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What wine do you recommend to go with Thanksgiving Turkey?

I love California Chardonnays and some reds, e.g. Ravenswood Zinfandel or a Saintsbury Pinot or Garnet, but would like to try something different for our Thanksgiving Turkey dinner. One year I tried guweirtzmeiner (sp???) and found it to be abit too sweet.
Does anyone have a good recommendation in the $15-25 per bottle range that goes well with turkey???

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  1. See www.chowhound.com/topics/341766 for last year's list of recommendations. You should pay special attention to mine, of course. ;o)

    1. If the Gewurztraminer you tried was too sweet, you tried the wrong one. Dry Gewurz is an excellent match with turkey, as are Crus de Beaujolais, Pinots and lighter-styled Zins.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zin1953

        I have to agree with Zin. Altough, I would add Alsatian (Tokay) Pinot Gris and (Piedmont) Barbera to his list.

        Three Alsatian producers to look out for in the upper end of your price range: Dirler, Boxler, Albert Mann. All three are excellent values and make some terrific wines in the upper upper teens / low 20's. (Dirler, and particularly Boxler, also make some great wines higher up in the price categories.)

      2. Something American.

        If you have local vienyards and wineries, why not get something from them? It is after all a harvest celebration.

        In red something relatively light suits most people; in white, relatively full-bodied.

        4 Replies
        1. re: FrankJBN

          I have one word, Frank: Lafayette ;^)

            1. re: zin1953

              You'll need more if you are to be comprehended.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                OK, let's try three words: Marquis de Lafayette.

          1. We are having a Pinot Noir from Oregon...sorry I don't remember the winery it's coming from.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              We'll be having Oregon Pinot Noir too- Rivers Edge from Umpqua Valley is one of our favorites.

            2. Since you like California Chardonnay, you could go with a good California Pinot Blanc like Chalone or Arrowood. If you want to swim around in ultra-geeky wine shops you could look for the Austrian version of Pinot Blanc called weissburgunder (or weisserburgunder) as I believe they "tend" to be a little better for pairing. And while you are at it, there is an Austrian red called blaufrankisch that I've never paired with Thanksgiving but is a light, non-tannic intensive red. Okay, those two are sorta bizarre so I'll try to come back to earth now. I have done Barbera's before and they work smashingly. A good one from California is not as easy to find though Renwood is out there in some parts of the country. And certainly, if this isn't something you want to spend a huge deal of time with, a good chianti classico (and you can find tons of good ones in your price range) works very well. Castello di Rampolla is a personal favorite of mine but then again that isn't a normal corner wine shop wine....so maybe I'm not helping much there.

              Bascially, I think there are two keys to pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. First, drink what you like and damn the specifics. This is a complex set of flavors on the table and few wines will be "ideal" with everything. And second, that being said, wines that tend to be more versatile rather than less are always going to hold you in good stead. Disclaimer, California Pinot Blanc is probably not a versatile wine in terms of pairings but a lot of people who like Ca. Chard will also like Ca. Pinot Blanc.

              Good luck!

              1. Beaujolais Nouveau is always nice. For whites, we select a Riesling from Wa state. Both will be in your price range.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cocktailhour

                  I'd skip the Beaujolais Nouveau in favor of a Beaujolais-Villages or one of hte eleven Crus de Beaujolais.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    I have to admit, my wine ideas are colored by the fact that we have around 40 people at Thanksgiving. I have to think in terms of quantity in addition to quality (and most are not big wine drinkers). That said, I find the fresh simpleness to go with the thousands of dishes we serve on T-giving.

                    1. re: cocktailhour

                      I don't see what one has to do with the other.

                      I don't know where you live, but a search of the Beverages, and more! website -- http://www.bevmo.com/productlist.asp?... -- shows that they are selling Pierre Dupond (a producer/négociant I have never heard of) 2006 Beaujolais Nouveau for $10.99, while offering Louis Jadot 2005 Beaujolais-Villages for $9.99. There is no doubt which I would prefer drinking.

                  2. re: cocktailhour

                    We always have Nouveau Beaujolais too -- tho' this year, we made a some Tokai from Friuli too.

                  3. surprised no one has said it, Rose! A dry rose with a bit of fruitiness will go perfectly with thanksgiving dinner and all the fixings that go with it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Graphix

                      A great suggestion, and a perfect time for a great Tavel or Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé!

                      1. re: Graphix

                        Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year for Rose. Besides summer...and spring...and winter...and..frick!

                      2. For the past several years my standard lineup for turkey day have included one sang des cailloux (a Vacqueyras), one Rosenblum zin, various bottlings of santa rita hills pinots and cheap sparkling roses (like Mont-Ferant cava or domaine chandon). Many non-drinking relatives tend to prefer moscato di asti and Coppolo's Sofia sparkling so I keep a couple bottles of those on hand as well.

                        Remember that most medium to full-bodied red wines match equally well with turkey itself, but the cranberries & sticky-sweet yams are the palate-killers! In fact, i'm a bit neurotic about this, so I eat my turkey & stuffing first with my wine and then switch to tea or beer for the sides.

                        1. Nothing serious, nothing ponderous, nothing high-alcohol.

                          I go for lively, refreshing, friendly, easy-to-toss-back wines. Not expensive, because you want a lot of wine for glass-filling, glass-drinking and multiple toasts of thanks happening up and down the table. My favorites for this are Pinot Gris, off-dry Riesling and Beaujolais Villages (actually my all-time favorite for Thanksgiving). These wines appeal to a broad variety of folks, and I like a rousing table on T-Day.

                          1. L.A.Times has chimed in today with three reds in your price range:

                            1. I'm looking forward to trying some Dehlinger Rose this year; have had various champagne roses in the past with great satisfaction

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                I really like Cranberry Wine with my turkey dinner!

                                1. re: zoohort2

                                  I admit that I've never tried cranberry "wine", but it sounds like a dreadful novelty. I'd rather drink a still or sparkling rose...

                              2. Our Virginian tradition is to pay tribute to our Williamsburg & Jamestown pilgrim settlers, so we pour from Williamsburg Winery each Thanksgiving - Governor's White & Two Shilling Red. They're both simple, yet rich in history & flavor. For dessert course, we pour Late Harvest Vidal or Blackberry Merlot.

                                1. Bump! We're doing a Turkey Day wine tasting group this week in preparation for the real thing, there are many good suggestions in this thread, just wanted to see if anyone had anything new or different to add.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    I've recently fallen in love with Sighardt Donabaum's wines. I think his Muskateller (for only $21) would be awesome with Turkey Day fare. Probably any good Austrain Muskateller would be.

                                  2. I always go with what I like. I like to offers red and white for dinner so there is a choice. Not everyone likes red and not everyone white. And my suggestion ... Go to a wine shop and ask their opinion and many times on a friday night or Saturday afternoon there are wine tastings. Go to one. I have found some of my favorite wines going to these. Just check with a couple of your liquor stores or wine stores and I am sure someone is having a wine tasting, especially before the holidays. They can be alot of fun. A wine store is usually very knowledgable and can offer alot of help. I have found some great Aussie wines lately around 20, very good and a wide variety. I could list all my favorites but that would take too long.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                      Rest assured I've been to plenty of wine shops and tastngs - I know I can get my local retailer's opinion by asking, I'm interested in what the 'hounds have to say.

                                      I was surprised to see an Adelsheim Auxerrois at my local retailer when visiting earlier this week. Has anyone tried this? I had no idea this was being produced anywhere in the US. I do have a leaning toward domestics for Thanksgiving and it's always fun to bring a stumper to a tasting.

                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                        Somebody is growing Auxerrois in this country?? That *would* be a stumper.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          Any general thoughts on Auxerrois as a potential pairing for Thanksgiving? Here's the wine notes from Adelsheim ->

                                        2. re: Frodnesor

                                          well now, that's something I'd like to try! I like Adelsheim's wines.

                                      2. I also have a preference for domestic wines for Thanksgiving, but I'm not locked into it. I often am the one doing the main cooking, and others collaborate on the wine, so sometimes we have French. A couple of years ago we had 2 82 Bordeaux and a 79 Amarone, and they went wonderfully with the dinner.
                                        Who knew?

                                        This year, my good friend is bringing Beaujolais, which goes famously, and I will have a couple of bottles of Riesling on hand for those who prefer white.

                                        1. We usually have a domestic pinot noir with our turkey -- this year's has yet to be chosen. As we usually also have prime rib, a California cabernet is also the traditional choice.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: grantham

                                            I'm planning on bringing an Albarino, but I hadn't thought about a red. In my "stash" I have a 2005 Guigal Cote du Rhone, a 2007 Jean-Francois Merieau La Bois Jacou Gamay, a 2005 Purisima Canyon Syrah, and a 2004 Chateau de Serame Minervois from Languedoc ( I believe its mostly grenache) Would any of these be appropriate or should I pick up something this weekend when I go wine tasting in SF?

                                            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                              Excepting the Syrah, those all sound like reasonable Turkey Day wines. The only one I've had, though, is the Guigal... and not that vintage.