The Thanksgiving Spirits: What Bottles To Serve with the Turkey and Fixin's

Suggestions for the holiday table from Belmont's three providers of great beverages.

The Spirited Gourmet's Dave Wolf holding a selection for the Thanksgiving table; a Domaine Pral’s "Beaujolais Blanc" 2011.
The Spirited Gourmet's Dave Wolf holding a selection for the Thanksgiving table; a Domaine Pral’s "Beaujolais Blanc" 2011.
While many hosts will spend days, if not weeks, to create that perfect Thanksgiving Day meal, when it comes to what bottle of wine or beer to place on the table, the decision is much more haphazard. 

Deciding on the spirits to pair with the turkey and the rest of the meal usually ends up being a last-minute dash to the "packy" or serving the same bottle wine which was used cooking the meal. 

So, if you are looking for that wine or beer, you don't have to go far for some top-notch selections as Belmont has three stores that has everything you'd need to find the best alcohol beverage for a holiday associated with good food. 

Kate Baker, one of the co-owners – with Suzanne Schalow – of the original Craft Beer Cellar (51 Leonard St.) store in Belmont Center, suggests a drink that is growing with popularity, cider. And her favorite is Wunderkind ($7.75) brewed by the Bantam Cider Company in neighboring Cambridge. It's a six-percent modern cider which is made of fresh-pressed apples with a hint of honey and sparkling wine yeast "which gives it a nice clean crisp effervesce. It's the best cider I've ever had," said Baker.

For the beer lover at the table on Thursday, Baker suggests Rosemary For Remembrance ($9.25) from Everett's Idle Hands Craft Ales, a Belgium-style golden ale with a great "nose" with a deeper, darker color associated with most beers of this type as it is brewed with sweet potatoes and rosemary "and rosemary goes great with anything your serving on Thanksgiving be it turkey or ham or pasta." 

Across the street from the Cellar at Vintages Adventures in Wine (32 Leonard St.) Senior Wine Consultant Brian DePaul Carey suggests a red and a white from the northwest region of Italy as perfect to pair with your holiday meal.

Rather than select a Riesling, the go-to white wine for white meat, Carey picked “Sorriso di Cielo” 2012 ($25) from the La Tosa vineyard. Using the malvasia grape, "it's almost like biting into a ripe peach." While dry, "this has a great fruity 'nose' that will allow this to go well with white meats, cheeses and vegetables," he said. 

For his red, Carey does go with the light-bodied Pinot Noir, the standard vintage for Thanksgiving. But his selection is a bit darker using a rare grape from the Piedmont region. "Verduno Pelaverga 'Speziale'" 2012 ($23) from the Fratelli Alessandria winery has a "fantastic spiciness that goes well with the dark meat of the turkey and the great panoply of flavors on the Thanksgiving day table."

"What both of these [wines] have which makes them good food wines is acidity," said Carey. "While each is fruity and flavorful, they both cleanse the palate which makes you want to take another bite," he said. 

Up in Cushing Square, sales associate Dave Wolf at The Spirited Gourmet (448 Common St.) said he would look for accessibility, a "crowd pleaser that will be welcomed by a great number of palates." For a strong white, Wolf would select a wine made from the Roussanne grape grown originally in the Rhone region in France, such as the "Rossanne" 2012 ($12.99) from the Verget du Sud vineyard. 

"It's nice and dry much like a Chardonnay. It has some oak taste but not too crazy so it's very approachable to many people," said Wolf. 

Wolf also likes a Chardonnay such as Domaine Pral’s "Beaujolais Blanc" 2011 (15.99) from an region of France where only one percent of wines produced in that region are whites. While the red Beaujolais is associated with very young wines that need to be consumed soon after being bottled, this white is "very clean and crisp and has good acidity to it. It's a very easy-going wine that will not overpower the meal and that's important." 


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