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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Best Choices for Thanksgiving Wine



By now all of us are scrambling to finalize plans for Thanksgiving.  In addition to the seemingly endless decisions about the menu (brine the bird?  anyone dislike brussel sprouts?  new dessert recipe or my never-fail standard?) one of questions always includes which wine?   

Assuming you’re serving turkey, my suggestion is either a dry Gewurtzraminer or a Pinot Noir.  For the dry Gewurtzraminer, I recommend one from Alsace (this tiny piece of eastern France makes the best "Gewurtz" on the planet.)  Great producers with good penetration in the U.S. market include Trimbach, Weinbach, and Albert Mann.  Prices for these Alsatians range from $25-100, depending on if it’s a Grand Cru.  If you want an American Gewurtz, look no further than Claiborne and Churchill (California, Edna Valley).  This one is a steal at $20.

Pinot Noir can be pricey, especially those from Burgundy. But, don’t despair as there are some great American Pinots that won’t break your bank.  The best bang-for-the-buck coming in under 20 bucks is Point Conception’s Salsipuedes from Santa Barbara.  In the $30-40 range the following wines from California’s central coast represent solid value:  Melville, Stolpman, Alma Rosa and Alta Colima.  If you can spring for $50, I suggest Dehlinger from the Russian River in California.  Oregon is also making some good pinots in the $30-$50 bracket, including Drouhin and Ken Wright.  Want to try a reasonable international pinot?  Can’t beat New Zealand’s Craggy Range $30.  (The Wine-Knows harvest trip to New Zealand in 2014 will visit this producer.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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