By The Glass

Richard Field

Wine suggestions
to blend with
Thanksgiving dinner

Preparations for Thanksgiving can be complicated, involved and a lot of work. So I'm going to suggest some wines that you should be able to find easily in your favorite supermarket.

Matching wine with roast turkey is easy. The challenge is everything else that goes with it: sweet potatoes with marshmallows, chestnut or oyster-studded dressing, sweet and tart cranberry sauce. Roast beef, teriyaki chicken, kalbi ribs, sushi and fish can also be found on local tables.

You'll probably need more than one wine. Not just because there are so many types of food, but also because of the many preferences of your dinner guests.

Here are some quick rules of thumb that are especially true at Thanksgiving:

>> You want wines that have some acidity.

>> You don't want bitterness, unless it's matched with bitterness in the food or fattiness, as in a steak.

>> Keep the alcohol level moderate to low.

>> Include wines with a little sweetness, especially if there is sweetness in the food.

This time of the year, everyone is touting the versatility of the fresh, fruity red wine that acts like a white, beaujolais nouveau, and for good reason. The nouveau version, as well as higher beaujolais cru wines, offer good acidity, soft, crushed-berry flavors and a touch of fruity sweetness that makes this wine enjoyable by those with many different tastes.

Zinfandel is also a favorite because it is a quintessential American wine for this American holiday. It also has plenty of fruit and a characteristic pepperiness that helps it stand up to the diverse flavors of this feast. Shiraz can be great, too. But be careful not to get one that is overblown in style.

White wines should be fresh and bright, not heavy. Rieslings, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc fit these criteria. They also tend be lower in alcohol, making them easier drinking.

Now here are some specific bottles that won't break the budget and will fit the above requirements.

Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2003 ($10.99): The "villages" quality is offered only at Foodland Supermarkets. Samples will be poured from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at R. Field Wine Co. locations in the Beretania Street and Kailua Foodland stores.

Edna Valley Vineyard Shiraz ($12.99), Rosemount Shiraz ($8.99), Penfold's Rawson's Retreat Shiraz ($5.99) or Banrock Station Shiraz ($4.99): These have good fruit without being too "big."

Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Zinfandel ($12.99), Kenwood Zinfandel ($11.99), Kendall-Jackson Zinfandel ($9.99) and Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel ($8.99): All offer lightly spiced, solid wines that focus on youthful berry fruit with elements of pepper and spice.

Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99), Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99), Kendall-Jackson Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99) and Meridian Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99): All have pear and green-apple flavors that become zesty and tangy.

Antinori Chianti Classico ($8.99): Offers bright fruit and good tang, too.

Consider also Cavit Pinot Grigio ($5.99), white zinfandels such as Beringer, Woodbridge and Sutter Home -- and don't forget champagne or American sparklers, all available in good supply in supermarkets.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Richard Field owns R. Field Food and Wine Co. This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.

This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to


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