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Which wine do you serve with turkey? It depends on how the bird was cooked.

Toast to turkey: Butterball hotline adds wine pairings

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 11:41 am

Thanksgiving may be past, but turkey days are still upon us as this staple of holiday meals keeps trotting to the table.

But what wine goes best with the bird? It depends on how that turkey was cooked.

So say the wine experts at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi. And those tips are now just a call or click away.

For the first time, Mondavi’s Woodbridge label teamed with Butterball to add wine pairing suggestions to the iconic Butterball Turkey Talk hotline.

The suggestions may not be what you expected. For traditional roast turkey, preferred pairings include one white wine — slightly bubbly and sweet moscato — and three reds more often associated with red-meat entres — pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

For brined turkey, the list is all whites: Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and lightly oaked chardonnay. Fried turkey calls for riesling, moscato or white zinfandel.

Smoked turkey can go either way: Chardonnay or zinfandel or maybe a cabernet sauvignon. Grilled turkey also goes well with a wide range of wines: Lightly oaked chardonnay or meatier reds such as malbec, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

The Butterball hotline, which also offers a plethora of advice on cooking turkey and other holiday mainstays, is open now through Dec. 24. Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL; that’s (800) 288-8372. The hotline is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST weekdays through Dec. 23 plus those same hours the weekend before Christmas, Dec. 21 and 22. The hotline also will be open 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Or click on anytime for advice, recipes, how-to videos and more (including what to do with leftovers).

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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