If you go on line looking for wine pairings for Thanksgiving, you’ll either walk away with some great ideas or come away overwhelmed with the diverse choices coming from every direction. I’d like to tell you that I can simplify the process, but frankly, I can’t. In fact I am about to add to it. But hey, this is a meal about family which as many of us know can get a bit messy, physically as well as emotionally. So relax and embrace the crazy.
I love Austrian wines and feel they deserve more attention, and three of their major wines are actually great choices for Thanksgiving. These wines have the ability to pair with a variety of dishes served on this special day including turkey, yams, stuffing, and even Brussel sprouts.
Berger 2013 Zweigelt
For those who normally have Pinot Noir with their turkey, here’s a good alternative. This combination of Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent is the most popular red grape variety in Austria. Berger's Zweigelt is produced in stainless steel and is soft, round, aromatic. Like a pinot noir, it has a cherry, raspberry, and slight bacon scent and taste. There are also herbal notes on the clean finish. This wine comes in a liter bottle sealed with a crown cap giving it the appearance of an old fashioned bottle of Root Beer.
Jurtschitsch 2014 Gruner Veltliner
This is an easy drinking dry white with spicy, pineapple, apple, and slight grapefruit notes. It is round and juicy, even on the nose. It has a slight saltiness and a bit of pepper. This Gruner is balanced and smooth, yet has good acidity. It is easy to see why it works so well with both savory and sweet foods.
Artner 2012 Riesling
Rieslings from Austria are usually dry, fuller and with a minerally center closer in style to the Rieslings of Alsace rather than Germany. The Artner is no exception. The wine is straw yellow with green hues. It is wonderfully aromatic on the nose. On the palate it has crisp acidity, fresh apples, pears, lemon, lime and peach with a touch of grass in the long finish.
Avalon made in 1990 is a great film by Barry Levinson who made such classic films as Good Morning Vietnam, Diner, RainMan, The Natural and many others. Avalon deals with three generations of Jewish-Russian immigrants over 50 some years. There several reasons to watch this film but it has a special meaning connected to Thanksgiving that is both very funny and heart wrenching at the same time. Look for the “You cut the Turkey without me!” scene. Classic!