Americans reap a bounty of advice on Thanksgiving wine

Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:26pm EST
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Americans search for that perfect wine to complement the traditional Thanksgiving feast, experts smile, give a slight shake of their heads and say, just drink what you like.

With so many different competing flavors at the Thanksgiving table, including the turkey, wines can be matched to the cranberry dressing, or even the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes, according to Doug Frost, a wine consultant for United Airlines.

"What I do is put out several different wines on the table," said Frost, who holds the expert titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine. "I'm a big fan of dry rosé and they are from all over these days: Italy, Spain, the U.S., of course."

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, who also has a Master of Wine title, said that for the last decade everyone has talked about Pinot Noir with turkey.

"It's like the perfect cranberry and turkey pairing, but in a glass," she said.

Simonetti-Bryan, whose latest wine course "The Everyday Guide to Wine" is on DVD, said the problem with Pinot Noir is that it is difficult to find a good quality one for under $20.

"Pinot Noir, as a grape, is kind of like the high-priced, fashion supermodel who doesn't get out of bed for less than $100,000. It's amazing, but you're going to have to pay for it," she explained.

Instead, she suggested an Austrian red, Blaufrankisch, that is similar to Pinot Noir and sells for less than $20 a bottle. Blaufrankisch has a little darker character than a Pinot Noir, "but it has a softness and a nice pepperiness that complements not only Thanksgiving Turkey, but also sage stuffing."   Continued...

A glass of red wine is displayed at Vinitaly wine expo in Verona, April 8, 2011. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini