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Thanksgiving Day Wines

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132 replies to this topic

#121 djyee100

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:35 PM

Recent discussions about wine on EGullet motivated me to seek out a wine buyer now wine shop owner who taught courses at UC Berkeley (continuing ed division) many years ago. Those wine courses were the most enjoyable academic work I've ever done. I realized what my grad school studies had been lacking all along--alcohol. Anyway, my former wine teacher suggested riesling, pinot noir, tokay, or gewurztraminer for the Thanksgiving dinner. I myself would add a good Sancerre to that list. When it comes to riesling, I prefer the lighter "Kabinett" style. And if you have any riesling left over from Thanksgiving dinner, it goes great with Thai food.

While I was at the shop a staffer recommended this value wine to me, a Paul Pernot chardonnay/white burgundy for $20, which I bought. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good. It was highly recommended to me. This wine:

Edited by djyee100, 19 November 2010 - 11:39 PM.

#122 Corinna

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 06:54 AM

I'm no Alsace expert but I've never had a bad bottle from Trimbach... that's my default nowadays when I go that route.

ETA: We've tried Gewurtz a couple of times as well -- it tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it thing, with the majority of our crowd falling on the "hate" side. The Riesling has tended to be a safer choice.

Your comment about the Gewurz is interesting. I have found this to be true as well, though I think it tends to show better with food. No other wine is so polarizing in the tasting room, and yet I have never seen it sell so well as this time of year. People just associate it with Thanksgiving.

There are some great Rieslings being made in the Finger Lakes. (Ok, full disclosure: yes, I'm in the wine industry here, but the product is worth checking out.) Distribution out of New York state is still a bit of an issue though.

We're starting with the Spiced Pear Punch from this month's Imbibe, and if we get past that, moving to a dry Pinot Rose, or a light, unoaked Cabernet Franc (or both.)

Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna
Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

#123 TheFuzzy

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 06:56 PM


Let me push some wines from my state (California); here's a few which are surprisingly good in the sub-$20 range (all reds):

Tobin James (www.tobinjames.com):
  • 2006 Sangiovese
  • 2007 Zinfandel
  • 2008 "Chateau Le Cacheflo" ($12)

Vincent Arroyo 2008 Melange Reserve

Peachy Canyon:
  • 2007 Incredible Red ($12)
  • 2006 Petit Sirah
  • 2007 Cirque Du Vin

David Coffaro has quite a bit in the < $20 range, but only as a future, which doesn't do you any good for this Thanksgiving.

Oh, and might I point out that it's beaujolais nouveau season? Most such are very affordable, and seasonally appropriate!
The Fuzzy Chef
Think globally, eat globally
San Francisco

#124 KatieLoeb

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 09:41 PM


Anything red and not too tannic or oaky works fine. The suggestions for CDR are excellent, as well as something a bit smokier (depending on how your turkey is prepared, of course, of course...) like a nice St. Joseph would be delicious. A rich Pinot Noir from Carneros or the Pacific Northwest would be a fine pairing as well. Even Dolcetto d'Alba is tasty with turkey. Never been a fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau, too much banana bubblegum for me, however a really fine Beaujolais Village could be a fine turkey pairing. I suspect a lower alcohol zinfandel would be yummy too, although 1) good luck finding one and 2) I suspect everyone's insistence that zinfandel is the best Thanksgiving wine is more about pairing an American wine with an American holiday.

For white, again, avoid the oak thing. It just doesn't pair well with food. Something slightly off-dry works well with all those sweet side dishes too. Riesling - still or sparkling, Chenin Blanc (in any incarnation including Coteaux du Layon or Vouvray - still or sparkling), or a good quality Scheurebe if you can find one are all good choices. Personally I love Oregon Pinot Blanc too. Foris is a very consistent and reliable producer. If you find something labelled "Weissburgunder" that's German, it's the same grape. It'll work too.

Remember that you're pairing your wine with the sauce/gravy, not necessarily the protein itself. How the bird is prepared (roasted, deep fried, smoked, etc.) as well as what you're serving it with will all effect your wine choices. Make sure the "weight" of the wine matches the "weight" of the final dish. A low alcohol riesling will get lost next to a heavy dish. Medium bodied wines are always a safe bet.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

#125 flicman

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:45 PM

I love this thread (and others like it) because it goes to show the ephemeral nature of wine and the ways our tastes and opinions matter to the final outcome.

I'm cooking my (now-traditional) LA-Orphans' thanksgiving dinner this year for 22 and will be providing the first glass or two of wine. After that, guest contributions will take over and they'll be drinking whatever pleases them most. None of my friends and guests are "wine folk" for whatever it's worth, but I do want to take the opportunity to make a pairing that everyone can try.

With that in mind, I think I'm going to break out a half-dozen or so bottles of Bouchaine's Carneros Pinot Noir because it's a pretty good pinot from a winemaker whose wines and vineyard I like. I don't really have any insights beyond "Umm, I think it'll pair well with my roasted turkey and scalloped potatoes" but what can you do.

Happy Thanksgiving!

#126 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:19 AM

I'm finally getting serious about shopping for Thanksgiving dinner but am at a loss about what wine would work with the turkey. In the past, we've lived close to family members who would always bring any old red wine and we just drank that and liked it (or not...). But now that we're in Canada (but celebrating US Thanksgiving because that's when our son gets a school break) we'll be providing the wine.

Suggestions gratefully accepted.

#127 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:24 AM

American Holiday...American Wine.


Finger Lakes Riesling for me.



Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!

#128 Ttogull

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 02:00 PM

Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2013. Have served it every year. Comes out the week before Thanksgiving every year.

#129 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:03 PM

I served a lovely Lambrusco Rosso this year (but then again, I had Thanksgiving back in October).  Last year was, if I recall correctly, a plum wine of about 10 years age.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#130 djyee100

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:20 PM

For a Thanksgiving meal, I like to pair with an off-dry riesling or gewurztraminer. Those wines go well with turkey, stuffing, and the different sides. They seem more appealing for people who aren't much for wine drinking, also.

If you can get hold of this wine on short notice, I can also recommend 2012 Chateau Pegau Cotes du Rhone Blanc ‘Cuvee Lone’. My long-time wine vendor offered an email discount and tasting at his store yesterday. By the time I wandered in at mid-afternoon, they were almost sold out. People had been coming in, tasting, and buying a few bottles--or more. I bought a couple bottles myself.

This is a white Cotes-du-Rhone, the first vintage from an old vines vineyard bought and restored by a well-known Chateauneuf-du-Pape winemaker. It's crisp, fresh, very well-balanced, with a superb aroma and nice finish, too. Good fruit, with more depth than most white wines of this type. Meant to be drunk young, within a year. I expect it to be very food-friendly with a variety of foods, and the price is right, about $20 per bottle. This one could be a comer for the value wine market.

The wine is a blend of grapes with a funky reputation: Clairette , Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc and Ugni Blanc. I said to my vendor, "Aren't those the grapes people usually throw away?" :laugh:  This wine is real good, though, which proves that there is really no bad wine grape, it all depends on what you do with it.



#131 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:36 PM

Riesling, yes, or Beaujolais Nouveau are both possible.  Unfortunately, the Ontario Liquor Board doesn't carry the Pegau (which sounds delicious!) nor the Finger Lakes rieslings.  (This is one area where I REALLY miss the States -- you just can't get some wines/spirits here.)


I happen to really like Riesling but maybe I'll pick up some Beaujolais for the red lovers.


Thanks bunches, all.  

#132 janeer

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:59 PM

I always serve true American Zinfandel with the turkey

#133 Naftal

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 11:57 AM

Hello-As usual, I'm looking forward to this year's Beaujolais Nouveau for Thanksgiving.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)