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12 wines for holiday meals just in time for Thanksgiving

Time:2016-11-19 06:29wine - Red wine life health Click:

wines Thanksgiving Holiday time Meals

Editor's note: Dan Davis, who oversees the 2,600-bottle wine list at Commander's Palace and is known around town as the "Wine Guy," offers his guidance as you select wines for your holiday table. The wines are reasonably priced and the advice clear and concise.

Thanksgiving is a glorious holiday in New Orleans: It's all about food, family and friends — with a liberal sprinkling of football and crisp weather. The road through November is a good one here. The kids are back in school. Seemingly everyone is enjoying the outdoors. We still have hope that the Saints will go all the way.

And, we collectively anticipate a delicious holiday meal. But, what the heck do we plan to drink with it?

With all of the various and disparate dishes, sauces and flavors that go into holiday spreads, wine selections can be daunting.

We've got you covered.

White wine with turkey?

Everyone knows that you should drink white wine with poultry. Right? Wrong! All of the flavors of a traditional roasted (or fried!) turkey nearly beg for something bigger. Rosemary and sage and browned, buttery roasted turkey skin and giblet gravy -- these are foods that dance beautifully with a full bodied dry rosé or a light to medium bodied red wine.

• Château de Ségriès Tavel rosé, Rhône Valley, France (Acquistapace's: $16.99)
• Domaine Dupeuble/Kermit Lynch Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, France (Bacchanal: $24)
• Château de la Font du Loup Côtes-du-Rhône, Rhône Valley, France (Swirl Wine Bar & Market: $20)

It's polite to have white wine for those who want it. Here are two rich and delicious chardonnays for holiday quaffing:

• Joseph Drouhin Mâcon-Bussières "Les Clos", Burgundy, France (Hopper's Carte des Vins: $18)
• Josh Cellars Chardonnay, California (Rouses Market: $11)

The roast or the brisket

Whether you do a rib roast or a pork roast or a nice, smoky brisket, you need a wine with some chutzpah. It's really important that the red wine be fruit-driven without a lot of tannin (that slightly bitter, mouth-drying component found in lots of really big reds). Also, it needs to be flexible enough to go with lots of different foods. Here are a couple of reds that will have everyone begging for another hunk of meat:

• Tenuta Olim Bauda Grignolino d'Asti Piedmont, Italy (Bacchanal: $27)
• Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Old Vines "Cuvée Traditionnelle" (Hopper's Carte des Vins: $16)

Bubbles make it festive

With all of the work involved in pulling off a successful holiday feast it can be easy to forget that this is a celebration, and all celebrations deserve bubbles! Champagne, the ultimate expression of effervescence, can get pricey. I recommend you have a bottle of the really good stuff on hand, but hide it well so no one opens it by mistake. If everything goes perfectly you can open it for yourself and your honey once the crowd has dispersed.

But for the mob's sparkling consumption, there are some truly delicious and remarkably affordable options out there:

• Lamarka Prosecco DOC, Veneto, Italy (Rouses Supermarket: $13)
• Graham Beck Brut Rosé, Western Cape, South Africa (Hopper's Carte des Vins: $20)
• Marie-Pierre Manciat Brut Crémant de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France (Swirl Wine Bar & Market: $24)

Dan Davis of Commander's Palace says: All of the flavors of a traditional roasted (or fried!) turkey 'nearly beg for' a full bodied dry rose or a light to medium bodied red wine. (Photo from Momentous Photo, istock) 

Don't forget the cook

There's a lot of work to do before everyone finally gets to the table. No one really wants to undertake such a Herculean task without refreshment. Here are a couple of delicious options with a little less alcohol than most wines, so you can stay perky without tipping over:

Domaine Dupeuble/Kermit Lynch Beaujolais Nouveau, Burgundy, France (Bacchanal: $24)
• Savino Prosecco DOC, Veneto, Italy (Acquistapace's: $10)

You may have noticed that wines from Beaujolais have been recommended in three different categories for your holiday table. That's because they're awesome.

The wines of this southern extension of Burgundy in France, made from the humble Gamay grape, have long been one of my favorites for all kinds of food and for just plain drinkin'. They can be light or medium bodied and are particularly delicious with a slight chill. Put the bottle in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before you open it.

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