I have consulted my wine tasting notes and as it is traditional to indulge in turkey at Christmas, I decided to add two red wines to the Christmas fare. Unusual, well, yes but it is based on sound logic and a favourite recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This turkey recipe is slightly different as it is stuffed with meats and vegetables http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/turkey-au-vin-stuffed-roast-turkey-breast/ and thus has a more meaty flavour to it.
One of the reds I have selected is Barbera d’Alba an Italian wine with a pronounced acid core and ripe cherry fruit flavour. My wine tasting notes show it provides enough bite and structure to accompany the very tender meats in the recipe along with the sweetness of the turkey dinner trimmings – those oven cooked root vegetables (parsnips, sweet potatoes, swedes and potatoes) with chestnuts. The wine balances all the forest and roasted flavours with its sweet texture and keeps the palate lively with its great level acidity.
The second wine I would recommend to accompany this more meaty turkey dish is a pinot noir which follows the same scheme but has more sweet fruits, more viscosity within the texture and a different flavour profile. Again, I have consulted my tasting notes and can recommend an Otago from New Zealand, try the Felton Road, Carrick, Peregrine, Mt Edward, Rippon or Mt Difficulty. You could also investigate a pinot noir from the Victoria region in Australia or perhaps from Yarra.
The wine tasting notes record these new world pinot noir wines as offering a typical rich-intense pinot flavour referred to by the French as ‘bonbon anglais’- black fruit scents and spices. The delivery of the wine tends to melt completely with the moisture of the meats and the roasted flavours of the root vegetables.
Both the Barbera d’Alba and the pinot noirs are truly delicious wines to accompany this fine recipe. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas with fine wine and lots of turkey with trimmings.