Dec 22 2021

Talking Turkey - and Other Spanish Wine Pairings

With your holiday cooking underway, it’s time to splurge - and pair - with Spanish wines. Whether you’ll be serving turkey, beef or pork, here’s our sommelier wine buying guide!

There is no better time than Christmas to splurge on Spanish wine, and with your holiday cooking underway, the only thing to think about now is how to perfectly pair wines with your meal. Whether you’ll be serving turkey, beef or pork, here’s our sommelier wine buying guide!

The traditional roast dinner consists of turkey, beef on the bone or a ham joint, then all the sides: mash, vegetables, gravy and stuffing. When in doubt about how to pair such a varied meal with wine, the key is to pair the central dish with its flavor or sauce to the components in the wine.

Roasted Ham

Let’s talk turkey, for example. A roast turkey with gravy doesn’t need a heavy red wine blend, as the tannins will overpower the dish and subtract from the savory taste. Instead, try a Tempranillo monovarietal from Ribera del Duero DO - medium bodied, with barrel ageing to add depth and smokiness.

The opposite is true if you’re having beef as your feast. A rich beef dish is the ideal candidate for a red wine high in tannins. The more fat in the beef, the more tannins required to cut through the fattiness and cleanse your palate. Cabernet Sauvignon is the obvious choice but, for a more interesting pairing, look for a Monastrell from Jumilla DO - its tannins and peppery notes make it superb with beef. The rule of thumb to follow: Longer cooking time equals a longer aged wine.

And now for the question of pork. A ham joint, with its honey glaze offering a touch of sweetness to the salty meat, wants a wine that will strike harmony in both. Try a young Garnacha Tinta from Terra Alta DO for a medium bodied red wine with candy notes, or a rosé of the same varietal, if you’d prefer a light contrast to the dish. Another great pairing with pork is a brut Cava DO, as the bubbles help to balance the salinity and leave you refreshed for your next bite.

Wine and Turkey pairings