Susy Atkins tips the best red wines to go with classic roast turkey (and all the trimmings)

red wine being poured
Food all sorted? Here are some wine suggestions that’ll take your festive feast to the next level

What’s the best red wine for a classic Christmas turkey? Certainly nothing too tannic and heavy. Even the best bird in the land has a relatively delicate flavour, and it doesn’t need 
a hefty bruiser of a wine washing it down, so monster garnachas and black-hearted cabernets are out.

But you don’t need a featherweight either. Wines that are medium-bodied do just fine, especially when there’s ham, stuffing, sauces and gravies on the side.

Just make sure the red is mellow, rounded, somewhat soft and plushy around the edges.

First up, then, I give you New World pinot noir, for its fresh, brightly fruity qualities. Pinot’s silky texture means it never battles with the diverse elements on the plate. It’s 
a star match for roast goose 
as well.

Delivers strawberries with a soft seam of vanilla oak – perfect with the full Christmas spread

Next, and more traditional, Rioja. Spain’s 
most famous red is often not 
as chunky as you think, long-aged to deliver laid-back, sweetly ripe, oak-laced wine with no hard edges.

Or, pick a southern Rhône; Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a splash-out, or Côtes du Rhône-Villages for better value. These red blends are a little more intense but they have an 
affinity with turkey and especially any peppery trimmings.

Last, I’m going to recommend Australian shiraz, but it comes with a caveat. 
The blueberry and liquorice flavours can make for a dream pairing, but do pick carefully; avoid blockbuster Barossas 
and choose a youthful, 
lighter version from a cooler region. I’ve picked a great 
one below.

Try these...

Errazuriz Coastal Series Pinot Noir 2015, Aconcagua, Chile Waitrose, £10.99, down to £8.24 until 24 December

A modern pinot made near 
the breezy Pacific coast, all fresh raspberries and cherries, sleek and subtle. A lighter-bodied red 
for Christmas lunch.

The Islander Kangaroo Island Shiraz 2016, 
South Australia Selected Marks & Spencer stores, £13

From another cool-climate vineyard, a rounded, deliciously juicy Aussie 
shiraz stuffed with plump redcurrants and blueberries, with a subtle hint of wood-spice.

La Montesa Rioja Crianza 2014, Palacios Remondo, Spain Berry Bros & Rudd, £16.95

For traditionalists, an oak-aged red Rioja, but an elegant one, smooth and deftly made. Delivers strawberries with a soft seam of vanilla oak – perfect with the full Christmas spread (and the cheeses afterwards).