What to Drink on Thanksgiving

Advice from David Cable of East Beach Wine and Bob Wesley of The Winehound

For such a food-a-palooza, Thanksgiving is notoriously tough for wine pairing.

“It’s kind of a goofy assortment of side dishes that don’t necessarily come together,” explained Bob Wesley of The Winehound. “It might have worked for the pilgrims 400 years ago, but you’re dealing with sugary candied yams, tart and sweet cranberries, and then you’ve got turkey, which is essentially a duller white meat, but you’ve laden that with typically earthy mushroom gravy. So it’s kind of a juggling act.”

That’s where pros like Wesley and East Beach Wine’s David Cable come in. Below, each lays out strategies for what to buy from their shops this Thanksgiving season. Follow even a bit of their advice, and you’ll be the most popular pilgrim around this week.

East Beach Wine Thanksgiving Packages

Theme: California

Sharffenberger Sparkling Wine
Dragonette Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2007
Fiddlehead Cellars Sweetie, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Cost: $125.96

Theme: French
Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne
Olivier Leflaive Meursault 2008
Bouchard Père & Fils Bourgogne Réserve 2007
Château Guiraud Sauternes, Grand Cru Classe 2005
Cost: $152.96

Theme: Le Petit Prix Français

Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Crémant de Bourgogne
La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon 2008
La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux 2007
Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2006
Cost: $54.96

Theme: Italian

Soligo Prosecco Brut
Pra Soave 2009
Damilano Barolo 2004
Lungarotti Dulcis 2005
Cost: $96.96

Theme: Recession Budget

Jean-Luc Colombo, Cape Bleue Rose 2009
Yali Wetlands Sauvignon Blanc 2010
McManis Pinot Noir 2008
Gruet Demi Sec Sparkling Wine
Cost: $46.96

Theme: Impress the In-Laws
Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Palmes d’Or Rosé Champagne 2000
Talley Chardonnay, Rincon Vineyard 2007
Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir, Lollapalooza 2006
Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2003
Cost: $484.96

Theme: Organically Grown

Pommery POP Champagne
Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc 2009
Beckmen Estate Grenache 2008
Grgich Hills Violetta Late Harvest 2002
Cost: $159.96

The Winehound’s Thanksgiving Pairings

When: Fizz Before Dinner

Sparkling Wines:
Scharffenberger Brut Mendocino County ($18.99)
Louis Roederer Extra Dry Champagne “Carte Blanche” ($48.99)

When: The Main Event
White Wines:

Leese-Fitch Chardonnay California 2008 ($11.99)
Melville Viognier Verna’s Santa Barbara County ($23.99)
Red Wines:

Laurel Glen Reds Lodi 2008 ($10.99)
Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes Barossa Valley 2008 ($26.99)

When: The Finale
Dessert Wines:
Campbell’s Muscat Rutherglen (375 ml; $17.99)
Noon Tawny Port McLaren Vale (500 ml; $26.99)


East Beach Wine is located at 1114 State Street, Suite 24. Call 899-1535 or see eastbeachwine.com. The Winehound is located at 1221 Chapala Street. Call 845-5247 or see thewinehound.com.


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