Turkey Wines 5

One of America’s favorite holidays – with its own parade, plenty of football and a feast – Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching.

This year it falls on November 22, and apparently the U.S. version of this feasting day (Canada’s is quite sensibly held in October) seems to be well-known in Europe and Asia.

It is an occasion that can strike dread in the hearts of dieters and bring delight to dessert fiends with its apple, pecan and pumpkin pies, savory squashes and sweet potatoes, molds, relishes, salads, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Oh, right! The turkey.

The question then becomes what wine or wines to serve and on this most American of holidays, the wine experts we consulted favored everything but American wines.

“First and foremost, I try to figure out which German Riesling we’ll be drinking,” said wine consultant and writer Doug Frost. “There are too many great German Riesling producers to name but I’ll probably buy some bottles from Gunderloch, Fritz Haag, Moenchhof, S.A.Pruem, Darting, Donnhoff and Selbach Oster.”

“I hope this doesn’t make me eligible for rendition, but after German wine, I stay in Europe and go to exuberant Spanish reds, especially those that aren’t over the top, as so many California and Australian reds can be,” Frost said. He recommended Riojas such as El Coto, Marques de Caceres and Sierra Cantabria.

Finally, “if you want something bigger, I can’t seem to stop drinking wines from Celler de Capcanes,” he said, “Everything they make across the board and the wines range from $75 a bottle to $12.”

Frost wasn’t alone in his recommendation. Martin Davidson who works for Royal Wines, the largest U.S. importer and producer of kosher wines, also suggested Capcanes Peraj Ha’Abib, as well as, Bartenura Prosecco from Italy.

Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean favored French wines, especially from Bordeaux either a 2004 Chateau De Cruzeau Blanc AC Pressac-Leognan, which is a completely different take on sauvignon blanc for those preferring white wine or a 2005 Joseph Droughin Savigny-Les-Beaune Burgundy.

The latter, she said, is a cherry- and plum-scented wine, elegant and flavorful with ripe tannins that give it balance.

Now Thanksgiving arrives about a week after Beaujolais Nouveau makes its way to the United States and just about everyone seemed to agree that a bottle of that on the table wouldn’t be a bad thing to have either.

Turning Leaf vineyards, which has properties in California and Italy, has taken a page from the folks at Butterball, the largest U.S. turkey producer. Just as Butterball has a 24-hour, toll-free hotline (1-800-BUTTERBALL) for home cooks on Thanksgiving as well as the days and weeks leading up to the holiday, Turning Leaf has lined up a panel of experts to advise on wine pairings for the holiday.

If all of this seems too confusing, just remember what Joshua Wesson, founder of the U.S. wine retail chain Best Cellars, once told the authors of the book “What to Drink with What you Eat”:

“No two tables are the same. The best you can hope for is a choice that will please most of the people most of the time.”



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