I’ve collected a lot of winery T-shirts over the years but my favourite is one from Neudorf Vineyards (tastings) in Nelson. It bears the simple words, “Stuff the turkey, drink the Pinot”. Forgetting the double entendre for a minute this powerful message is all you need to know about matching wine with turkey.
Finding a wine to match turkey provides an interesting challenge. Turkey has light breast meat and stronger flavoured dark meat. There’s also the savoury stuffing to consider. It stands astride the dividing line between foods that suit white wine and those that suit red wine.
Pinot Noir is possibly the world’s most food-friendly red wine. This versatile wine style can happily jump the boundary to make a happy marriage with dishes that also suit full-flavoured white wines. One of the best value examples of Pinot Noir is, appropriately, Neudorf Tom’s Block Pinot Noir 2008 ($29) (tastings). It has oodles of flavour, a drop-dead gorgeous texture and a slightly rustic edge to help it stand out in a crowd. Neudorf Tom’s Block Pinot Noir 2008 is a turkey’s worst nightmare.
First published in KiaOra Magazine – Dec 2009.