For a lighter red he likes the 2009 Pfaffl Austrian Cherry Zweigelt ($14). It’s vibrant and juicy but not overly sweet and so won’t clash with herby plates.
David LeClaire, founder of Wine World
LeClaire gives a thumbs up to the 2009 Walla Walla Vintners sangiovese ($23), a medium-bodied red with a “light smoky finish that adds just enough flavor to the turkey.”
His favorite white for pilgrim food: the 2010 Corvus viogner ($15). “Viogners can sometimes be too tropical and floral, " he explains, "but this one is restrained and subtle—not sweet, not tart, not oaky.” In other words, neutral enough to play nicely with all the flavors on the table.
For plates like ham and smoked meats, Brown likes Lazarre pinot noir ($32). An oakier red might compete with the fare, but Lazarre’s soft palate will complement the food’s fruity undertones.
To brighten the meal, opt for the 2010 Alba Cor ($16), a blend of pinot gris and gewurztraminer. The mix makes for a dry, mellowed zest—a refreshingly light combo for a heavy holiday meal.
Jenny Klock, co-owner of Picnic
Looking for a white to pair with hearty appetizers? Try the 2010 Two Vintners grenache blanc ($26). Klock pours it alongside squash soup in her own deli, noting it pairs well with root vegetables.
If you’re looking to stray from a standard pinot noir, Klock recommends the 2008 Wysling Reserva ($26)—a blend of equal parts malbec, tempranillo, grenache, and mourvedre. “The sum of these parts,” she says, “is a smooth, well-balanced wine whose earthiness can stand up to the dark meats of the Thanksgiving table.”
For a white wine he prefers the 2010 Ross Andrew Meadow ($15), a blend of mostly pinot blanc. “It has a very pleasing fruitiness and perky acidity,” he says, “which are both necessary to accommodate the wide range of flavors on the table.”