While planning the Thanksgiving menu, we scanned our shelf of favorites to compile the wine list. We looked for something to please a variety of tastes and came up with a red, a white and a sparkler, each of which will pair sublimely with turkey and all the trimmings - and each of which is an American wine, for this all-American holiday. We plan to have all three on hand.
For our white wine, we recommend a crazy mixed-up blend from Oregon that thrills us with each new "edition." The wine is Sokol Blosser Evolution, 16th edition. Here's what we said in this space a couple of years ago:
"Styled simply an American White Wine, Evolution somersaults onto the tongue and lands with both feet, executes a few showy backflips complete with a twist and then dismounts with a big laugh, leaving your palate surprised, exhilarated and ready for anything."
Every word holds true today. Expect citrus, crisp acidity, floral undertones and a flawlessly clean and refreshing finish. Serve it as an aperitif or with the main course.
Our choice for a red is Meiomi Pinot Noir, a buoyant and subtle wine blended from grapes sourced from three coastal California counties. Look for dominant notes of ripe fig, white cake, ripe blackberry, understated vanilla and, right at the end of a long supple finish, a little cola zing. Colette is a dark meat fan and this wine will sing with thigh or drumstick, as well as with sage dressing and candied yams. If you're going out for that big dinner, Meiomi Pinot Noir has become a staple on many restaurant wine lists.
We'll look to New Mexico for our bubbles, specifically to a French house now making seven classic sparkling wines from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes in the New World. Our favorite among them is the Gruet Methode Champenoise Brut, a nonvintage delight fermented in stainless steel, then aged for 24 months en tirage, the French term for aging a sparkling wine during secondary fermentation in the bottle "on the yeast." This is what gives it the classic toastiness and unstoppable fine bubbles that characterize the best sparklers.
Drink it from appetizers right through dessert with confidence.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.