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by Fred McMillin
for November 15, 2001

 

It's Time To Ask...

What Wine Do I
Buy For Thanksgiving?

 

Prologue

New York Times
"Never much of a California Chardonnay fan, I must admit it goes well with turkey... such as the Robert Mondavi Carneros Chardonnay...just right for the less than subtle taste of a roast turkey filled with a pungent dressing."—Frank Prial

San Francisco Chronicle
"Nouveau is the ultimate quaffing wine, fruity, grapey, and very drinkable, just the kind of red wine to complement a range of Thanksgiving flavors."—Gerald D. Boyd

Laurie Hook & Ed Sbragia

Laurie Hook and Ed Sbragia make Beringer Nouveau.

 

What To Buy? The Short Answer

Buy the Mondavi Chardonnay and Beringer Nouveau Year 2001, that has just been released. (pictured)

 

What To Buy? The Long Answer

For those who wish to grace their meal with more wines, here are some appropriate, high-scoring bottles from our recent blind tastings.

Aperitif - 1998 Vouvray by Michel Picard, Loire, France.
Importer: Brown-Forman, 100% Chenin Blanc, from the area of its origin.
Won Best White of Tasting. $12.
Note: I've tasted Vouvray in Vouvray, at sessions of the International Wine & Food Society in London, in N.Y., and San Francisco. I've always found the farther from home, the less character. Happily, this Picard has traveled well!
Contact—Sid Goldstein, FX (415) 444-7480.

Soup - One or two tablespoons of Sherry or Madeira add elegance to the aroma and flavor of each bowl. We enjoy soup three or four times a week, and these are the bottles in our frig:

    Sherry—Harvey's Club Classic Sherry, Medium Dry (Amontillado), $14. Contact—George Rose's office, FX (707) 433-3538.

    Madeira—Cossart Gordon Bual, $20, Contact: Dixie Gill, FX (415) 401-1712.

An Alternate Chardonnay—If the budget won't handle the Mondavi, here's a big bargin, with sufficient backbone.
Falling Star Chardonnay, Argentina, 2000,
Importer—Wildman, five dollars!
Contact Amy Mironov at FX (212) 355-4723.

Daniel Gehrs

Owner Daniel Gehrs has a great winemaker: Daniel Gehrs!

An Alternative Red—If you wish a little more fruity intensity than the Nouveau, grab the Daniel Gehrs '99 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, $25. My picky panel gave it an excellent. FX (805) 688-6121.

Cheese and Chocolate- Our spectrum of friends love a post-entrée course of chatting, cheese and chocolate...with a purple powerhouse Napa Cabernet...my tasters gave a rare excellent to the Jarvis "Lake William" blend, '98, $62.
Contact—Denise Hammerberg, FX (707) 255-5282.

Dessert—Kendall-Jackson Late Harvest Chardonnay, $20 for 375 ml. (1/2 bottle). The panel gave it a stratospheric ninety four. Botrytis at its best. Give it a simple dessert background...French vanilla ice cream and assorted, crisp cookies, or poppy seed cake with a simple icing. Gobble, gobble!

 

Postscript

Since we're going to celebrate a USA holiday, let us suggest including the USA's best wine grape, the Norton. At $20, buy the Private Reserve St. James Winery's Norton, Missouri, 1997. Contact Ann Miller, FX (573) 265-6200.

 

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 
 
 

This page created November 2001

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