Great wines to pair with Christmas roast turkey
Are you opting for roast turkey this year? Our buyers have selected three fantastic wines for you to enjoy alongside turkey and all the trimmings.
Turkey is a delicate white meat with low fat content, so it will struggle to stand up to a full bodied red wine. However, it's important not to forget about the stuffing and all the trimmings, which would easily overpower a light wine. The best thing to do is plum for something in the middle: a creamy, richer white wine or a medium bodied, fruity red.
Picking a white wine to go with roast turkey this Christmas
The white wine option might get overlooked at Christmas, but acidity is always food's friend when it comes to great food and wine matching. You can still enjoy rich flavours and spice if you go for the right white wine.
Traditionally, US oak-aged Chardonnays or rich styles of White Burgundy will go well. However, we think there's no better option than Furmint from Tokaj.
Why not try Peter Pince Tokaji Thurzo Furmint, grown on the borders of the Tokaj and Tarcal villages in Tokaj wine region. The area is locally regarded as a "honey pot" of vineyards due to its warm climate and full-flavoured wines.
The Thurzo manages to combine being both racy with notes of orange peel and fresh lemon, while also round and complex with notes of peaches, baked apple pie, vanilla and spice.
It complements the turkey while pairing perfectly with all your trimmings.
Picking a red wine for Christmas turkey
There's a vast number of red wines you can pair with roast dinner. The main rule with turkey is to avoid going too full-bodied as jammier wines can overpower the delicate meat.
Lighter wines like Pinot Noir or eastern Europe speciality Blaufrankisch (aka Kekfrankos) work really well thanks to their acidity, fresh berry flavours and smooth, supple tannins.
The lighter option
Created by Dr Geza Balla, the bright red wine Balla Geza Blaufrankisch/Kekfrankos is a cracking turkey wine.
Balla selects his fruit from the Minis vineyard, planted on the foothills of Arad where the grapes thrive in long sunshine hours, granite and mustone-rich soils and the cooling influence of the River Mudras.
The jewel-coloured wine is refreshing but intensely flavoured with packs of red cherries, black pepper and vanilla. A smooth partner for your Christmas turkey.
Something a bit fuller bodied
If you prefer your red wines full bodied but would like a glass or two with dinner, don't panic, some full bodied wines will still pair really well.
The key to getting big wines with turkey right is about the balance of acidity. Acidity provided freshness, but it also contrasts salt really well, so it's an important feature to making food and wine pairing work.
A good cheat for buying full bodied reds with good acidity is to go for cooler climates. For example, Claret from Bourdeaux is a brilliant classic pairing.
However, if you want to try something new and exciting, you should give our Alpha Estate 'Hedgehog' Single Vineyard Xinomavro a go. Grown 690m above sea level in the Amyndeon area of Macedonia, northern Greece, this red retains great acidity while developing deep aromas of black fruits and spice.
As it has matured in both barrel and bottle for a few years, the wine's tannins are silky smooth rather than over-powering, so it makes for a fab match with Christmas turkey.
I hope you enjoy the pairings and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!