Magazine article Sunset

What Bottle to Bring: Wine Editor Sara Schneider Shares Her Holiday Favorites

Magazine article Sunset

What Bottle to Bring: Wine Editor Sara Schneider Shares Her Holiday Favorites

Article excerpt

It's no shocker that for my family's Thanksgiving dinners, I'm expected to bring the wine. But my siblings don't make it easy! One year, the turkey might be roasted with rosemary; the next, rubbed with ground chiles and smoked. The dressing might involve sourdough and chanterelles or cornbread and chorizo. All of this adds up to a serious wine challenge. When the only thing I know about the dishes I'll be matching is that they'll be spicy, sweet, and savory, I opt for wines with three main characteristics: generous fruit, good acidity, and minerality or earthiness.

My go-to white is Riesling. Its racy acidity handles vinaigrettes; its stone-fruit flavors snuggle up to fruit and root veggies. And if it's a tiny bit sweet, even better. The flavor cacophony that is Thanksgiving makes that a good thing.

On the red front, I pick Pinot Noir. It's also high in acidity, with red berry/cranberry fruit that works well with cranberry sauce. Pinot often also has layers of warm baking spice, resiny herbs, forest floor, and mushroom notes that link to the rotating ingredients of the day.

RIESLING

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Dry

(Columbia Valley; $10). The nose is all peaches and cream, edgy with pleasant petrol; lemon flavors and tart green apple follow with a peach redux on the finish.

Elk Cove 2012 Estate

(Willamette Valley; $19). Fresh green apple and haunting honeysuckle; the touch of sweetness is countered by zippy white peach and lime, so the wine seems quite dry.

Long Shadows 2013 Poet's Leap

(Columbia Valley; $20). …

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