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Turkey Day Wine Picks

Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Nov 21, 2006 11:29am ET

It's become my favorite holiday of the year. An unabashed, fully approved, four-day eating fest. And enough wine to accompany it all, of course.

At my house, the menu is fairly traditional—turkey, with a cornbread and chorizo stuffing. We also put pearl onions in a cream sauce, Brussels sprouts and pancetta, sweet potatoes and a few other little things on the table. A few dry German Rieslings will whet the appetite. Then it will be a procession of Zinfandel (to be patriotic), Rhône, Brunello, Napa Cab and more.

Then we'll take a break before putting large pieces of cheddar and Stilton out (for the Port, of course). Then another break, followed by pumpkin pie and pecan pie, both of which go fairly well with Sauternes or sweeties from the Loire.

The cooking all starts tomorrow, and then Thursday we get down to business.

Enjoy the holiday—and feel free to let me know what's in the wine queue for your turkey day table ...

Simone White
NY NY —  November 21, 2006 1:25pm ET
Rieslings are great to start, but for reds I love some nice new-release Dolcetto! and with the pumpkin pie and whipped cream, you need some bubbles: Moscato d'Asti or Brachetto!
Charles G Ross
Rochester,NY —  November 21, 2006 2:33pm ET
Hi James,We have an International family due the daughters marriages. US,Britain, Canada and India, , Doctors,homemakers, deer hunters and fisherman, serious wine lovers, beer drinkers and amateurs. One thing in common though is love of wine. Traditional Turkey,Stuffing,Sweet Potatoes, mashed potatoes and great gravy....Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts,Cranberry,etc. This year wines will be Finger Lakes Reisling& Gewurztraminer followed by Pinot Noirs and Burgundies followed by Muscato D'oro for (Deep Dish apple Pie with Frozen Vanilla Custard, then Port and my beloved Amarone with the cheese. Cant Wait!!!!I keep my good Rhone's to myself!!!!!
Dan Jaworek
Chicago —  November 21, 2006 3:15pm ET
I may try this Gruener Veltner with my turkey this year. Its from Loimer and is a 2004. Very tasty. It just might do the trick. Let me know your thoughts James.Dan J
William Newell
Buffalo, NY —  November 21, 2006 4:00pm ET
We'll be having Thanksgiving dinner in Phoenix with our daughter and her family, and my brother- and sister-in-law. Since it's no longer practical to take wine on planes, we'll buy some when we get there. If available, a Zinfindel or two from Rosenblum and/or Seghessio, and some Willamette Valley Pinot Gris (my daughter hates Chardonnay).
Neil Koffler
New York, NY —  November 21, 2006 5:19pm ET

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I'm still adhering to the mantra of American wines for this "most" American holiday. There will be six adults and we'll be serving deep fried turkey, baked sweet and regular potatoes, bread stuffing (not stuffed in the bird, of course), whole berry cranberry sauce and a steamed vegetable.

To start, I'm deciding between a 2004 Conundrum or a 2005 Trefethen Dry Riesling. We'll be serving Zinfandel next starting with a 2003 Nickel and Nickel Butala Vineyards. I'm torn between bringing multiple bottles of the N&N or bringing a Ridge Lytton Spring, Joel Gott, Frog's Leap or Oakville Field blend.

La Quinta, CA —  November 21, 2006 10:56pm ET
2004 Martinelli Gewurtzraminer, then a magnum of 2004 Ramey Hyde vineyard Chardonnay, and a top off with a magnum of the 2004 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir. Happy Turkey Day!!!
Kirk R Grant
Ellsworth, ME —  November 22, 2006 8:54am ET
I always have two Thanksgivings. On my father's side we keep things as local as possible. That's a 2001 Bartlett Wine Maker's Reserve Pear (Available in Maine only). It's aged on it's lees and comes off as colse to a nice white burgundy as I've ever had(without being one, or the huge price). We will follow that with a 2005 Elk Cove Pinot Gris, and for the red lovers we have my last bottle of 2003 Buehler Zin and a 1996 Geyser Peak Sparkeling Shiraz(a gift from a friend) and for desert we open up a few bottles of Bartlett's Raspbery wine to go with the chocolate dishes...........................At my grandmother's it's much easier. Reisling & Pinot Noir only...a 2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese and a 2003 Beaux Freres Vineyard. We drink light at this house...so that may be enough. However if it's not then I have a few bottles of 1927 Perdo Ximenez Solera for our desert.
James Mccusker
Okemos, MI —  November 22, 2006 11:32am ET
Hi James. We're having a small gathering of friends and family at the house. My wife is in charge of food and I'm in charge of wine (she's good at both but I'm only good at one, hence the division of labor!). We're doing a bit of a Central Coast theme: the wine list starts with the 2004 Brewer-Clifton Rancho Santa Rosa Chardonnay followed by the 2004 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. Depending on how people are feeling, we may open up a bottle of the 2003 Pisoni next for comparison or try the 2003 Ojai Vineyard Fe Ciega Pinot. Dessert is still up in the air, but a bottle of 1970 Grahams is leading the pack (doesn't go with pumpkin pie...but who cares!). Have a great Thanksgiving.
Bruce Schoenfeld
Boulder, Colorado —  November 22, 2006 12:03pm ET
Hi, James -- I'm for all American wines at Thanksgiving, mostly because it makes me focus. My centerpiece will be a magnum of Viader 1999, with some Schramsburg to start. Then Friday it's back to the old world: Champagne, Bordeaux (Lagrange 1990), Gigondas, and maybe a Brunello for a restaurant meal with four adults.(I'll give you a full report on my South Africa trip when I return.)
Phil Talamo
Bron, NY —  November 22, 2006 2:28pm ET
unfortunatley, sewer water b/c we're going to my aunt's...but look out come Christams Time!!!
Agustin Huneeus
November 22, 2006 6:33pm ET
I will spend the holiday in napa, but drink a varity of white and red rhones you have insipred me to purchase. Maybe a good chilean sauvignon blanc to start.Saludos
Hugo Stabio
Argentina —  November 23, 2006 10:32am ET
Hi James; we do not have an strong tradition with turkey in Argentina, however when I have that opportunity, I try to find some good Chilean Merlot. Importers here, do not give us a lot of opportunities with Chilean wines so I always ask some bottles to my Chilean mates when they come.In Australia, with my family in law (good wine drinkers) we used to have smooth turkey with some good Pinot Noirs; the guys preferred some bottle from Mornington Peninsula (Victoria - Australia) even when I tried to push them to my favorite Gibbston Valley from Otago (NZ).
Askold Shegedyn
New Jersey —  November 23, 2006 12:29pm ET
I will be trying:- Leoville Las Cases 1985. Just brought it up and waiting for it to come to room temperature( about 67 degrees) Probably inappropriate for turkey but what the heck!- Chateauneuf du Pape, Domaine de la Charbonni¿, Cuv¿Mourre des Perdrix, 2001 as a backup. I had it recently and thought the WS rating was spot on.- For dessert, I will open the 99 Chateau d'Yquem which I am sure my parents will enjoy since they love sweet wines.A bit opulent, but my parents are older and I do not know how many more times they will be able to enjoy some good wines.Happy Thanksgiving!
Thomas A Mobley Iii
Tallahassee, FL —  November 23, 2006 12:48pm ET
California Sauvignon Blanc with a raw veggie platter... Napa Cab, Chilean Cab, Vouvray, Oregon Pinot Gris, and Alsatian Gewurz with the main table... and Aussie Tawny Port with the pecan and pumpkin pies (Aussie Tawny with pumpkin pie is one of the heights of food-wine matching).
Randolph M Loos
USA —  November 23, 2006 6:08pm ET
Varied stuff this year... Williams Selyem 2002 Heintz Vineyard Chard, McPhail 2002 RRV Pinot, Storybook Mountain 2003 Atlas Peak Zin, Arista 2005 Dry Gewurtz, and Terra Valentine 2001 Cabernet.
Apj Powers
Dallas, TX —  November 23, 2006 6:09pm ET
05 Darioush Viognier. 04 Ramey Sonoma Coast Chard. Buena Vista Ramal Vineyd, Swan Selection & Rolf Binder Halliwell Shiraz/Grenache. I see alot of other tasty selections (lots of Riesl./Gewurtz) but that AU Tawny w/Pie sounds delicious. I get a kick out of Yalumba's Antique Tawny Museum Rsv (tho none on hand today).
Karl Mark
Geneva, IL. —  November 23, 2006 8:27pm ET
We had the Duboeuf 2005 Beaujolais flower label, the 2002 Chateau Potensac and the 2004 Stag's Leap Artemis Cab. The last was very aromatic and drinking very well....better than expected for a young cab. The Potensac was nice but a bit closed. Cheers!
Ken Reif
Colorado —  November 24, 2006 1:26am ET
We had a pair of delicious French wines. A 2003 Jaboulet Hermitage Chevalier de Stermiberg and a '96 Armand Pommard. Both were outstanding, and I'm thankful I have more bottles!
Scott Geelmuyden
Boston, MA —  November 26, 2006 1:12am ET
Hi James, I am a fairly new person to the wine arena. I work local for a wine store outside of Boston Proper. For thanksgiving our wine selection was welcome from my wife's sister. Bacio Divino 2003 a blend of cab sauv, sangiovese, merlot, petite sirah and syrah. Pazzo 2004 a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Sirah, Viogner. I was going to fry my turkey but the weather called for rain and that's exactly what we received for Thanksgiving. My wife and I had to quickly change to the oven of course. But it all turned out very well. I am currently drinking Abbot's Table 2005. Cheers.

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