Turkey Tipplers

With the Thanksgiving weekend upon us I’ve been getting lots of requests for advice on which wine is best to bring to the table.

First and foremost, my advice is to drink something you like–beer or wine–even if it’s not the perfect “pairing.” Holidays are stressful enough so why bring more anxiety along for the ride? Eating and drinking are FUN. And in the company of dear friends and family it should be even more so.

However, if you’re off to meet the in-laws or simply want to up your game a little, below are my suggestions for some red and white pairings to complement a savoury roast turkey dinner.

Pinot Noir
Reds from Pinot Noir pair nicely with the roasted flavours of Thanksgiving feast without the overpowering flavours and tannins that you could get from a more robust grape such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

For a local selection, try Pelee Island or Château des Charmes. Both are VQAs and come in under $15.

Outside of Canada, the Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir from Chile is a nice alternative and also affordable.

This is a tricky wine and not always the most popular but I personally really love a good Riesling. Done right, you get a lovely blend of vibrant minerality and acid with just enough aromatics that pair well with the rich, carmelized flavours of roasted root veggies and dark turkey meat.

Local picks include Cave Spring VQA Riesling or, if you prefer a really dry style, try the 2008 Angel’s Gate. For those who like them on the aromatic side, I recommend a late harvest wine such as the Château des Charmes.


All of the suggested wines can be found at the LCBO and I encourage you to explore other options as well. If you know your host or dinner guests don’t enjoy either of these, other options include Câte du Rhone reds or other blends including Gamay. Chardonnays that have been lightly oaked would also work well.

The key is to select a wine that can stand up to the richness of the meal but not overpower it. Ask any of the LCBO or wine store staff for assistance–they’ll be happy to help you out.

Tell me, what are your favourite wines to drink this holiday? Did any of these suggestions help you?


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