by Fred McMillin
for November 12, 1999


Winery of the Week

Countdown to Thanksgiving
What to Pour with the Bird



Dear Fred,
I like Beringer wines. Which one should I serve with my Thanksgiving turkey?

...Reader Judy Lorentz

Answer # 1

If you wish to serve only one wine, make it an interesting light red...the brand spanking new Beringer Nouveau. The grapes were still on the vine only weeks ago, and almost all your guests will be interested in how one of the very first wines of 1999 tastes.

Answer #2

Beringer Nouveau Offer TWO wines, the Nouveau and a white. Which white? Frank Prial in The New York Times says "most white wines are overwhelmed by the strong-flavored turkey, which is more akin to a game bird than to chicken...However, among the exceptions are big California Chardonnays. They can hold their own with turkey." So offer a Beringer Chardonnay along with the Nouveau.

Postscript #1

Flashback! In 1991 Gourmet Magazine did a nine-page article on Thanksgiving dinner with Roast Turkey, Country Ham Stuffing and Giblet Gravy. What wine was paired with it? The envelope please...The winner is the 1991 Beringer Nouveau!

Postscript #2—The German Connection

Beringer Vineyards was founded in the Napa Valley by German-born Jacob Beringer. That was back in 1876. However, Germans had shown a strong interest in the turkey long before then. The turkey was discovered in America in 1513. Not so many decades later, Ein Neu Kockbuck (A New Cookbook) was published in Frankfurt, Germany containing TWENTY recipes for turkey dishes. I can find nothing in any other country to match this fast start.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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