More wine with your turkey?

I thought I'd write a second part to the Thanksgiving recommendations as I received quite a bit of feedback on many "favorite" wines from my readership.

Here are more great ideas for wines to go with that stuffed bird:

Negro Amaro and Primitivo

Those of you not yet in the loop on these two southern Italian red wines are missing out on what seems to be the hot new kids on the wine shelf. These vines from the very southern tip of Italy are rich in volcanic soils, warm in the finish and have very expressed, full flavors.

These are the types of wines that can take on stuffing, flavors of spices and heat as well as white or dark meat. These are also red wines that can marry well with cranberry and reduced gravy sauces.

The other very important feature of these wines are that they seem never to polarize wine drinkers. Many times we find one or two varieties of red wine that people either like or dislike but these velvet toned red wines seem to match just about every palate at the table.

Many of these wines run about 1$5 for the nicer offerings and are well worth the money spent.


I've written seemingly countless times about Chardonnay but there are a few things to know about this wine when we are writing about Thanksgiving dinner.

It is important to choose a Chardonnay that sits below 13.5 percent alcohol when turkey is served. When alcohol levels exceed this amount the heat in the wine tends to kill the flavors on the palate, especially, I think, turkey. Last year I made the mistake of serving a Chardonnay that had monster levels of alcohol (I didn't read the alcohol level on the label) and the wine clashed with just about everything on the table. Try to choose a cool climate Chardonnay for this bird and check out the alcohol before buying or serving.

Secondly, try not to serve Chardonnay, or any other kind of white wine too chilled. The colder the wine is, the less flavors you will receive from the wine. Expensive Chardonnay with refined oak flavors and buttery backbones will be lost when served ice cold. Never stick a white wine in an ice bucket as you will sterilize the flavors within 15 minutes. This kind of chilling is only good (relatively so) with a very sweet white wine.


This poor little red wine grape has certainly taken a thrashing since the movie "Sideways" hit the screen. Many wine folks have no idea of the great pedigree of this noble grape and tend to think of the wine as a cheap every day red plunk seen in countless super markets sitting next to the cat food and Windex. This is because this wine has been so over commercialized and planted that the wine was put in everything from plastic bottles to Chateau Cardboard with pink spouts.

Merlot is one of the stablemates of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Frank from Bordeaux and deserves to be recognized as the prince that it is. With Thanksgiving, we find this silk bomb red wine to go with everything on the table. Long and generous on the palate with very elegant flavors, Merlot can really doll up a table and satisfy many palates as well.

Go with the under 14 percent Merlot as with Chardonnay, Merlot can suffer from to much punch and loose its delicacy and balance. This is a nice wine for all around holiday dinners.

Well, there you have them! Have a wonderful holiday! See you next time.

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