The perfect pairing for turkey dinner

The perfect pairing for turkey dinner

Ever wondered what should you serve with turkey?  Here are some ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner this year.

By Beth P. Heiserman

Published November 16, 2016




Ever wondered what should you serve with turkey?  Here are some ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner this year. There are plenty of white and red choices for everyone to love. Every dish can pair with a different wine. Here are some choices to choose from, from a dry Sauvignon Blanc to a sweet dessert wine and everything in between.


If your first course is soup, I would suggest a butternut squash soup. It pairs lovely with our 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc.  If you prefer salad, a beet salad with shredded golden and red beets with a touch of chevre and cranberries would pair too. Sauvignon Blanc is drier white wine that tends to have notes of apple, grapefruits, tropical fruits, floral and sometimes bell pepper.


For dinner, like most families, mine has many dishes. My mom every year makes stuffing balls, which were a recipe that was handed down from my great grandmother. We also have sweet potatoes, green bean and mushroom casserole, cranberry sauce or relish and of course turkey. If you ask most wine shops they will suggest Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir which are the common wine pairings for a traditional turkey dinner. You generally pair around the protein that is being served. That isn’t necessarily true. If you prefer white wine, I suggest 2013 Reyes Amber Chardonnay. We released it last year for Thanksgiving. This wine has become our number one seller this year. This estate Amber wine is smooth and silky with medium tannins, and has notes of blood orange, apricot, kumquat and aromatic spices. This is a white wine for red wine drinkers that pairs perfectly with turkey. I must say 2010 Reyes Chardonnay was my favorite until we released the 2013. We have a limited quantity left. It will most likely be gone by December.


If you are more of a red wine drinker, 2010 Reyes Syrah is the choice. Roast turkey and sage dressing matches perfectly. It has aromas of fresh raspberries, plums, dark chocolate and a taste of smoky berries. Syrah is usually the darkest full bodies red wine. It has notes of blueberries, plums, blackberries, rosemary, black pepper and even tobacco. Herbes de Provence is a great herb to use when pairing Syrah.  The floral aromatics of lavender, fennel and thyme will compliment amazingly well. If you would like a less bold wine, 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Les Deux Rois has subtle fennel notes that make a great wine to enjoy with turkey.


Let’s talk potatoes….I am not a huge potato fan, but if they are made right, I could eat a bowl by itself and nothing else. There are so many potato choices to choose when making mashes potatoes. I prefer the Yukon Gold variety.  When pairing a wine just to potatoes, you need to take into consideration, the creaminess and buttery notes of the potatoes and the gravy that is salty and fatty. You will want to choose a wine that has enough acidity to cut through the fat, and a bit of sweet to cut the salt. The 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery‘s Viognier will do that. There are many other sides for Thanksgiving that can pair nicely too. Brussel sprouts with bacon or sweet potatoes with a touch of Chipotle seasoning.


A sausage stuffing with cranberries pair well 2013 Reyes Quinn’s Zinfandel. For the 2016 November hike and brunch; I am serving a twist to that, a turkey sweet potato hash with dried cranberries. If you have left over turkey, this makes a great breakfast. This California old vine Zinfandel has aromas of boysenberries, cocoa and nutmeg. It has distinct flavors of blood orange, pink peppercorns, and boysenberries for a fruity finish.


Pumpkin or apple pie? That is always a debate. I remember one year my grandma couldn’t decide so she bought 4 of each. There were only 12 of us. My grandpa loved apple pie, he joked a said, and “oh look I don’t have to share a pie this year.” And yes he did eat a whole apple pie for dessert. 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc would pair if you prefer a less sweet approach to dessert. If you wish a bit of sweetness, 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Muscat or White Delight would be delicious.


Here is a delicious gravy recipe for turkey and mashed potatoes. It even makes a great gravy for biscuits and gravy. Just remember that 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Reyes Amber Chardonnay and 2010 Reyes Winery’s Syrah would make the best three wines for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

2010 Reyes Chardonnay Gravy



  • ½ cup of Turkey drippings
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 cups 2010 Reyes Winery Chardonnay or 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc
  • ½  tsp pepper
  • ½  cup flour
  • ½ tsp Salt, kosher
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence



  1. In a sauce pan or if your pan go from oven to stove, with drippings in pan, add flour and whisk until combined.
  2. Slowly add in broth, as it starts to thicken, continue to whisk together.
  3. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Then add Reyes 2010 Chardonnay and whisk.
  5. Allow to boil again for a few minutes, and then add salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence.
  6. When it has thickened, cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve.