Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Thanksgiving has snuck up on us again. Two weeks from now, many of us will be bracing ourselves for the traditionally gluttonous kick-off to the holiday season, and girding ourselves for the inevitable onslaught of meats, fishes, sides, and plateful after plateful of dessert.

Which means that the time has also come to consider that most traditional of Thanksgiving questions: Which bottles go best with the turkey-day feast?

As always, the major newspapers and magazines have begun publishing their advice and tasting-panel findings. Three recent articles have stood out, but they are by no means the only sources of advice out there.

In this morning’s New York Times Food Section, wine writer Eric Asimov reported on the findings of the annual tasting panel he convenes. He summed up their results: “The wines need to be versatile, to complement a wide assortment of dishes, including the idiosyncratic variations that every family knows and loves. They must be modest but confident wines that assert their flavors in harmony with the food rather than trying to dominate the proceedings. And they must be modestly priced.”

Highlights from the Times’ tasting panel included Austrian Gruner Veltliner from Domane Wachau, Napa Sauvignon Blanc from Charles Krug, and Sicilian Nero d’Avola, among others. The panel’s advice is excellent, and the wines they recommend wide-ranging. Make sure to take a look at the complete list for some very good ideas for your own Thanksgiving dinner wine pairings.

And Wine Spectator recently ran a story on sommeliers’ advice for Thanksgiving wine pairings. Click here for the link to the article. The magazine also ran a separate piece on its web site in which wine pairing options are broken down into categories: Sparkling wines, aromatic whites, rosés, and Cabernet Francs. Click here for the full article and recommendations.

Personally, I’ve always had good luck with Beaujolais Crus, good Champagne (especially rosé), still rosés, Chenin Blancs, and Sonoma Pinot Noirs. As Thanksgiving draws nearer, I’ll put together and post a list of specific recommended wines, but for now, take a look at these other pieces to get the gears moving.


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