Wines of all countries have a place at Thanksgiving table

Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:50pm EST
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By Leslie Gevirtz

(Reuters) - Thanksgiving may be the most American of U.S. holidays but wines accompanying the meal need not be limited to home-grown varieties, wine experts said on Tuesday.

Big, bold California Zinfandels, Pinot Noirs from Oregon, Rieslings from New York State and Norton wines from Virginia will have a place on the table.

But as a nation of immigrants many Americans will also give thanks with wines commemorating their roots.

"A great many of the immigrants late in the 19th century were Italians - southern Italians," said wine writer Bill Marsano, who suggested trying some Sicilian wines.

"Reds from the Nerello Mascalese and Nero d'Avola grapes are experiences not to be missed and Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a lighter red," he said, suggesting labels to look for include wines from producers Morgante, Planeta, Settesoli and Regaleali.

Mike DeSimone, co-author of "Wines of the Southern Hemisphere," suggested starting the meal with a sparkling wine such as Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado from Chile, a sparkling rosé made from the Pais grape using the same method as in Champagne.

"They're fun and it's a nice way to greet your guests," he said about the sparkling wines.

Lisa Granik, who is one of fewer than 300 people in the world to hold the prestigious Master of Wine credential, recommended pairing wines with the traditional main course of turkey.   Continued...