Thanksgiving wine 1 of 2

This is the biggest week of the year for premium wine sales in San Angelo, with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday the biggest single day.

The feast challenges with so many varieties of food, from turkey to ham to yams to fresh vegetables and rice and pumpkin pie and… well, you get the idea. Ideal for multiple wines. Don’t pour one, pour two or more.

General guideline: pick wines with higher acidity, alcohol less than 14%, low tannin. This week, we focus on tried and true. Next week, unconventional.

Start with a Champagne or sparkling wine with enough weight and structure to handle a rich meal. Avoid sweet.

• Gruet Brut. Full bodied méthode champenoise from New Mexico. New Mexico? Yes, brilliant, fine bubbles. $16

• Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut. Quality California méthode champenoise; elegant, crisp, complex. $23

• Bollinger Special Cuvée. Complex aromas, flavors; powerful and graceful true Champagne from France. $63

Pinot Noir is a Thanksgiving no-brainer. More robust than white, but will not overpower. Serve slightly chilled to bring out fruitiness.

• Woodbridge Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d’Oc. Best of the 1.5 liter value wines. $13

• Anapamu Pinot Noir. Indian word for “Rising Place” (what would Thanksgiving be without Indians?), excellent from California. $15

• Row Eleven Santa Maria Pinot Noir. Shines with dark cherries, cola, spice, smoke. $35

Prefer white? Chardonnay is classic choice; Gewürztraminer has spice and nose to pair with spicy food. Slightly sweet Riesling, a Sauvignon Blanc, or White Burgundy will work if that’s what you like.

• Alexander Valley Vineyards New Gewurz. Clean, off-dry with distinctive aromas and fruits of Gewürztraminer. $10

• Mondavi Private Select Chardonnay. Ripe apple, melon, creamy oak. $11

• Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay. Blockbuster, complex, round, creamy. Splurge—it’s Thanksgiving. $61