November 2004                              


Wines of the month - Paul DeRose

Turkey Day is fast approaching and I’m sure many of you have already made travel plans, ordered your bird, sketched out your menu or dusted off the appropriately festive set of plates. But what about the wine? With the wide variety of flavors involved in this wonderfully traditional meal, including white meat, dark meat, stuffing(s), candied yams, mashed potatoes, squash, turnip, cranberry sauce, ..., you name it, it is not surprising that there exists a variety of red and white wines that can make an exciting match for the meal. My first word of advice is to choose a wine that is consistent with the themes of the meal, that is, the wine should be hearty and rich and in abundance, so not too expensive, and, of course, it should be American. In reds, I aim for those that possess red berry fruit with a combination of tartness and sweetness (sounds like I’m describing cranberry sauce), such as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. In whites, I also think the tart but sweet idea goes well, but enough power is also needed to stand up to the food, so my favorite choices here are California sparklers and richly styled Chardonnays.

Below I have listed some of my favorites in order of preference with their average retail price alongside. Feel free to direct any questions or comments to me at

• 2002 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($17) *
• 2002 Sebastiani Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($15) *
• 2002 Meridian Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($9) *

• 2001 St. Francis Sonoma County Zinfandel ($17) *
• 2002 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel ($15) *
• 2001 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma County Zinfandel ($12) *

• 2000, 2001 Domaine Carneros Brut ($21) *
• Roederer Estate Brut ($23) *
• Domaine St. Michelle Brut ($11) *

• 2002 Ferrari Carano Alexander Valley Chardonnay ($22)*
• 2002 Frei Brothers Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay ($14)*
• 2002 Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay ($12)*

* indicates available in Montgomery County