We’re all looking for wine recommendations for the Thanksgiving feast, so we asked David Mogridge of Williams-Sonoma Wine for some of his crowd-pleasing favorites. Find his picks and comments below, but don’t forget these tips, too: have plenty of glasses and decant everything. All the wins on this list will greatly benefit with some air. While the decanter is sitting, set it on a bed of ice in a big bowl to help keep the temperature just right.
Toast a special occasion meal with a glass of bubbly — Mogridge recommends these two picks.
NV Coquilette Les Clés Chouilly Champagne: “This an absolutely spectacular non-vintage champagne, with great balance and complexity and a good weight.”
White wines can make excellent pairings with poultry, from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay and Riesling. If you choose white, look for a medium-bodied wine like these.
2010 Greywacke Wild Sauvignon: “This is one of the best, most interesting and most compelling Sauvignon Blancs I’ve ever tasted. From the original winemaker at Cloudy Bay, it’s textured and layered with a wild floral, honeysuckle nose and balanced fruit and length.”
2010 Val de Mer Chablis: “Patrick Piuze is an important young winemaker in Burgundy, and this is his second, more affordable label. It has great minerality balanced with ripe lemon flavors — a classically proportioned Chablis, bright, light and delicious.”
2009 Robert Craig Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard: “We love Robert Craig’s wines. Theyhave incredible balance and elegance while retaining ripe, bold fruit — they’re world-class and affordable. This Durell chardonnay isn’t too cloying or overbearing; California chardonnay lovers will instantly recognize the touch of richness and weight, but wine geeks will appreciate the minerality, stone fruit flavors and acidity.”
2009 Altenkirch Lorcher Schlossberg Riesling: “This is the real deal, such a delicious combination of acidity, fruit and a touch of sweetness. It would be perfect with a buttermilk-brined bird. It’s complex and crowd-pleasing — and will give you plenty of credibility with wine folks!”
Looking for a red to pair with your turkey? Mogridge says Pinot Noir is the most traditional and accessible wine for poultry, but he’s thrown in an Italian wine at the end for good measure. Read on for his favorites.
2009 Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Roncevie: “This is a great, all-around example of Burgundy — expertly crafted, clean and elegant. Everyone I pour this wine for loves it, regardless of palate. Cherry, a dash of mushroom, perfect length — yum.”
2007 Domaine Latour Corton Grand Cru: “If you want to get serious about pinot, drink a Grand Cru from a stalwart producer like Latour, who has been making wine since 1797. And drink from a classically feminine vintage like 2007. This wine has incredible depth and nuance and a magical weight and texture. It’s one of the best wines we sell.”
2007 Donum Pinot Noir: “This is a Sonoma pinot from some of the best sites and people. It’s great for those who like richness but still want balance.”
2011 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir: “I am really enjoying some pinot from New Zealand now, and this is a delicious crowd pleaser. New Zealand pinots have a nice mix of bright cherry fruit and ripeness that is most similar to Oregon. There’s a great purity of flavor in this compact and fun wine.”
2007 Ronchi Barbaresco: “This nebbiolo features floral notes complemented by weighty fruit, richness and a specific depth that only Italians can achieve. The combination makes this wine intriguing, complex and wonderful — and very affordable for what it is.”
1998 Niepoort Colheita Port: “This is port done right by the winemaker with the correct amount of age (15 years). Seriously complex, not at all cloying or overly sweet. Buy two — you’ll need them!”