The question of what wine to serve with the Thanksgiving meal causes much consternation, even among experienced wine drinkers. But here’s one piece of advice that everyone can agree on: Drink what you like!
But if you don’t know what you like — or if you like just about everything — it’s hard to know where to begin. Our wine expert in residence, Stu Levine, owner of Vino 100 in White Plains, has a few suggestions to get you started. Stick with bottles that can match with most everything, from turkey to sides and even pie. Here his six picks for wines: three reds and three whites.
Have a wine question? Ask Stu!
At noon on Nov. 20, we’ll host a wine chat with Stu Levine on Twitter. Ask your questions using the hashtag #lohudfood.
Here are 6 Thanksgiving Wines 2013:
2011 Hugel & Fils Riesling ($18). From Alsace, France. Riesling, long acknowledged as a sweet wine, truly shines in it’s drier form. In fact Alsace is known for its dry wines, despite the expectation of sweetness. This wine has lots of minerality and bright acidity that is tempered by its apple and pear fruit. Given all the mixed sweet, tart and starchy aspects of the Thanksgiving meal, this wine helps cut through that and add a refreshing match to the meal.
2010 Pfaffenheim Gewurtztraminer ($17). From Alsace, France. Here I am with Alsace again, but this time the lesser known Gewurtztraminer varietal. This dry white has richness, pronounced fruits and a spiciness that works quite well with the dishes served at the Thanksgiving table. One taste and you won’t compare it to Riesling anymore.
2010 Three Saints Chardonnay ($19). From Santa Barbara, Calif. Chardonnay? Don’t be fooled by the typical over-oaked Chardonnays of Northern California. Sometimes this widely enjoyed varietal can fool you. This particular wine from down in the cooler Santa Barbara region has the oak and vanilla flavors people love, but with a tropical fruit aspect that makes this so enjoyable on its own or with turkey. This wine is a great way to combine familiarity with a little something different.
2011 Soléna “Grand Cuvée” Pinot Noir ($22). From Williamette Valley, Ore. Pinot Noir has been enjoyed for a very long time with the big turkey dinner. The main reason is that while not heavy, it offers up a lot of flavor without overpowering the food. Turkey and all the fixin’s can be hard to pair with, but Pinot Noir with its red cherry, raspberry and herb flavors really works here.
2011 Chateau D’Aigueville Cotes du Rhone Villages ($14). From Rhone Valley, France. Grenache-based wine with some Syrah as well. This is the wine for the person who wants a little more body than Pinot Noir and likes wine with more earthiness, minerality and some spice. Don’t get me wrong, these aspects are equally matched by the dark fruit flavors that make this wine work well at the big feast and is as elegant as a wine at twice the price..
2010 Santi Solane Valpolicello ($16). From Veneto, Italy. This wine is produced in the Ripasso style, which ages the wine on the skins of the grapes to extract extra flavor. This wine is full-flavored and rich, but not overpowering … which is good when you don’t want to wipe out the delicate flavors of grandma’s sweet potatoes. Consider this wine instead of Zinfandel and bring a little Italian into your Thanksgiving.