The best wine to go with turkey is Burgundy – but not Pinot Noir, a Decanter panel has decided.

Decanter’s consultant editor Fiona Beckett and an expert panel of critics and wine professionals – including Rowley Leigh, chef-proprietor of London’s Le Café Anglais – tested a selection of wines against a full Christmas dinner at the Goring Hotel in London.

And the wine that was voted best match, not only for the turkey but for the vegetables and other trimmings – was a Chassagne Montrachet 2004, Les Chenevottes 1er Cru, from Jean-Noel Gagnard.

The ‘shock conclusion’ as Beckett says in the current issue of Decanter, was that this ‘fine, minerally Burgundy’ went so well with the bird, both brown meat and white.

It ‘not only held its own but brought a refreshing lift to what is always an incredibly rich meal.’

Another shock was that the perennnial favourite, Pinot Noir, and other reds, fared so poorly.

The panel had chosen seven reds and one white – wines that they thought Decanter readers would be most likely to field themselves.

They included a Chateauneuf du Pape, a claret – 2000 Branaire Ducru, Felton Road’s Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2010 from Central Otago, a St Emilion, a Volnay and a Seghesio Zinfandel from Sonoma.

‘The Volnay proved overwhelmed by the food…and the Felton Road tasted overpoweringly sweet’ and the Zinfandel and St Emilion were ‘knocked sideways by the stuffing and gravy,’ Beckett writes.

Whether readers will be able to go against a century and more of tradition and serve white Burgundy with turkey is another question, she says, ‘but you can – and should – offer them a choice.’

Read the full article in the January issue of Decanter, out now. Subscribe now for a 44% discount

Written by Adam Lechmere