garlic salt, sage and blackening spice. Heat the pan and sauté in olive oil for about 9 minutes each side. I can then have it with cranberries or on a toasted Ciabatta roll (square shaped sourdough roll). You can add a slice of your favorite cheese and or a thin slice of raw or sautéed red onion. I would have a glass of  Reisling from Zellerschwarzenkatz  to assist in the consumption.

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