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Thanksgiving: What We’re Drinking | Luke Sykora

You know the saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” But what about too many sommeliers?

The W&S staff plays sommelier at our respective Thanksgiving feasts, a role often complicated by family traditions—some loved, some eagerly forgotten. Or by the food—a subject on which everyone has an opinion. Or, in some years, by the family…. There are those Thanksgivings, in fact, in which we wish we could simply nab our favorite dish and bottle of wine and take them off to someplace quiet to enjoy them in peace. Here are some of our favorite bottles and dishes—and a few recipes to boot.

Luke Sykora
Senior Editor (SF)
Loire Valley Pinot d’Aunis, Vouvray Demi-Sec and North Coast Zinfandel

After brining a heritage turkey for days last year and still ending up unimpressed, I’m abandoning turkey once and for all this Thanksgiving. I’ll probably roast a chicken instead, using the method detailed in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food.

This year we’re going to a small gathering at a Buddhist friend’s house, so it’s not going to exactly be a meat-fest. I’ll bring some wines that will play well with vegetables, like cabernet franc and pineau d’Aunis from the Loire. Or an older Huet Demi-Sec that’s kicking around in my wine storage unit. That should be versatile enough to take on savory stuffing and turkey—make that chicken—roasted squash, squash enchiladas, chestnut soup…. And since it’s an American holiday, I’ll bring along a bottle of zinfandel to share, something more fresh than heavy, like Broc’s Vine Starr or something from Storybook or Frog’s Leap or the 2011 Nance’s Vineyard Zinfandel from Ousterhout, one of the more transparent and refreshing California reds I tasted in the past year.


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Tags  Thanksgiving Picks  W&S Staff