Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita wine experts offer their Thanksgiving meal picks

Chow Town blogger Dave Eckert offer tips on what wines to have with Thanksgiving dinner.
Chow Town blogger Dave Eckert offer tips on what wines to have with Thanksgiving dinner. File photo

The Thanksgiving meal is already full of so many difficult choices. White meat or dark meat? Cranberries from a can or from a bog? Corn bread stuffing or white bread stuffing?

Once that’s all decided, who has energy left to choose a wine?

If that decision stymies you, local wine experts are here to help. We recently asked members of our “Wine of the Week” panel to tell us which locally sold wine they’d choose to go with their turkey dinner.

Here’s what they recommended:

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, $10.99

“Over the years I’ve heard a lot of sommeliers and wine experts pooh-pooh the idea of Beaujolais Nouveau with Thanksgiving dinner, and I must offer a defense. Although it is not the only wine served at our table on this day of overindulgence, it always finds a place. Beaujolais Nouveau is cheap and cheerful, soft and approachable. At this meal in particular, it’s nice to have something super easy that you can serve to guests who usually don’t drink wine. With a fruity character that always flirts with at least perception of being off-dry coupled with plenty of acidity, Beujolais Noveau stands up to many of the heavy and sweeter items on the table. Beaujolais Nouveau is just fun and the timing is perfect.” – John Michael, executive chef, lead instructor, Butler Community College Culinary Arts program

Apothic Red Blend, $10.99

“Smooth and easy to drink with hints of black cherry, vanilla and mocha, it will delight your palate. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have been drinking red wine forever – this wine is a nice blend that anyone will appreciate at your Thanksgiving table. You will appreciate the price as well.” – Crystal McDonald, owner of Xclusive Event Services

Legado del Moncayo Garnacha (Grenache) 2013, Campo de Borja, Spain, $13

“This is a great food wine because of its dark cherry and red fruit notes as well as the nice spice notes you expect with a Grenache. Will pair great with ham and cranberry sauce of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.” – Matt Coleman, CSW, director of wine at Auburn Spirits

Jean-Christophe Mandard Touraine Chenin Blanc, $14.99

“Pale yellow with notes of lime, quince and tea with a crisp texture and long pleasing finish of white and yellow fruits. Very refreshing and a perfect match for turkey and gravy.” – Theo Mellion, owner of Roche-Mere Wine Selections

2014 Gobelsburg Cistercien Rose, $15-$17

“This pink wine from Austria starts off soft and fruity and ends with a dry minerality. It allows the flavor of the food to take center stage, as a Thanksgiving meal should.” – Greg Rowe, Wichita Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food

2014 Terra d’Oro Chenin Blanc & Viognier, $16

“Probably one of the finest white blends to come from California in years, this wine is 87 percent Chenin, 13 percent Viognier and is a real crowd pleaser. Soft off-dry aromatics of peach and melon will grab those liking a hint of sweetness, but the rich, round but dry mouthfeel will catch the others. Tropical, light bodied with hints of citrus, kiwi and mango lingering. I love this stuff and it goes great with turkey and the array of sides on the Thanksgiving table.” – Guy Bower, “The Good Life” radio show

NV Cleto Chiarli “Premium” Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Italy $16.99

“Not your grandma’s Lambrusco. This wine is refined and delicious. Subtle notes of strawberry and minerals, laced with a light effervescence and hint of sweetness. Just a hint. This wine is technically dry and categorized as one of the finest Lambruscos in Italy. There isn’t a dish on the table that wouldn’t pair wonderfully with this wine.” – Jamie Stratton, Jacob Liquor Exchange, CSW, CWE

Sean Minor Pinot Noir, Caneros, $19.99

“My favorite wine for Thanksgiving is usually Pinot Noir because it pairs so well with both turkey and ham. This Thanksgiving, we’ll be serving Sean Minor Carneros Pinot Noir, which seems especially fitting since winemaker Sean Minor, who produces exceptional wines in California and Oregon, was born and raised in Kansas.” – Ruthanne Timm-Siedhoff, owner, Beyond Napa at Rock Island Studios

G. Descombes Morgon, Beaujolais, France, $18-$20

“Gamey grape that goes well with roasted game, turkey, chicken, pheasant. Young wine meat to be drunk early. Great price and value.” – Bobby Lane, Chester’s Chophouse

2012 Domaine Chamfort Vacqueyras, France $25.49

“A red that will satisfy your craving for a robust style of wine without overpowering your food. You want to taste your Thanksgiving meal, right? Finding a red with the right balance of acidity and tannins is key. This Grenache-based French wine is ideal. Notes of raspberry and peppery spice. A charming wine.” – Whitney Stratton, senior wine buyer at Jacob Liquor Exchange

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