Best wine for Thanksgiving? Not one but many

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:05am EST
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thanksgiving, the U.S. holiday that anyone who likes to eat loves to celebrate, is just a week away and experts agree there is not one perfect wine to accompany the feast, but many.

"No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving," said Natalie MacLean, author of the new book, "Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines."

"Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table," MacLean said, conceding that sometimes choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task.

Her advice, echoed by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of "The Food Lover's Guide to Wine," Mark Oldman, who wrote "Oldman's Brave New World of Wine" and wine columnist Lisa Carley, is to start with bubbly.

"Sparkling wine is a great aperitif to sip while you wait for the turkey to finish cooking," MacLean said.

And while the price of Champagne continues to rise because of the growing demand from Asia, there are plenty of less pricey sparklers to choose from including Cavas, Spanish sparkling wines, such as Segura Viudas or Huguet Can Feixes, or Italian Proseccos from Mionetto, Adami or Bisol.

Page and Dornenburg prefer California sparkling wines such as Iron Horse, while Oldman said any American sparkling wine would do. Carley recommended Australia's Jacob's Creek sparkling rose Moscato, adding it could stand up to butternut squash soup and cranberry sauce.

Even with the best of cooking techniques, turkey can be dry in texture, so the experts said the solutions are white wines such as Rieslings from New York's Finger Lakes region, Spatlese Gewurztraminer from Germany or Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, the Loire or New Zealand.   Continued...

<p>Oenologist Asli Odman tests wine in the Pendore vineyard in the western Turkish village of Kemaliye in the Aegean region, August 28, 2009. REUTERS/Murad Sezer</p>