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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

This Thanksgiving, these Charleston wine pros can help you set the table

From bubbles to Beaujolais

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 2:39 PM

click to enlarge Vintage Lounge's Nathan Wheeler (above, top) has a few picks for holiday entertaining - LEA-ANN BEVERLY
  • Lea-Ann Beverly
  • Vintage Lounge's Nathan Wheeler (above, top) has a few picks for holiday entertaining
You know what's worse than worrying over spilled milk? Stressing over bad wine. There's still time to secure bottles of sparkling, white, and red for Thanksgiving, and these area wine pros have done the work for you. Here's what they'll be sipping on this year:

Nathan Wheeler

Vintage Lounge co-owner and certified sommelier

Bereche et Fils, France, Champagne, Reserve ($50). "A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier, this is the pefect wine to welcome your guests."
Scribe, USA, California, Chardonnay, 2015 ($30). "Two brothers make this wine in a French style."
Arnot Roberts, USA, California, Trousseau ($22). "Light, refreshing, good tannins, and I like to serve with a bit of chill on it this is a fun turkey wine. Doesn't over power the flavor of the bird, while working in coordination with the cranberries."
Bodegas Toro Albala, Spain, Pedro Ximenez, Sherry ($30.) "1988 Vintage! This is a show stopper with dessert. The Bodega has been around for a few hundred years, and the current owners cellar the wines in an old electrical station they've had restored."
click to enlarge Find Sarah O'Kelley upstairs at EOX - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Find Sarah O'Kelley upstairs at EOX

Sarah O'Kelley

Edmund's Oast wine director, Edmund's Oast Exchange GM, blogs at grapetotable.com

Bubbles Solve all Problems

"Bubbles are perfect with any food — scrubbing your palate clean after every delicious bite. Whether you are buying a half bottle to enjoy while you cook or having bubbles throughout your meal...they are mandatory for me! The dark horse favorite at our weekend bubbly tasting was Lunaris Secco, sparkling Malvasia from Emilia Romagna, Italy."

Acid Cuts Richness
"Most industry folks always bring up Riesling as a perfect wine for the holiday table as it has that mouth watering acidity that works beautifully with butter laden casseroles, gravies, etc. The acid acts as a refresher (much like the bubbles) and keeps you going back for more. I highly recommend the Teutonic Riesling from Oregon for an all American choice, but if you are not a Riesling fan there are plenty of other bright whites I would recommend — like Chenin Blanc (my favorite!) or Chardonnay from

Most industry folks always bring up Riesling as a perfect wine for the holiday table as it has that mouth watering acidity that works beautifully with butter laden casseroles, gravies, etc. The acid acts a refresher (much like the bubbles) and keeps you going back for more! I highly recommend the Teutonic Riesling from Oregon for an all American choice, but if you are not a Riesling fan there are plenty of other bright whites I would recommend — like Chenin Blanc (my favorite!) or Chardonnay from a cool climate."

Food and Family Friendly Reds are a Necessity
"I truly believe that we should all drink our own favorites all of the time so if BIG, rich reds are your thing then certainly enjoy them with your turkey. But I would also suggest a few 'lighter' reds that will keep you and your palate energized! Pinot Noir always jumps to mind for Thanksgiving as it often boasts tart, red fruit flavors that work well with turkey (just like cranberry sauce!) I am thinking it will be fun to open Pinot Noirs from two of my favorite new world regions — Sonoma Coast, California and Willamette Valley, Oregon, specifically County Line and Eyrie Vineyards."

Ball on a Budget
"There are good quality liter bottles and boxed wines at many small wine shops. I would recommend liters of Gruner Veltliner and Zweigelt — Austrian deliciousness. And I would recommend boxed Gamay from Herrison, a small producer in France."

click to enlarge Wine & Co.’s Josh Walker is ready to chat with you about wine - RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith
  • Wine & Co.’s Josh Walker is ready to chat with you about wine

Joshua Walker

Wine & Co. owner


"At Wine & Company, we love Thanksgiving because it combines exactly that — good wine and great company." Here are Walker's picks:

"Think gamay. We all know and love wines from Burgundy. This year, opt for Burgundy’s little brother and go for a Cru Beaujolais. The biggest grape missing from your rotation is gamay. These wines are a wonderful option because of their subtle nature and complexity. They will do the heavy lifting for most of the meal. Not only is this wine perfect for holiday meals but, gamay harvested from one of the ten Crus will be sure to over-deliver for the price you pay. An added bonus — many of the producers in Beaujolais are organic and sustainable produce farmers who put serious focus on the purity of the wines they create.

When in doubt, grab bubbles. When you have rich, salty, or meaty food groups on the menu, nothing pairs as gracefully as bubbles. This year opt for a rosé version of the classics. The added texture from skin contact during fermentation will create power, while the bubbles and fresh acidity will give your palate a serious pick-me-up. Don’t be afraid to look at sparkling wine outside of Champagne either.

There are some beautiful Pét Nat (Pétillant Naturel — minimalist, ancient style of sparkling wine) options in the market like Cruse from Santa Barbara. Or, dust off that bottle you've been waiting for the right occasion to drink, because a
Thanksgiving meal is begging for Champagne.

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