Be forewarned: bone-dry wines and the typical off-the-rack Turkey Day repast pair together with all the cohesion of Gable and Lugosi. For example, Chablis (the zingy French stuff) may be a heralded companion for oysters with a lemon spritz, but if you sip an austere white after munching on candied yams and cranberry sauce, be prepared for shrill palatal chaos.
Instead, try some of these ripe, soft “sweet”-ish recommendations with your entree, along with a full-on sucrose-laden blockbuster dessert wine to enjoy with your choice of pie, cake, or tart.
Ch•teau de Pinet 2008 Picpoul de Pinet: Honeyed and minerally on the nose, and loaded with stone fruits, this Picpoul from France is like a drier-styled Vouvray, and it’s got just the right balance of fruit, ripeness, and fleshiness to work winningly with any palate-perturbing side dish. $14.99.
Woop Woop 2008 Shiraz: A black-and-blue wall of fruit coupled with surprisingly caressing textures give Australia’s Woop Woop an “amiable bulldozer” quality. This will partner up well with any multi-component stuffing you can throw at it (cranberry-sage-wild rice, perhaps?). $11.99.
Rey 2006 Grenache: Like inhaling the scents from a chocolate truffle with raspberry sauce, Rey’s aromatic complexity expands to reveal pepper, clove, and a hint of black olives. The glyceriny mouth feel and rounded tannins make this a flawless Central Coast candidate for your Pilgrimatic dining pleasure. $19.99.
Yalumba Antique Muscat: Pumpkin pie, pumpkin crme br»lee, or pumpkin cheesecake served with this outrageously complex Australian sweetie will lead your dinner to a hedonistic finale filled with ooohs, aaahs, and insistent demands for “more pie, more wine!” The endless caramel, toffee, honey, and brown spice notes were born for pumpkiny desserts. $17.99. -Bob Wesley, The Winehound (1221 Chapala St., thewinehound.com, 845-5247)
If you are planning on having a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner this year but you still want to serve delicious wines, here are some handpicked options to consider. They’ll go with turkey, but you’ll also find that they pair nicely with duck, lamb, pork, and pasta dishes.
2007 E. Guigal C’tes du Rh’ne Blanc: The beautiful 2007 C’tes du Rh’ne blanc-a blend of 50 percent viognier and the rest roussanne, marsanne, clairette, and bourboulenc-is the finest Guigal has yet produced. Amazing aromatics, fresh citrus fruits, and a hint of minerality are presented in a medium-bodied, delicious style that most consumers will love. This is a delicious wine that will pair great with the first half of a fine, multicourse meal. $15.99.
2008 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose: This is 50 percent mourvdre, the rest cinsault, grenache, carignan, and, occasionally, some syrah. It has an appealing, pale onionskin color. The nose is vibrant, and full of peach and other stone fruits, with light touches of red currant and fresh green leaves. The palate is similarly lively, and very harmonious, with a crisp and tingling acidity and a lovely vinosity to it-quite firm, integrated, and deliciously dry. A crisp, dry rose like this matches very well with roasted turkey. The leanness of the wine balances the richness of the meat and accompanying dishes. $42.99.
2007 Georges DuBoeuf Julienas Beaujolais, Ch•teau des Capitans: The 2007 Julienas Ch•teau des Capitans features tart plum paste and smoked meat underlain by stony suggestions and a slight astringency. It is certainly well-concentrated, and finishes strongly with bitter fruit skins, salted beef, and wet stones. This is a Cru Beaujolais, not to be confused with the Nouveau that usually is associated with this varietal. Fruity, but complex and layered. This wine is only 13 percent alcohol, which most people will appreciate when they pair it with a fine meal. $16.99.
2007 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino: Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino is made with carefully selected sangiovese grapes handpicked from estate vines that are at least 15 years old. Ruby red in color, this “baby Brunello” wine shows an intense bouquet of wild berry fruit. The palate is velvety and rich, with great structure and smooth, rounded tannins. This is an excellent wine for those nontraditional turkey meals, as it will pair nicely with pasta, pork dishes, or ham. The smooth tannins make it very pleasing for a variety of palates. $28.99. -David Cable, East Beach Wine Co. (1114 State St., #24, La Arcada Plaza, eastbeachwine.com, 899-1535)