Thanksgiving Champagne Dinner

First celebrated in 1621, Thanksgiving is a traditional harvest festival that spans cultures, continents and millennia. If you’re planning a significant family celebration with all the trimmings on the fourth Thursday in November, then what better way to mark the occasion than with a ‘champagne’ theme:




Matching Champagne to Thanksgiving Dinner


NON-VINTAGE – high protein-based dishes encompassing the darker richer meat flavours of fried or roast turkey require the muscle of full-bodied non-vintage champagne styles (such as Bollinger, Krug or Paul Bara Grand Rose de Bouzy).


Of course the best trick in the book is to splash some of the Champagne you’re intending to drink with the meal into the sauce of the dish and hey presto – you have the perfect match and you’ll really impress your guests!  see sample recipe below



Recipe for Champagne Citrus Turkey

  • Turkey sized oven bag
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 (750 milliliter) bottle champagne (you could also use a high quality Prosecco or Spanish Cava)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Gently loosen turkey breast skin, and insert pieces of butter between the skin and breast.  Place oranges and apples inside the turkey’s cavity.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place turkey in an oven bag, and pour champagne over the inside and outside of the bird.  Close bag, and place turkey in a roasting pan.
  3. Bake turkey 3 to 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees when measured in the thickest part of the thigh.  Remove turkey from bag, and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving. (original recipe published by The MotherList)

VINTAGE – thanks to the overall palate weight and textural complexity of vintage champagnes, they can be matched with much richer, darker and more intensely flavoured dishes than standard non-vintage  – anything goes from fish to poultry as well as veal and pork, even smoked foods. There are many 2002 vintage champagnes still available on the market which represent excellent value for money and will go well with a roast dinner eg Veuve Clicquot 2002.





VINTAGE ROSE – serious aged rose champagnes have rich savoury characters that can stand up to high levels of herbs and spices, so vintage roses are absolutely amazing with roast turkey or spiced turkey dishes. Try Louis Roederer vintage rose 2004

Book your own champagne & food matching masterclass for your next special celebration at

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2 Responses

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  1. November 22, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sara lucas and Champagne Jayne, Champagne Jayne. Champagne Jayne said: #Champagne #Thanksgiving Dinner anyone? Here's a great #holiday #turkey recipe + my champagne w/ #food matching tips […]

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