Who said choosing a wine to go with turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, cranberry sauce and every other edible family tradition has to be hard?
The big bird is actually pretty flexible when it comes to liquid partners, and each of the following wines offer a marriage made in holiday heaven.
1. Domaine Chandon Brut Classic, $23.99-$30.99*
Forget New Year’s Eve (for now); sparkling wines are super food-friendly and this American wine — made with a champagne sensibility — will add excitement to any holiday meal.
2. Caymus Vineyards 2007 Conundrum, $24.95-$29.99
Sauvignon blanc is only one piece of this tasty multi-grape puzzle that twists refreshing tropical flavours around a lasting core of fresh white fruit.
3. Wolf Blass 2008 Yellow Label Riesling, $13.99-$16.99
’Tis the season for German riesling, but New Worlders like this Aussie tend to be a tad drier, making them even more appealing with a wide variety of food flavours.
4. J. Lohr 2007 Riverston Chardonnay, $19.05-$23.79
Heavily oaked chards are passé, so J. Lohr has softened its Riverstone persona by toning down the wood and playing up the citrus, which works better with turkey anyway.
5. Oyster Bay 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, $17.99-$21.99
Thick, rich and full-figured, Oyster Bay is a textured wonder from New Zealand that cosies up to white (and most red) meats.
6. Mezzacorona 2008 Pinot Grigio, $12.95-$14.99
Crisp and crowd-pleasing; pinot grigio is an all-purpose grape with Mezzacorona’s interpretation a great mate for sweet, earthy and vegetal flavours.
7. Boekenhoutskloof 2008 The Wolftrap, $13.95-$14.99
The Wolftrap is a funky South African blend that’s got enough muscle to drumstick wrestle turkey and plenty of fruit to fend off forward side dishes.
8. Kim Crawford 2008 Marlborough Noir, $19.95-$24.99
Pinot is a historic match for both roast poultry and ham with Mr. Crawford’s big, bright version a vintage to vintage winner thanks to layers of strawberry fruit.
9. Ravenswood 2007 Vintners Blend Zinfandel, $17.95-$19.99
Zinfandel’s typical mix of creamy chocolate and ripe berry fruit complexity is a fine companion for turkey — especially when the gravy boat drops anchor.
10. Ruffino 2006 Il Ducale Toscana, $19.95-$22.99
Cherry fruit, soft spice and juicy, flowing flavours all marry to make sangiovese-based wines like the Il Ducale a classic pick with the gobbler and eclectic holiday choices like lamb, veal and pizza.
11. Concho y Toro 2008 Casillero del Diablo Shiraz, $12.95-$13.99
Chile knows how to squeeze some major spice and concentrated red fruit out of shiraz, and this Diablo makes nice with both turkey and anything beefy.
12. Georges Duboeuf 2008 Beaujolais-Villages, $12.95-$17.99
Though a red Burgundy or merlot-based Saint-Émilion from Bordeaux both love turkey, when it comes to a French companion I’m all about Beaujolais. Fresh and super fruity (especially when lightly chilled) they pair with everything and everyone.
* Prices reflect the range across the country.
– Peter Rockwell is Metro’s wine columnist. Check out his Liquid Assets column on Tuesdays or online at www.metronews.ca/liquidassets.