What to Drink on Thanksgiving? Let's Ask the Sommeliers

Categories: Unscrewed

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Lauren Mowery
Don't know what to pop for Thanksgiving? Hear out these NYC somms.

More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving receives the brunt of wine pairing coverage: Articles flood the internet filled with musings, deliberations, ruminations, and annoying pontifications over what the heck to drink at the hallowed turkey table.

Frankly, if you opt to have a breadth of varieties available -- classics include Riesling (I prefer Gewürztraminer), Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and bubbles -- you're unlikely to suffer a dining disaster of proportions as epic as the static on the internet frightens you into believing. And, your wines need not be American -- is drinking Champagne to exult in the family's reunion the equivalent of burning the flag? So, then, in what sounds very un-American, I am outsourcing this year's T-day wine picks to New York City's finest sommeliers. Note, I said New York City's best, not London's.

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Daniel Beedle, Sommelier at Betony, 41 West 57th Street
I've found that when bringing wine to a family function, it's always about finding something that doesn't get in the way of the food. There are so many different dishes that unless you knew the menu well in advance, it would be very hard to find a perfect pairing.

Salinia "25 Reasons" Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino, California
Fourteen-day skin contact gives this wine wonderful texture, and the natural style in which it's made gives it this beautiful cider character that works great throughout the entirety of the meal. It's nerdy and a crowd pleaser. Winning!

Bloomer Creek Winery Dry Riesling "Auten Vineyards" 1st Harvest 2011, Finger Lakes, New York
This wine has beautiful peach and apricot notes, racy acidity, it is terrior-driven, and locally made by rockstar Kim Engle. What more could you ask for?

Anthill Farms Pinot Noir 2011, Anderson Valley, California
Deeply aromatic with scents of dark cherries, pipe smoke, spice, and seasoned oak.

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Alexander LaPratt, Beverage Director at Atrium Dumbo, 15 Main Street, Brooklyn

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault "Les Narvaux" 2011, Burgundy, France
This is one of the top young producers in Meursault producing wines with incredible clarity and minerality. The texture is full in the mouth, but the acidity is high, leaving your palate refreshed. This wine would be dynamite with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and turkey, because it'll play on any baking spices used, any butter used, anything roasted, and will refresh the palate in between each bite! If only the pilgrims knew about Meursault!

Frederic Lornet Trousseau Arbois 2011, Jura, France
Frederic Lornet has been making wine in the Jura for over 30 years and is only getting better! Jura is a small region located just between Burgundy and Switzerland. This light red wine shows a lot of tart red fruit like cherries and cranberries along with blackberries, underbrush, cedar, black tea, and slight hints of spice. It has supple tannins and a bright, earthy finish. This will pair well with most meats served, especially fowl, and with sides like cranberries and green vegetables.

Dom Ruinart Rose Champagne 1988, Champagne, France
I had the pleasure of tasting this incredible rose recently. It's a pale salmon color and has flavors of red berries, toast, smoked meat, brown butter, mushroom, and truffle. The effervescence, weaker with age, allows the wine to drink more like a great old Burgundy than Champagne, but it's still lighter and more food friendly. Plus, let's be honest, who wouldn't want to drink Champagne?!


Location Info

Betony

41 W. 57th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Atrium

15 Main St., New York, NY

Category: General

Manzanilla

345 Park Avenue S., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

The Marrow

99 Bank St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

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1 comments
eero.iloniemi
eero.iloniemi

This article is off the mark in so many ways. First of all, what does I prefer Gewurztraminer (as against Reisling) even mean? Why should one choose between two entirely different grapes. Second, what makes top restaurant sommeliers good at giving advice on a family meal? Do you ask car maintenance advice from Mario Andretti?

Thanksgiving is a mish mash of food centered around turkey. The proper advice should be something like: drink Beasujolais as it goes pretty much with everything, or, have a white and a red available. The best advice is not always complicated.

The problem with modern wine writing is that the simple pleasure of drinking is turned into hi-fi minutae.

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