The holidays are fast approaching, and so we interviewed our in-store wine experts for some essential information on the do’s and don’ts of Thanksgiving. Chris Miller (Sommelier) Lisa Schock (Sommelier), Ambrose Havey and Pauline Fink (Buyers) share their secrets for the best wine, gift giving, and family recipes, and more, to make your turkey day something to remember!
What is your go to varietal for Thanksgiving? And in three words or less, why?
Chris: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Pinot Grigio. Versatile and delicious.
Lisa: Kabinett Riesling. Refreshing, ethereal, compelling.
Ambrose: Crowd pleasing, layered reds, like blends or Cotes du Rhone.
Pauline: Champagnes! Festive. Versatile. Refreshing.
And if you were to drink something more off-the-beaten-path?
Chris: A Pinot Gris from New Zealand, Oregon or Alsace. Delicious.
Lisa: An elegant, bright, red blend from Sicily’s Etna Rosso region, like Cos Pithos.
Ambrose: A refreshing, effervescent hard apple cider, like Eve’s Autumn Gold.
Pauline: A rich, complex white from Austria, like Leth’s Roter Veltliner.
What would you avoid drinking with the feast?
Chris: Beaujolais Nouveau (get a cru Beaujolais instead)
Lisa: White wines that are too light (eg. Vhino Verde)
Ambrose: High alcohol reds, because they would overpower the turkey.
Pauline: Heavily oaked chardonnay, way to big & rich.
How about a cocktail or aperitif to start off the festivities?
Chris: Sherry fino or Few Bourbon up.
Lisa: A Rye Manhattan.
Ambrose: Crop cucumber vodka on the rocks with fresh lemonade and basil.
Pauline: A Cranberry Gimlet
And what would you drink after dinner?
Chris: Single malt scotch.
Lisa: A German ice wine.
Ambrose: BitterGirl orange bitters with seltzer.
Pauline: A Sauternes from Bordeaux, the perfect way to end any meal.
Say you’re a guest at someone’s Thanksgiving feast, what wine would you bring to thank them for their labors? Why?
Chris: Rose champagne, you can’t go wrong.
Lisa: Black Button Bourbon Cream. Made with farm fresh NY state milk & boasting other-worldly caramel & vanilla flavors…heavenly.
Ambrose: Bloomery Sweetshine Black Walnut Cordial. A nutty, spicy, sweet after dinner sipper.
Pauline: Champagne! A nice vintage like 2004.
Do you have any not-so-secret family recipes, traditions, or tips to share?
Chris: No, they are secret for a reason!
Lisa: Every year we go to my mom’s and she makes an incredible sausage stuffing.
Ambrose: If you’re a guest- make sure to tell your host of any allergies- trust me.
Pauline: My aunt’s 5-layer tortilla dip, it’s our holiday ‘go-to’ appetizer.
Many of the varietals mentioned are available at a wide variety of price points. With such a breadth of tasty wines to choose from, perhaps you will be inspired to do your own tasting. If so, do let us know which wines YOU like best. You can comment right back here on our blog, on Facebook or in the store. We are excited to hear your opinions!
–Pauline Fink, Staff