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Rosie

Thanksgiving Day Wines

133 posts in this topic

Beaujolais Nouveau, if it's good, Beaujolais, or maybe an older Bordeaux


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Quote: from Jason Perlow on 1:15 pm on Nov. 8, 2001

The nouveau is a good idea

if i recall correctly, last years' was actually a decent year and drinkable.  normally, i find these wines insipid.  fun and festive, but insipid.

(Edited by tommy at 9:09 am on Nov. 9, 2001)

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2000 Geyser Peak Gewurtztraminer, it's one of the dry ones.  Less than บ a bottle.

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I always serve a Johannesberg Reisling with turkey.


Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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I think I'll bone the turkey and tie the white and dark meat into separate roasts, and serve a Viognier.

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Anything but Cab usually works.  This year, a 98 Chateau neuf du Pape sounds great.  Or a

98 Australian Shiraz (both a little young but what the hey).  


beachfan

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Quote: from Jason Perlow on 1:15 pm on Nov. 8, 2001

The nouveau is a good idea. Just remember to drink it and dont let it sit for months.

Some Nouveaus can last for years...most however just get flat and lose their youth and fruit.

I always serve mine chilled, and I am a glutton for them when the vintages are good.  I just love the young fruit, and lighter tanins (when chilled), and can drrink these wines way too easily!


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Turkey is only one component of a Thanksgiving meal, and probably not the most relevant one in terms of wine matching. More important is the dressing and accompaniments. But assuming we're talking about a standard Thanksgiving meal of turkey with mild bread stuffing, standard gravy, mashed white potatoes, and cranberry sauce, my suggestion is:

Rioja, Rioja, Rioja!

I also understand the preference for an American wine on Thanksgiving. I'd say it would be most appropriate to get one from Virginia. I attended a tasting of Virginia wines earlier this year and found them more than up to the task of gracing a Thanksgiving table.

My two favorite American wines with Thanksgiving-type food are Pinot Noir (preferably from Oregon) if you want to go red and, as Katherine suggests, Viognier if you want to go white.

And then there is the option of sparkling wine. A sparkling rose in particular would strike just the right festive note. Too few people pair sparkling wine with food, yet sparkling wines marry brilliantly with a broad spectrum of foods.

I will be drinking two Oregon wines with my Thanksgiving meal this year, both from Argyle Winery: The 1998 reserve Pinot Noir and the 1989 extended tirage sparkling. You won't find any of the latter in a wine store (you have to get it from the source) but the 1999 Pinot Noir should be around.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Addressing various posts in no particular order:

There is no "good" beajolais nouveau, it simply is what it is:  party wine released early to celebrate the harvest.

Zinfandel, while possible an American varietal not counting its link to primitivo, is hotly alcoholic and extremely fruity, making it hard to pair with food in general much less Thanksgiving dinner specifically.

Off-dry rieslings at the kabinett level and gewurztraminer are fine, but not especially dramatic additions to the table.

With simple roast turkey and the regular side dishes, a white burgundy is probably the most correct match.  However, if the turkey is served with some hearty dressing or a brown gravy, I tend to opt for very mature Cabernet or Bordeaux.  These wines will have mellowed tannins and restrained fruit, unlike the fruit-bombs recently produced in California.  Good red Bordeaux is the perfect food wine, and has been consumed for decades in France with all manners of food including fish.  The same could be said for red burgundy and the better American Pinot Noirs.  The lively acidity of these wines make them an excellent complement to a lavish meal.

As for me personally, I am going totally off-track and having a lovely 1990 Ogier Cote Rotie, which should be just right for pairing up with some good grub.

I think the most important thing is to try to avoid too many sweet dishes on the Thanksgiving table.  Sweet food doesn't pair well with most wines, making them taste sour and off.

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Quote: from ron johnson on 3:35 pm on Nov. 14, 2001

a white burgundy is probably the most correct match

there is no "correct" match, or even levels of correctness.  i'm going with rieisling and cab franc from long island.

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Is that your opinion, or do you have some authority for such a statement? I used the term "correct" only in the context of what is traditional.  White Burgundy or  American chardonnay would be a traditional pairing with roast turkey.   However, I am not a traditionalist, merely pointing out that pairing for people who are.   Notice that I am not having this wine with my dinner either.  I, for one, do not believe in the traditional pairings of wine and food, with the exception of food that makes wine taste bad, such as sweet sauces or really fiery hot food.

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Quote: from ron johnson on 11:17 am on Nov. 15, 2001

Is that your opinion, or do you have some authority for such a statement?

i'll assume that's rhetorical and tongue-in-cheek.

my statement was meant point out that people shouldn't get hung up on what is accepted as "correct", especially when it comes to food and wine.  it is, after all, a matter of personal taste.

more traditional?  i'll buy that.  but there isn't a right and wrong.  if there were, we would have all bought the book by now and we'd know what wine correctly pairs with what food, avoiding the mistakes we presumably would have made before.  i think we agree on that point!

cheers.

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I totally agree.  On another point, what Long Island wineries do you like in particular?  I am always trying to find new American wines that are not Napa/Sonoma.  I have had some good luck with Pinot Noir and Riesling from the Finger Lakes region, most notably Sheldrake.

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Quote: from ron johnson on 2:12 pm on Nov. 15, 2001

On another point, what Long Island wineries do you like in particular?  

there are quite a few.  Hargrave is one, but i think they were just bought by an italian company.  bedell is another.  i'm on a cab franc kick recently, and they really make some jammy and lush cab francs.  a little fuller than loire's.  LI has also had some success (for my taste anyway) with sauv blanc.  their chards are hardly oaked and very drinkable.

i used to joke about LI wines before i had them, assuming they were crap.  however, i went out to the forks last year for a wedding and stopped at several wineries.  i was *very* pleasantly surprised.

unforunately, because they can't produce very much, most stays within NY state.  

for anyone dining in NYC, i'd recommend the Tasting Room.  great food, and an all-american wine list.  wines from the finger lakes, LI, and even west virginia are available.  they have 6 or 8 selections by the glass nightly, which change, so there's always opportunity to try something new.  

and now i'm thristy.

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thoughts on good wine combos with a holiday meal consisting of: roast turkey; bread, herb, apple, cranberry raisin stuffing in the smaller cavity with a cornbread & sausage stuffing in the larger cavity; potato pie, a sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce , mushroom gravy, & salad.

which wine(s) to serve with this multi-flavored holiday meal??????????

a zin? an american cab? a french bordeaux or burgundy? a beaujolais? (which cru?), merlot? pinot noir?

let's see how egulleteers solve this riddle.

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The couple who writes the wine column for the WSJ was on FTV the other day saying that a good, older (before 1995) American Cab Sauvignon was their reccomedation to go with the typical eclectic holiday meal.

Personally, I prefer a good Oregon pinot noir.


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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1. Ale. Please, no lager. And the darker the better. I love a good stout or hearty porter with turkey. Belgian trappist ales are particularly good (Duvel, Orval etc.). Young's (UK) also makes a very good stout. If necessary, Guinness or Murphy's from the can.

2. German Riesling. Don't ask me why I look to Germany/Austria/Alsalce for turkey drinks. Just do. I agree with the others above who tout Riesling, although I would go for a good Kabinett (JJ Prum, especially in 1997-1999). Spatlese and Auslese wines are too sweet, methinks. But, I prefer German to Alsatian rieslings here, as I think you need more fat to complement stuffing, yams etc.

3. Austrian Gruner Veltliner. Also a good choice and impressive to the snobs (Prager is a good choice here).

4. Alsatian Pinot Noir. Leon Beyer if you can get it. Serve it slightly colder than cellar temp or chilled as they do in France. Very nice with turkey.

5. Umathum Zweigelt. Cheap Austrian red that I had in Vienna once with roast turkey. Really fab.

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Baruch - All great answers if you want to drink white wine. Zin isn't a bad choice for a red. And surprisingly I've served chilly, crappy Beaujolais Nouveau with good results In fact if you go out to get a better beaujolais (like Brun if you can find it) that would be great. And I would bet Amarone (zin-like) wouldn't be bad either.

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