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Smoked Turkey Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Smoked Turkey

Have you ever been to an event or dinner where the smoked turkey was served and you had no idea what wine to pair with it?

If so, then this blog post is for you!

It can be difficult finding the right type of wine to go with a smoked turkey.

  • Do you pair it up with a white or red?
  • Maybe something sweet or sparkling?

The choices are endless and there are so many factors that go into choosing the perfect pairing.

That’s why we’ve done all the research for you!

We looked at different types of wines from around the world that work well when paired with a smoked turkey dinner.

Not only will each selection offer bold flavors, but also enhance your dining experience.

From crisp Pinot Grigio to oaky Chardonnay and everything in between – we’ve rounded up some delicious options that will guarantee your guests leave happy (and full).

Let’s get started on uncovering these tasty combinations that take your meal from subpar to simply spectacular!

So, what wine goes with smoked turkey?

The best wines to pair with smoked turkey are Zinfandel, Riesling, and other white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. The smokiness of the meat complements the spiciness and fruitiness of these styles of wine. Look for a well-balanced wine with good acidity that won’t overpower the flavor of the turkey.

Smoked Turkey
Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Why Consider Serving Wine With Smoked Turkey?

Serving wine with smoked turkey is an excellent way to bring out the flavors of this traditional dish. The smoky, savory flavor of smoked turkey pairs beautifully with a range of fruity and earthy wines.

Not only does the right wine enhance the flavor profile of your meal but it can also provide an extra layer of complexity that you won’t get from just pairing the food and drink. Plus, it’s a great way to add an element of sophistication to your gathering!

When choosing the best wines for smoked turkey, consider if you prefer a red, white, or rosé wine and what other flavors exist in your meal – such as herbs, spices, and seasonings – so that they can be highlighted.

The Best Red Wines For Smoked Turkey

Red Wine

When it comes to red wine and smoked turkey, you want something that will complement the smoky flavors without overpowering them.

The best wines for this are those that are complex but not too heavy, with a little bit of fruitiness to highlight the flavor of the turkey.

A great option is an Italian Barbera d’Asti or Nebbiolo from Piedmont. These wines have enough acidity to stand up to the smokiness of the turkey and enough tannins and body to bring out its richness without being overly intense.

If you prefer bigger reds try a French Syrah from Côte-Rôtie or Hermitage with earthy notes such as leather, tobacco, and spice that work well with smoked meats like poultry.

Or go for a Spanish Rioja Reserva with dried fruits and spices – perfect for bringing out all the nuances of your dish while remaining balanced on your palate.

The Best White Wines For Smoked Turkey

White wine

White wines are the go-to pairing for poultry, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be your top choice with smoked turkey.

Smoked turkey is quite a robust dish, so you don’t want to choose something that will fight it for dominance on the palate. Choose something medium-bodied with good acidity and aromatics to accompany this dish.

Consider an unoaked Chardonnay from California, or a Viognier from France would both fit the bill nicely!

For something unique consider a Vermentino from Italy or an Albariño from Spain – these can add interesting layers of flavor.

If you’re looking for something more full-bodied try a Semillon blend like Bordeaux Blanc or even Chenin Blanc/Viognier blends – these can bring complexity while still having great balance.

And finally, if you’re feeling adventurous Riesling tends to work beautifully with smoked turkey!

The Best Rosé Wines For Smoked Turkey

Rosé wine

Rosé wines are the perfect match for smoked turkey because they have enough body to balance the smoky flavors of the meat, but aren’t too overwhelming.

When looking for a rosé wine to pair with your smoked turkey, go for one that has nice acidity. A dry style will be able to cut through the rich flavors of the dish and provide some refreshing notes.

Look out for aromas and flavors of citrus, stone fruit (like peaches), red berries (like strawberries) or herbal notes like lavender or rosemary.

Rosés made from Pinot Noir will typically be more fruity while those made from Grenache will often have a subtle spiciness in addition to their fruity aromas.

Other Wines To Pair With Smoked Turkey

While red, white, and rosé wines are the most popular choices when it comes to smoked turkey wine pairing, there are some other great options that you should consider.

Sparkling wines like champagne or prosecco can be a great way to add a unique flavor to your meal. They also go well with sweet side dishes like cranberry sauce or chutney.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, why not try dessert wines? Often full-bodied and sweet in taste, they can pair nicely with smoked turkey if served at the right temperature.

Sweet Rieslings and ice wines can also be an interesting choice for those who want something out of the ordinary.

Finally, don’t forget about classic beers! Whether you prefer lagers or ales, craft beer is always a welcome addition to any dinner table – especially one featuring smoked turkey!

5 Tips For Picking A Wine

Picking the right wine to pair with your smoked turkey dinner can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips to guide you in the right direction:

  1. Consider the flavor profiles of your side dishes and make sure that they complement the flavors of your wine. For example, if you’re serving roasted vegetables, then look for a red or white with earthy notes.
  2. Consider alcohol content when pairing wines – lighter-bodied wines like whites typically work best with leaner meats like turkey while richer, fuller-bodied reds go better with more fatty meats like duck or goose.
  3. When choosing between reds, whites, and rosés – know that all three types have tannins which will bring out different flavors in smoked turkey depending on how long it is smoked for! Heavily smoked turkeys may benefit from a bolder red while mildly smoked turkeys may taste better with a fruitier white or rosé.
  4. Be mindful of sweetness levels when selecting wine as overly sweet wines can be overpowering when paired with smoky dishes such as smoked turkey so try to stick to dry wines instead.
  5. Don’t forget about sparkling wines! Sparkling wines have enough acidity and effervescence to contrast savory meals such as roasted bird – making them great alternatives for those looking for something other than still wine!

Smoked Turkey Wine Pairing: 3 Ways To Go About It

There are many ways to approach a smoked turkey wine pairing. Here are three main strategies:

  1. Match the flavors. Pairing a white or rosé with grilled chicken, for example, works well because they both have citrusy, smoky flavors that go hand-in-hand. This same concept can be applied when selecting the best wines for smoked turkey – choose something that will complement its delicate and smoky flavor profile.
  2. Contrast the flavors. If you want a more complex flavor profile, consider contrasting your smoked turkey with different types of wines for each course of your meal. For starters, try serving a light and acidic white before transitioning to fuller-bodied reds in your main course – this contrast will add depth to your overall dining experience!
  3. Add sweetness or tartness to balance out flavors. If you find yourself overwhelmed by too much smokey flavor in your dish, then consider adding sweetness or tartness through select wines with high acidity levels like Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne Rosé – this will help bring balance between sweet and savory elements on the plate.

Serving Temperature And Glassware

When you are serving wine with smoked turkey, it is important to serve at the right temperature and in the right glassware.

Red wines should be served slightly cooler than room temperature (around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit), while white wines should be served chilled (around 48-55 degrees Fahrenheit).

When selecting a type of glassware for your wine, look for something that helps to bring out the aromas of your chosen bottle.

Generally speaking, larger glasses are better suited for red wines, and smaller glasses are better suited for white wines. Riedel makes some great and affordable glassware that can help enhance the taste of your favorite bottles!


As you can see, there are many great wines to pair with smoked turkey.

Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose from a wide range of reds, whites, rosés, and other varietals that work perfectly when served with smoked turkey.

So, what wine pairs well with smoked turkey?

The best wines to pair with smoked turkey are Zinfandel, Riesling, and other white wines. Zinfandel has a slightly sweet berry flavor that complements the smoky flavor of the turkey. Riesling is another great choice as it provides a light and crisp finish to cut through the smoke. Other whites such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc can also be paired with smoked turkey for an enjoyable meal.

Remember to always pay attention to the sweetness level of your wine as well as its acidity – both will make a big difference in how well it pairs with this delicious dish.

Finally, don’t forget that the temperature and glassware also play an important role in creating a successful pairing. If all of this is taken into consideration then you’re sure to have an enjoyable meal experience!

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.