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Thanksgiving, Euro-Style

Three chefs give Thanksgiving an international spin

Laurie Woolever
Posted: November 17, 2006

Roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes and gravy ... there are few American meals more iconic than the one we prepare for Thanksgiving. Equally American, however, is the way that we embrace innovation and open ourselves to the cultures that have contributed to the fabric of our country. In that spirit, and to help you make a memorable holiday feast this year, we have asked three chefs—a Frenchman, a Spaniard and an Italian-American—to put their own twists on this most traditional of feasts. Read on for each chef's vision of a Thanksgiving menu, with wine suggestions and a recipe from each chef.

No matter what you choose to cook for Thanksgiving day, we can help you find a wine to match. While you can try our Wine Search or use our Food and Wine Matching tool, following is a list of well-rated, recently released wines from France, Italy, Spain, the United States (and other countries). All offer reasonable prices (perfect for entertaining a crowd) and youthful fruit that can handle the cacophony of flavors presented at the Thanksgiving table.

Chef Andrew Carmellini  
Chef: Andrew Carmellini
Restaurant: A Voce, New York
Cuisine: Italian

On Thanksgiving day, in addition to signature dishes like homemade gnocchi with lamb Bolognese and steamed bass with shrimp polpettini, Andrew Carmellini will offer a special "Il Giorno di Graziamento" menu at his year-old restaurant A Voce. "Originally, I felt that, because we're Italian, we should be closed [on Thanksgiving Day]," explained Carmellini, "but there was some interest from customers, and I figured that a pancetta-wrapped turkey or a plate of great ravioli with white truffles shaved over the top is a fine way to celebrate."

Pancetta-Wrapped Heritage Turkey With traditional condimenti
Highlighted Recipe: Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta and Pecorino
Wine Match: Joseph Phelps Le Mistral Monterey County 2004: A Syrah-based blend with Grenache, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.

Cream di Zucca With Goat Cheese Ravioli and Pine Nuts
Wine Match: Domaine Serene Chardonnay Willamette Valley Oregon 2003

Maple Cheesecake With Concord Grape Sorbetto
Wine Match: Amaro Montenegro, an herbal digestivo

Chef José Andrés  
Chef: José Andrés
Restaurants: Café Atlantico, Minibar, Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel; all in Washington, D.C.
Cuisines: Pan-Latin, Nuevo cocina, Spanish, Mediterranean and Mexican, respectively.

Although he won't be serving a Thanksgiving meal in any of his restaurants, José Andrés has risen easily to the challenge of creating his version of the Thanksgiving feast, focused on the flavors and ingredients of his native España.

Pavo Relleno de Almendras Marcona, Uvas Pasas y Orejones Secos con Vino de Moscatel y Salsa de Castañas
(Roast Turkey Stuffed With Marcona Almonds, Raisins and Apricots, With Moscatel and Chestnut Sauce)

Puré de Patatas con Aceite de Oliva y Queso La Serena
(Mashed Potatoes With Olive Oil and La Serena Cheese)

Judia Verdes a la Catalana
(Sautéed Green Beans with Shallots, Raisins and Pine Nuts)
Wine Match: Bodegas Roda Rioja Roda I Reserva 2001

Highlighted Recipe: Sweet Potato Cookies with Almond and Pine Nuts
Wine Match: Bodegas Ray Fernando de Castilla Pedro Ximenez Jerez NV

Chef Cyril Renaud  
Chef: Cyril Renaud
Restaurant: Fleur de Sel, New York
Cuisine: French

"I have been doing this meal since the restaurant opened," said Chef Cyril Renaud of his Gallicized turkey and trimmings. (And for those who want an alternative to the bird, he provides a fish dish in his multi-course menu.) "It's a huge family day, but the cooking is grueling, and so is the cleanup. I want to make it so that a family can enjoy each other and not worry about doing the dishes."

Smoked Salmon With Mango, Lemon Crème and Chive Coulis
Wine Match: Gruet Blanc de Noirs Brut NV

Highlighted Recipe: Atlantic Halibut with Glazed Endive, Pecans, Bacon and Balsamic Reduction
Wine Match: Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2004

Organic Turkey with Foie Gras and Brioche Stuffing and Sweet Potato Gratin
Wine Match: Weinbach Gewürztraminer Alsace Cuvée Laurence 2004

Pear Tartare with Brittany Cookies and Hazelnut Ice Cream
Wine Match: Hogue White Riesling Columbia Valley Late Harvest 2005

In addition to the chefs' suggested wines, we have listed below a number of food-friendly red, white and sparkling wines to complement a Thanksgiving feast.


Wine Score Price
GEORGES DUBOEUF Juliénas Flower Label 2005 90 $12
Gorgeous black cherry, red licorice and plum sauce flavors, with a sweet, fine-grained finish. Very pure and very long. Lovely. Drink now through 2007. 21,000 cases made. —J.M.
M. CHAPOUTIER Côtes du Rhône Belleruche 2005 88 $12
Juicy and pure, with the vintage's textbook flavor profile of raspberry and licorice, backed by a graphite hint on the finish. Drink now through 2007. 115,000 cases made. —J.M.
GOATS DO ROAM WINE COMPANY Goat-Roti Coastal Region 2004 88 $20
Plush and inviting, with cocoa and toast well integrated into the plum and dark currant fruit. Nice fleshy finish shows elegant spice and mineral hints. Syrah and Viognier. Drink now. 8,500 cases made. —J.M.
PAUL JABOULET AÎNÉ Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45 2005 88 $12
Very pure and fresh, with purple and blue fruits leading the way, followed by notes of tar, violet and mineral. Open-knit, but has some grip. Delicious. Drink now. 108,300 cases made. —J.M.
BODEGAS TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES Malbec Mendoza 2005 88 $10
Alluring nose of mocha and spice, with a rich texture that carries raspberry and boysenberry fruit to a creamy finish. Drink now through 2007. 120,000 cases made. —J.M.
A TO Z WINEWORKS Pinot Noir Oregon 2004 87 $18
Crisp in texture, with a light core of cherry and mineral flavors that linger gently against slightly chalky tannins. Drink now through 2009. 17,936 cases made. —H.S.
DOMINIO DE EGUREN Viño de la Tierra de Castilla Protocolo Red 2004 86 $6
Bright and juicy, offering black cherry, toast and light herb flavors. Light tannins and refreshing acidity. Nicely focused. Drink now. 15,000 cases made. —T.M.


Wine Score Price
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Riesling Columbia Valley Indian Wells 2005 89 $17
Soft and elegant, with lovely peach, pineapple and lemon flavors mingling enticingly as the finish lingers, echoing the fruit and a touch of mineral. Drink now through 2010. 10,000 cases made. —H.S.
BODEGAS MARTÍNEZ SERANTES Albariño Rias Baixas Dona Rosa 2004 89 $16
This exuberant white offers pear, grapefruit, mineral and light herb flavors. Fresh and focused. Has breadth and grip. Drink now through 2008. 16,660 cases made. —T.M.
FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO Falanghina Sannio 2004 88 $13
Pineapple, honey aromas follow through to a medium- to full-bodied palate, with lemon and white peaches. Fresh acidity. Drink now. 120,000 cases made. —J.S.
ALOIS LAGEDER Chardonnay Alto Adige 2005 88 $12
Lots of apple and honey character. Medium- to full-bodied, with fresh acidity and a medium finish. Very lively Chardonnay. Reminds me of a Chablis. Drink now. 17,500 cases made. —J.S.


Wine Score Price
MONTAUDON Brut Champagne NV 89 $30
Graphite and pear notes permeate this medium-bodied Champagne. It has good grip on the palate, a combination of acidity and chalky mouthfeel. Drink now. 100,000 cases made. —B.S.
DOMAINE STE. MICHELLE Blanc de Blancs Columbia Valley NV 86 $12
Earthy, somewhat tart style has a welcome generosity and sense of pear-centered richness as the finish sails on. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. —H.S.

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