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Wines for Turkey

The last thing you want to find at any holiday meal is that the bottle of wine you brought to family dinner is more of a turkey than the bird on the table. Or that no one brought a bottle for those who prefer red with their fowl. Keep these ideas in mind when choosing your holiday wine and you will be ahead of the game.

  • We recommend the following varietals as crowd pleasers that match up well with most turkey and trimmings: Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Blended Whites, Zinfandel, Merlot and Blended Reds.
  • Keep it simple – Have at least one white and one red on hand so that all guests can find something they prefer.
  • Portions – Figure that a 750-ml bottle has about six four-ounce servings. You do the math from here, taking into account predinner servings.
  • Varieties – Stick to fewer choices. One or two whites and reds will be easier all the way around. Offering a Sauvignon blanc, a Pinot Grigio, a Gewürztraminer, a Chardonnay, and a Riesling may be overkill. And when your guests are done sampling the different varietals, there may not be enough left of the favorite for dinner.

To help ease the stress of the holiday, here are some recommendations for wines that will make you the toast of the table:

  • Chardonnay is always a safe bet. Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve, Chateau Souverain and Rodney Strong are all great American Chardonnays. Australian and New Zealand pleasers include Evans and Tate, Four Emus and Allan Scott.
  • Gewürztraminer – This slightly dry and spicy white was made for turkey dinner. Look to Hugel, Trimabach, Fetzer or Covey Run for good taste and great value.
  • White Blends – These often pair well with a number of dishes, and can please those who like both sweet and dry wines. Stump Jump White, Beringer Alluvium Blanc, Caymus Conundrum and Folie a Deux Menage a Trois white are safe, yet more exotic, choices.
  • Zinfandel – The all-American grape, Zinfandel offers impressive fruit and spice notes. Cline, Bogle, Ravenswood, Peachy Canyon and Three Thieves are great bets here.
  • Merlot – If Merlot were a country, it would be Switzerland. Merlot is an easy sipper that works well with just about any food, and drinks well on its own. Customer favorites include Bogle, Clos du Bois, Rodney Strong and Columbia Crest Grand Estates.
  • Blended Reds – These are blended to take the best qualities of different grapes and make them compatible with a variety of foods. You will generally find Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel and Shiraz in the blend. Folie a Deux, Stump Jump Red, Coppola Rosso, Cline Five Grapes and Big Tatto Red are some of our favorites.