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Wine for turkey: Match the sides, not the bird


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With a hint of sweetness

German Riesling Kabinett. German Riesling is light and fresh, and Kabinett is a grade of wine that is slightly sweet, but not too sweet. It can be floral and like a handful of fresh grapes.

Austrian Riesling, New York Riesling, andWashington State Riesling. Occasionally as good as the best German Rieslings, Austrian Rieslings are good values, and the best New Yorkers and Washingtonians, although not cheap, can be shockingly good.

Alsace Riesling. Similar to German Riesling, but often a bit more complex from aging in wood barrels.

Alsace Pinot Blanc. Refreshing, tart, complex, with just a hint of sweetness.

Alsace Pinot Gris and Oregon Pinot Gris. Light and tart. Steer away from California Pinot Gris. It is usually dull and boring.

French Rhone whites, American Viognier, American Rousanne, and American Marsanne. These are bigger wines, richer, complex, but rarely too sharp or harsh. Often reminiscent of tropical fruits.

Rosé and other pink wines. These wines are very refreshing and delightful. Alas, most are too sweet. But if you can find a good one that is off-dry, it will go well with your meal.

Drier wines

If your guests are into wine and prefers them bone dry, and if your meal is more savory than sweet:

Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. I love these wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and white wines from Bordeaux, but they are usually bone dry, and are not great matches to all the sweet stuff. If your meal is mostly savory, and your guests winos, go this route.

Pinot Noir and French Burgundy. The best of these are expensive, but they can be lighter than Cabernet and Merlot, and more tart, making them great foils for rich savory foods.

Click here for some websites that are good sources of specific wine recommendations.

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