Juicy and Flavorful: White Wine Turkey Brine Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen where I experiment with different wine brined turkey recipes. Today, I will be sharing one of my favorite turkey brine recipes that will make your turkey moist and full of flavor – the white wine turkey brine.

Undoubtedly, Thanksgiving and Christmas are incomplete without turkey on the table. You don’t want to serve a dry and bland turkey that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. That’s where the white wine turkey brine recipe comes into play.

My white wine turkey brine recipe is simple to make, and you only need a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. The key element of the white wine turkey brine is the combination of kosher salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, fresh rosemary leaves, black peppercorns, garlic cloves, onions, and lemons with white cooking wine. When combined correctly, these ingredients create an irresistible balance of flavors that leave a lasting impression.

So let’s get started with this easy to follow recipe that produces juicy and lip-smacking delicious white wine brined turkey – your guests will keep asking for more!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

White Wine Turkey Brine, Simple
White Wine Turkey Brine, Simple

Are you tired of serving the same dry and tasteless turkey every year during your family gathering? Fear not, because I have the perfect solution for you – white wine turkey brine! This recipe will take your boring turkey to a whole new level and leave you with a juicy, flavorful meat that is sure to impress your guests.

One of the main reasons you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. The combination of white wine, brown sugar, kosher salt, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and lemon creates a well-rounded flavor that pairs beautifully with any side dish. Whether you prefer roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes, this turkey brine will complement your meal perfectly.

Furthermore, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you have to do is mix the brine ingredients in a pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes before letting it cool down. Then, pour the brine over the turkey, making sure it’s submerged completely. Simply refrigerate for 12 hours before cooking, and voila! A delicious white wine-brined turkey that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Lastly, don’t forget about the health benefits of this recipe. White wine contains antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, brining the turkey allows the meat to retain more moisture during cooking which means less fat and more flavor!

Overall, there are so many reasons why you’ll love this white wine turkey brine recipe. It’s versatile, easy-to-make, flavorful, and has several health benefits. So why not give it a try this holiday season and impress your family with a tasty twist on an old classic?

Ingredient List

 Let your turkey soak up the goodness of this white wine brine!
Let your turkey soak up the goodness of this white wine brine!


  • White Wine: 2 cups
  • Water: 5 quarts + 1½ cups
  • Kosher Salt: 1 cup + ¼ cup (for dry brine)
  • Brown Sugar: 1 cup
  • Onion: 1, quartered
  • Garlic Cloves: 2 cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Bay Leaves: 6 whole
  • Whole Black Peppercorns: 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh Rosemary Leaves: 2-3 sprigs
  • Turkey Brine:
    • Water: 1 gallon
    • Kosher Salt: 1½ cups
    • Brown Sugar: 1 cup
    • Whole Black Peppercorns: 1 tablespoon
    • Bay Leaves: 6
    • Fresh Thyme: a few sprigs
    • Fresh Ginger: a small piece, peeled and sliced
    • White Wine Brine:
      • White Cooking Wine: 8 cups
      • Dry Brine for Turkey Breast:
        • Kosher Salt: 1½ tablespoons
        • Brown Sugar: 1½ tablespoons.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect brine for a succulent and flavorful turkey!
The perfect brine for a succulent and flavorful turkey!

Preparing the Brine

To begin, I prepare the brining solution. In a large stockpot, I mix together 1 ½ cups of kosher salt and 1 cup of brown sugar. Then, pour in 2 cups of white cooking wineand 5 quarts of water. I add sliced onion, halved lemons, 6 bay leaves, and a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns.

Next, I let the mixture simmer over medium heat to dissolve the salt and brown sugar. Once everything has melted down, I remove the pot from heat and add a quart of cold water to bring the temperature down.

Brining the Turkey

To brine my 12-pound turkey in this flavorful solution, I begin by rinsing it off first under cold running water. Then, I pour the brine over the raw turkey in 5-gallon food-safe container.

Before refrigerating for at least 12 hours but no more than 24 hours, I make sure that the turkey is submerged in the liquid; sometimes, I weigh it down with a plate.

Roasting the Turkey

After brining time is up, it’s time to roast my turkey however I like it: dry or smoked.

Note that if you choose to smoke your turkey, make sure that you rinse it off thoroughly before smoking since there may be too much salt from the brine. Or else you can use half portions of salt and sugar when making your brine recipe.

The result? A juicy and mouthwatering turkey that will leave you asking for more!

Substitutions and Variations

 This white wine brine will add a whole new dimension to your turkey!
This white wine brine will add a whole new dimension to your turkey!

When it comes to making the perfect white wine turkey brine, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to accommodate your preferences. Here are some ideas that you may want to try:

– Dry brine: Instead of a wet brine, try a dry brine. Simply rub the turkey with salt and sugar the night before cooking, cover it, and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Not only will this give the turkey a delicious flavor, but it will also help the skin to crisp up nicely.

– Red wine: If you prefer a more robust flavor profile, use red wine instead of white. This will add a depth of fruity flavor to your turkey.

– Fresh herbs: Try adding a combination of fresh rosemary, thyme, and ginger into your brine mixture. The herbs will enhance the flavors and provide a refreshing aroma to your bird.

– Smoked turkey: Enhance the smoky flavor by substituting water with chicken or turkey stock in your brine. You can also smoke your brined turkey for an even more mouthwatering taste.

– Turkey breast: Feel free to use this recipe on turkey breasts as well! Cut down on the salt in the recipe since turkey breasts are smaller in size.

No matter which alternative you choose, make sure to adjust the water amount accordingly so that the meat has enough room to soak up all the flavors from your delicious white wine brine. Get creative and experiment away!

Serving and Pairing

 Cheers to a juicy and delicious turkey with this easy white wine brine.
Cheers to a juicy and delicious turkey with this easy white wine brine.

Whether you’re serving up a classic roasted turkey or a succulent smoked turkey, the White Wine Turkey Brine will take your bird to the next level. The delicate flavors of this brine complement the meat beautifully, adding just the right amount of sweetness and depth.

For a classic pairing, consider serving your wine-brined turkey alongside hearty sides such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The bright acidity of a crisp white wine will balance out the rich flavors of these classic Thanksgiving dishes.

If you prefer red wine, no problem – you could choose a light-bodied red that won’t overpower the turkey like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. For red wine lovers looking for a smoother match that still maintain its fruitiness could go with Merlot or Syrah will be the ideal choice to serve while consuming one partake in your favorite holiday dishes.

But it’s not just about wine – there are plenty of other beverages that can pair well with Thanksgiving dinner. If you prefer beer, choose a pale ale or Belgian style beer.

In terms of non-alcoholic drinks, I suggest chilled sparkling apple cider for a refreshingly sweet taste to make it perfect. It’s great for guests who don’t drink alcohol or for those simply taking a break from indulging.

No matter what you choose to serve alongside your White Wine Turkey Brine recipe, be sure to give yourself plenty of time so that everything pairs nicely together on the big day. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Transform your Thanksgiving turkey into a masterpiece with this simple white wine brine!
Transform your Thanksgiving turkey into a masterpiece with this simple white wine brine!

Once you’ve made your white wine turkey brine, there are a few things you can do to make sure that the bird stays juicy and flavorful. Here are some tips for making it ahead of time, storing it properly, and reheating it:


Brining the turkey is a time-consuming process, so if you’re looking for ways to get ahead of the game, you can make the brine up to three days in advance. This will save you some time on Thanksgiving Day, and also allow for the flavors of the brine to fully develop.


After you’ve prepared your turkey with the white wine brine, it’s important to store it properly. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days before cooking it. Just make sure that it’s covered tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent any bacteria from getting in.


If you have leftovers from your turkey dinner, there are a few ways to reheat them without drying out the meat. One option is to reheat in the oven at a low temperature (around 250°F) until heated through. You can also try reheating on low heat on your stovetop or in a microwave. Just be careful not to overheat, or the meat will become tough and dry.

No matter how you choose to store and reheat your white wine brined turkey, make sure that you handle it with care and follow safe food handling practices. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy tender, juicy meat that’s full of delicious flavor for days after Thanksgiving!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Raise a glass to a perfectly seasoned and moist turkey with this white wine brine recipe.
Raise a glass to a perfectly seasoned and moist turkey with this white wine brine recipe.

One of the most important factors in achieving a perfectly brined turkey is to make sure your brine solution is cold. This will help ensure that the turkey stays out of the danger zone and prevents any foodborne illnesses from occurring. Additionally, if you’re using a stock pot to brine your turkey, it’s essential to make sure it fits comfortably in your refrigerator or cooler.

Another crucial tip in ensuring an appetizing turkey would be not to over-brine it. While brining can be beneficial, leaving a turkey in a brine solution for too long can result in oversaturation, causing the meat to become unpleasantly salty. It’s best to stick with the recommended time frame indicated in the recipe and never exceed it.

You should also pat dry your turkey before cooking it carefully. Wet skin can obstruct the crispy golden brown exterior, which is what most people crave for in their roasted and smoked turkey dish. Dry skin promotes even browning on every side of the bird, giving you the desired outcome.

Lastly, always utilize an oven thermometer when cooking a turkey as every oven is slightly different, and your stove’s temperature gauge may not be accurate. This will ensure that your turkey is cooked uniformly throughout all parts of the bird while conserving its tenderness and moisture levels.

Follow these simple tips, and you will be rewarded with a succulent and juicy white wine brined smoked or roasted turkey that everybody will adore.


Now that you know how to create a delicious white wine turkey brine, you might have some questions on the process. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help guide you through any potential obstacles or concerns that might arise while preparing your brine.

Is wine good for brine?

For several years now, I’ve been preparing a turkey dish for Thanksgiving using a red wine brine that adds remarkable flavors to the meat. This particular brine is unparalleled in both taste and texture, leaving the turkey oozing with juiciness and tenderness. The red wine infusion also contributes to a perfect golden brown skin that’s sure to please.

What kind of white wine for a brine?

When it comes to light and refreshing wines, the crisp white category featuring varieties like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Unoaked Chardonnay often steals the show.

Can you brine meat in wine?

When it comes to using wine, it’s not limited to just pairing it with food. Many people are now brining and marinating their meats with wine to enhance the taste and delight their loved ones. This trend of incorporating wine in cooking is steadily gaining popularity among home cooks.

What is the brining formula for turkey?

When it comes to brining a turkey, it’s important to keep the size of the bird in mind. For a 12-pound turkey, a good brine consists of 5 quarts of hot water mixed with 1½ cups of kosher salt or ¾ cup of table salt. After combining the ingredients, the mixture should be added to the pot or bag.

Bottom Line

So, if you’re looking for a way to take your turkey to the next level this holiday season or any special occasion, look no further than this white wine turkey brine recipe! Packed with flavor from the aromatics and white wine, it’s sure to leave your guests raving about the succulent and juicy turkey that graces their plates. Plus, it’s simple to make and offers plenty of room for substitutions and variations to cater to your personal taste preferences.

So, why settle for an average roasted or smoked turkey when you can impress your loved ones with a wine-brined masterpiece? With easy-to-find ingredients and straightforward instructions, you’ll have no trouble bringing your turkey game up a notch. Whether it’s your first time making a brined turkey or you’re a seasoned pro, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your arsenal.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of wine or spices to make the recipe truly your own. And as always, don’t forget to pair it with some delicious side dishes and even a glass of leftover white wine from the brine!

So go ahead and give this white wine turkey brine recipe a try – I guarantee you won’t regret it. Your guests will thank you for creating an unforgettable dining experience that they’ll be talking about for years to come.

White Wine Turkey Brine, Simple

White Wine Turkey Brine, Simple Recipe

Thanksgiving, 2007. This brine was a last minute decision and using items from my pantry. I was not going to make dinner this year because Alicia, her son and her boyfriend were going to her boyfriends for the holiday. Their plans changed Monday night so we shopped Tuesday night after work. That didn't leave much time for brining so I didn't plan on it, but we cold water thawed the turkey all day Wed. I hated the idea of cooking an unbrined bird, so I came up with this recipe. It is mild enough in flavor to still allow the turkey flavor to come through with just a hint of flavor from the brine. The drippings made excellent gravy that was not at all salty.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 gallons
Calories 809.7 kcal


  • 750 ml white wine
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 large lemons


  • Add bay leaves, garlic, onion, salt, sugar and water to a large stock pot.
  • Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the rest of the brine ingredients; add the squeezed lemons.
  • Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool too room temp; stir in wine.
  • Add turkey; brine for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Remove the turkey and rinse very well in cold water.
  • Butter or oil the skin and roast as usual.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 3955gCalories: 809.7kcalCarbohydrates: 143.8gProtein: 4gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 56681.7mgFiber: 6.5gSugar: 112g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Christmas, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Savory, Stove Top, Thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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