Thanksgiving wines can be as varied as the meal, experts say

Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:29am EST
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thanksgiving dinner includes more than just turkey, with ample helpings of vegetables, stuffing and cranberries, so wine experts say there is no perfect food-wine pairing for the traditional American feast.

But because it is a family celebration, Ed McCarthy, a co-author of "Wine for Dummies," said serving Champagne will impress guests as well as complement the meal.

“Opening the bottle of Champagne is a ceremony that brings together everyone in the group,” he said in an interview.

Bottles of non-vintage Champagnes average $35 to $45 in the United States. But Americans celebrating Thanksgiving in Paris this year can buy the bubbly in supermarkets, which are selling it for as little as $9.95 (7.95 euros) a bottle.

If Champagne is too expensive, experts suggest serving sparkling wines. Some of the major Champagne houses, Chandon, Roederer, Taittinger and others, make California sparklers that are about half the price of their French cousins.

Americans have also discovered Prosecco as sales of the Italian sparkling wine skyrocketed in recent years, says industry newsletter Impact Data. Sales of Italy’s Moscato d’Asti and Spain’s Cava have also risen.

Robert Mann, the new Australian winemaker at California's Newton Vineyard, plans to please a variety of palates by offering his guests both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Other experts suggested white wines such as Gewurztraminer, which goes well with spicy foods, or dry Rieslings that have a juicy steeliness to them as well as lots of floral notes.   Continued...

A bartender selects a bottle of champagne at Goss, a champagne bar, at Ginza shopping district in Tokyo June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato