Even though it's a bit more flavorful than its cousin chicken, turkey is still a relatively blank canvas when it comes to food matching. Keep your eyes on sauces and sides — they're the elements that determine whether a pairing will work. Many people make the mistake of assuming red is the way to go. The truth is: Whites are just as likely to work. Stay away from big reds and heavily oaked wines of any color — they don't do any favors for the sweet accents frequently found at the Thanksgiving table.
- Turkey Recipe #1:Lemon-Herb Turkey with Lemon-Garlic Gravy
Garlic can wreak havoc with wine, but the ultraversatile Barbera doesn't try to compete; the naturally high acidity complements garlic's pungency.
- Turkey Recipe #2: Turkey Piccata with Tarragon Cream
While you might assume that white wine goes best with cream sauces, this light red highlights the sweet tarragon flavor.
- Turkey Recipe #1: Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Pan Gravy
The wine will play off the light sweetness of the cider and enhance the tang of the herbs.
- Turkey Recipe #2: Turkey and Sweet-Potato Croquettes with Cranberry Apple Salsa
The citrus notes and sweetness of Epiphany can handle both the sugar and spice.
- Turkey Recipe #1: Simple Roast Turkey with Rich Turkey Gravy
The sweet and oily nature of this wine cuts through the richness of the roasted turkey skin and gravy.
- Turkey Recipe #2: Turkey Cutlets with Prosciutto and Caper Sauce
You've got salty and tart tastes in this recipe, so go for the contrast of a sophisticated sweet wine.
- Turkey Recipe #1: Citrus-Glazed Turkey with Chipotle Gravy
The Chorey won't battle the heat in this dish — like a California Cab might. And the wine will highlight the honey and orange flavors.
- Turkey Recipe #2: Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Tart sun-dried tomatoes require a light and fruity contrast like the Chorey.
- Turkey Recipe #1: Grilled Turkey with Cranberry Gravy
The Pinot Meunier cries out to be matched with any preparation of cranberry, but it also goes great with the smoky taste of this grilled dish.
- Turkey Recipe #2: Turkey Chowder with Wild Rice, Crimini and Pancetta
The clean and bright flavors — balanced acids and fruit — offset the richness of this dish (especially if you add leftover stuffing to the soup, as suggested).
Ted Loos, the former features editor of Wine Spectator, has written about wine for Bon Appétit, and is the author of "Town & Country Wine Companion: A Tasting Guide and Journal."