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Surefire picks for the Thanksgiving table.
Last week, we gave you some general wine-shopping advice for Thanksgiving. In case you're still standing in the aisles of your local wine shop, scratching your head, today we bring you some specific choices.
Our fearless leader Alyssa Rapp offered up these Thanksgiving wine tips and selections during a segment on NBC Chicago over the weekend. In case you missed it, were still recovering from the sight of football being played at Wrigley Field or don't live near Chicago, the tips and picks appear below.
1. Start with something sparkling.
It helps cerate a festive mood and cleanses the palate. Our pick: Ironhorse Vineyards Ocean Reserve Sparkling, Russian River Valley 2005 ($40). Iron Horse is one of the longstanding American sparkling producers; its wines have been poured at the White House on more than one occasion. This one in particular, made of 100% Chardonnay, was created in partnership with National Geographic with a cause in mind: Iron Horse donates $4 from each purchase to establish marine protected areas and reduce overfishing around the world. Find it here or at the winery.
2. Pick a floral, aromatic white.
It sounds corny, but it's true: Aromatic white wines offer a bouquet that complements the cornucopia of flavors on the Thanksgiving table. Our pick: Pride Mountain Vineyards Viognier, Sonoma 2009 ($42). This wine offers heady aromas of nectarine, apricot, honeysuckle and star fruit. Find it here or at the winery.
3. You can't go wrong with Pinot.
Red and black cherry notes often found in the Pinot Noirs from Oregon's Willamette Valley in Oregon or California's Russian River Valley match especially well with cranberry sauce. Our pick: Erath Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2008 ($19). Erath Pinot's bright cherry and juicy red plum aromas are lifted by a hint of exotic, zesty spice. Find it here or at the winery.
4. Keep it truly all-American with Zinfandel.
Even though Zinfandel is a European grape, it was popularized by American immigrants who settled in California. Its juicy, berry character and spice on the finish make it a great pairing for the richer dishes on the table such as sweet potatoes and stuffing. Our pick: Chateau Montelena Zinfandel, Calistoga 2007 ($30). Find it here or at the winery.
Have a favorite Thanksgiving wine of your own? Share it with us below.