Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, we asked nine of the nation’s top Master Sommeliers, the highest distinction in wine service, to reveal which wine they’ll be serving on Turkey Day. Gobble up these delicious suggestions…
Andrea Robinson: Master Sommelier, James Beard Award winner, author; and television host: I’ll be serving Krug Rosé, Champagne NV. It’s a major splurge, but this is my favorite meal of the year, and since I only have to share it with my husband John, one precious bottle will do the trick. And talk about romancing the bird—a dry-brined and smoked one, in our case—rosé Champagne has red wine complexity with white wine refreshment, plus scrubbing bubbles that make a great counter-foil to the lusty richness of the turkey. It’s among the most food-versatile wines out there.
Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier, restaurateur, and Food Network television host: I believe in serving an all-American wine on a revered American holiday, so I’ll be serving a 2013 Neyers Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills, California. Intensely concentrated notes of blackberries and jam make for a bold wine that will stand up to a diverse array of dishes.
Pascaline Lepeltier, Master Sommelier and educator: I’ll be bringing a magnum of Fetembulles 2013 made by Jean-Pierre Robinot from Domaine de L’Ange Vin. It is a 100% Chenin Blanc made with the méthode traditionnelle in the northeastern part of the Loire Valley. It’s a rich, very aromatic sparkling wine with a slight impression of sweetness, which is what you want for Thanksgiving. A Chenin gives you a touch of tannic structure, which matches well with poultry but also with root vegetables like Brussels sprouts.
Brian McClintic, Master Sommelier and founder of Viticole Wine Club: I’ll be serving Breton Vouvray La Dilettante Brut NV—biodynamic bubbles from one of the Loire Valley’s finest artisan families. It’s an all-purpose pairing on any Thanksgiving table.
Carlton McCoy, Master Sommelier and Wine Director at The Little Nell in Aspen: My Thanksgiving wine will be the 2005 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py, Beaujolais, France. This is a medium-bodied red Burgundy made with the Gamay grape from the southernmost part of Burgundy. The landscape there tends to be more like the Rhone Valley, which lends itself to a more rustic style. It’s perfect with roasted chicken or turkey but can also stand up to any red meat. Also, it pairs well with the sweeter flavors on the table, like cranberry.
Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier and Global Beverage Buyer at Whole Foods: I see Thanksgiving as the start of the holidays, and there is no better way to begin a celebration than with Champagne! I am enamored with Grower Champagnes. These are small production bubblies that are artisan-grown and produced in small quantities from the Champagne region of France. My fave for larger gatherings is the Gaston-Chiquet Brut Tradition Green Label. It is full and rich with all the apple, peach, ginger, and toasty notes of more well-known, mass-produced, and expensive Champagnes, yet it has a real sense of place and purpose and goes with everything on a holiday table.
Matt Stamp: Master Sommelier, Education Director for the Guild of Sommeliers, and co-proprietor of Compline, a wine bar and restaurant: I’m looking forward to Alsatian white wines this Thanksgiving—rich, spicy, fall-weather whites with great texture, ripeness, and body. Super-aromatic Gewürztraminer and honeyed Pinot Gris with a little residual sugar work well at a table covered in so many sweet and savory Thanksgiving classics. And golden, oily, dry Alsatian Riesling has the acidity to cut through an intense meal but the density to stand up to it as well. Domaine Bechtold is a personal favorite, especially the estate’s Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer from the Silberberg vineyard. For a splurge, Bechtold’s dry Grand Cru Engelberg Riesling is amazing.
Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier and wine educator, speaker, and writer: My Thanksgiving white is the 2007 Robert Weil Riesling Spätlese from the Kiedricher Gräfenberg vineyard from the Rheingau in Germany. Riesling is arguably the best Thanksgiving white of all. Many of the elements of Thanksgiving have a touch of sweetness, and this wine in particular is slightly sweet in style and has low alcohol, very high acidity, and no oak. It’s versatile, flexible with food, and delicious.
Fernando Beteta, Master Sommelier and Co-Founder of Tenzing Wine & Spirits in Chicago: I’ll be serving Dashe Cellars, Les Enfants Terribles Zinfandel, Heart Arrow Ranch, Mendocino, California. This is a domestic wine, which I like to highlight on an American holiday. It’s ideal for hearty dishes but does not have all the oak or tannin to overpower turkey. It’s as close to Beaujolais as you can get, with a touch of ripe fruits, spices, and decent acid.
And here are a few more stories that we think you’ll enjoy:
The Salonniere Turkey Top 40: A Thanksgiving holiday playlist
Tips for creating a delicious and festive cheese plate
Champagne tricks to wow your guests
The Salonniere 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
The Best Thanksgiving Wines
Welcome Photo and Quote Mashup
Introductory photo: Ann Miller
Introductory quote: It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946