LET’S talk turkey. Turkey, like pork or even vegan bean curd, is a bit neutral when it comes to wine.
There are a few possibilities for wine matches including both white and red but it depends on the gravy – red wine gravy would usually require a red.
Of course, you can blow the whole thing off course by whacking on copious amounts of sweet cranberry sauce too.
The obvious choice at Christmas is Burgundy, which can either provide a Chardonnay to take you through the starters and main turkey-based meal, or a Pinot Noir that’s supple and elegant enough not to overwhelm the turkey. Pinot often carries a bit of sweetness so might not jar with the cranberry.
Douro wines don’t often spring to mind when you think of more delicate applications but there are two here that are organically produced and great for the Christmas table.
Bouchard Pere & Fils MaconLugny Saint Pierre 2017 (£13-£15 Slurp, Amazon, the drinks hop) Wines from the Maconnais are not as highly regarded as those from the north in the Cote D’Or but then again, they’re nowhere near as expensive.
The village of Lugny in this area provides some of the best vineyards for Chardonnay.
This wine is testament to that with a floral nose and a rounded, plump palate that finishes with a pleasing tang.
Altano Vinho Branco Douro 2017 (£10 Amazon, the drink shop) An unoaked blend of five Portuguese grape varieties, including Malvasia Fina and Moscatel Gallego, made by port producers, the Symington Family. This distinctive white is perfect for both shellfish and turkey, with floral notes and a tangy apple skin scent. The palate has a waxy edge and tropical flavours with pineapple-heavy fruit salad brought into shape by crisp acidity.
Altano Douro Organic Red 2016 (£12.40, Amazon, Waitrose, EH Booth and Co) Another very distinctive wine which is lighter than most Douro reds despite its concentrated fruit.
There’s a leafy/herbal tinge to notes of parma violets on the nose while the palate is focused and taut. This will cosy up to turkey’s herby stuffing very well but will enhance other dishes such as lamb and rosemary.
Bouchard Pere et Fils Pinot Noir ‘La Vignee’ 2016 (£15.99 Amazon and independents)
At the moment, this wine is drinking with elegance and poise but will develop further complexity in bottle.
So Amazon’s case-of-three offer for about £40 looks like a decent buy – drink one or two over Christmas and cellar the remainder. It offers some classic sexy Pinot aromas and well-balanced harmonious fruit.
A very affordable introduction to the delights of Burgundy.
‘This wine is drinking with elegance and poise but will develop further complexity in bottle’
Bouchard Pere et Fils Pinot Noir ‘La Vignee 2016