It was a nice surprise last week to get a call from Anna King of NW Public Radio. Andy Perdue at Wine Press NW magazine suggested she give me a call to get some further input on a story she was putting together on wines for Thanksgiving. Read her report here or listen here.
Happily, I completely agree with Andy's suggestions as well as those of Seattle Times wine writer Paul Gregrutt. Sparkling wine is a must. It's versatile at the table and is fit for the celebration that Thanksgiving is. And this holiday isn't the time to pull out the big cellar guns or old treasures. There's usually too much happening on and around the table to focus on the most special wines.
Instead, do what I suggest, try pinot noir or gamay noir (or Beaujolais, preferrably cru bottlings from Morgon, Moulin a Vent, Fleurie, and the like). Or try a good zinfandel, America's wine for this American holiday.
If you want white wine, don't overlook riesling. I mentioned it in the phone call with Anna King, but there's only so much that gets on air. Of course there's Germany and Alsace, even Australia and New Zealand. Lots of interesting riesling out there.
However, the Pacific Northwest does a nice job with riesling. Look for producers like Chehalem, Holleran, J. Christopher, Elk Cove, and Brooks. And if you're local, check out Matt Berson's 2007 "Love and Squalor"Riesling from the Eola Hills vineyard is excellent, just off-dry riesling that will work really well with the diverse flavors on the Thanksgiving table. Matt didn't make much, but it's worth trying to find if you can.
The bottom line -- drink something interesting. Not the same old thing. Not the bottle you've been hoarding for years. But something that you think you'll like. Ultimately, that's the best wine / food match out there. Good food and good wine, with good people. You can't go wrong.