What to drink with turkey?

November 22nd 2016
By: Melanie Hollidge
What to drink with turkey?

Planning mid-winter feasting is half the fun on Christmas and making sure you have the right wines on the table for Christmas diner its part of all that. “Tannin is your Christmas banquets enemy,” says Harry Fawkes of Decanter as he suggests how to escape the routine choices.
Turkey is not a powerful white meat and has low fat content so your wine matches should ideally be either full-bodied white wines, or a medium bodied red, with low to medium tannin. Tannin is your Christmas banquets enemy because it is at odds with the lack of fat on the plate, tannin reacts with fat to make the tannin feel softer. Lack of fat, like in Turkey, can accentuate harsh tannin in a wine, whilst the saltiness of the turkey can also make tannin taste bitter. If that wasn’t enough to think about, there are also the flavour complexities of all the accompaniments to turkey; cranberry, bacon, parsnips, stuffing and Brussel sprouts to name but a few.
Traditionally the accompaniment for Christmas poultry has been Claret red Bordeaux of Burgundy. A medium tannin red, can also point to Pinot Noirs or a Beaujolais Cru. The lighter Burgundian areas such as Volnay however may be overpowered by all the Christmas accompaniments. If you are not a Pinot fan, mature Claret, Chianti or Rioja can work well.  If you are not a red wine drinker or have white wine drinkers around the table a full-bodied Chardonnay can be a great accompaniment to turkey, especially with traditional sides such as bread sauce. The oaky richness gives sweet spice notes while lactic, creamy acid really helps a meat that can sometimes be on the dry side. Good Chardonnays can often be found in the same geographical areas as good Pinot Noir. White Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune could also work well.
For more advice why not visit the lovely little wine shop in St Albans as they will be able to advise you on the best wines to have with your Christmas feast http://thelovelylittlewineshop.co.uk/