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Bring on the turkey. Bring on the wine. Given the fact that I’ve never gotten the turkey part right — “This isn’t turkey,” was my son Charlie’s refrain the year I lovingly cooked an organic, free-range bird; “It’s, ugh, gamy!” my wife said, looking disgusted; “It’s pink inside!” they both hollered — I now confine myself to sommelier duties on Thanksgiving Day. Roast turkey, even when perfectly cooked, is rather a bland repast by itself. Hence the dressing, the cranberries, the stuffing and a good dose of briny sea salt all around. Hence, too, some good wine to wash it down with. At Chateau Anderson, “Thanksgiving lunch” starts late in the afternoon and goes well into the evening. While waiting for the turkey to cook — a long wait at our house — it’s always nice to have a glass of champagne in hand. The 1995 vintage bruts have just hit the market and are worth snapping up — this being the first really good vintage since 1990. As to what to drink with the turkey itself, I might well choose a very dry sherry: either a fino or a manzanilla (a slightly saltier version of fino). Best of all would be the extraordinary Oloroso “Pata de Gallino” from Emilio Lustau, a totally dry yet mellow sherry of ancient provenance that will astonish your guests. I’m also fond of turkey served with the various Alsatian dry white varietals. The 1990 gew�rztraminer “Tradition” from Hugel, the 1997 riesling “Cuv�e Fr�d�ric Emile” from Trimbach, or the lush and unusual (being a blend of riesling, gew�rztraminer, and pinot gris) 1999 “Burg” from Domaine Deiss would all do nicely. Safer pairings, however, do exist. The tried-and-true match is with beaujolais. If you go in this direction, go for the top: The best beaujolais I know of comes from the Ch. des Jacques. Its ’99 “Clos la Roche” is fantastic. I’d also recommend any good red or white burgundy from the very fine ’99 vintage. Try, for example, Bouchard’s white Beaune, the “Clos St. Landry”; or the rich red Pommard “Les Rugiens” from Fran�ois Parent. If you like a bit more, er, stuffing in your wine — and wish to go all-American — I highly recommend the Joseph Phelps cabernet sauvignon and the Grgich Hills chardonnay, both from the Napa Valley, both from the excellent 1999 vintage. Finally, there should be room for some port at the end of your “lunch.” For 2002 I choose the velvety, elegant 1985 Fonseca. At about $100, it’s a bargain. After that, your Turkey Day will be complete.
THANKSGIVING DAY WINES � 1995 Champagne Taittinger, $40 � 1995 Champagne Mo�t et Chandon, $40 � Lustau Almacenista Oloroso “Pata de Gallino” Sherry (Solera Matured by Juan Garcia Jarana, 1/38), $30 � 1990 Alsace Gew�rztraminer “Tradition” (Hugel), $45 � 1997 Alsace Riesling “Cuv�e Fr�d�ric Emile” (Trimbach), $30 � 1999 Alsace “Burg” (Dom. Deiss), $30 � 1999 Ch. des Jacques “Clos la Roche,” $22 � 1999 Beaune 1er Cru blanc “Clos St. Landry” (Dom. Bouchard), $40 �1999 Pommard 1er Cru “Les Rugiens” (Dom. Fran�ois Parent), $50 � 1999 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $40 � 1999 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay, $35 � 1985 Fonseca, $100 (These are target prices.)

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