However, the side dishes have interesting challenges, so while Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are certainly excellent choices, a couple variations in wine selection can make for a far better Thanksgiving dinner.
South African wine is appearing more often in the state, and the Neil Ellis Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent introduction to this often-overlooked region of the winemaking world. The Sincerely is fruity and balanced and pairs well with poultry and stuffing. To try it first, buy it by the glass at Cheevers Cafe, 409 N. Hudson Ave., and The Metro, 6418 N. Western Ave.
New to the state is the Tortoise Creek line from France. Packaged and marketed for American wine lovers, the wines are affordable and approachable. The Cuvee Jeanne Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and fruity, with enough acid to pair well with lighter Thanksgiving fare. Its available by the glass at Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St., and on the shelf at Cellar Wine & Spirits, 555 W. Main St. in Norman.
The Tortoise Creek line includes a delicious alternative for the main courses: an old vine Carignan. Its nearly impossible to find one of this quality at this price, under $13 a bottle. The Carignan is fruit forward but structured enough to handle the ham or turkey. Try it by the glass at The Wedge Pizzeria, 4709 N. Western Ave., or Flips Wine Bar & Trattoria, 5801 N. Western Ave.
For a bit of a splurge, opt for the Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc. From the legendary California winemaker of the same name, this Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most highly rated wines in its class every year. Its rare to find one with this much structure and elegance. Drink it with the meal or before the meal. Its widely available in the metro, but you can definitely find it at Edmond Wine Shop, 1520 S. Boulevard St., and Spirit Shop, 1117 Garver St. in Norman.
above Pinot Noir at Beaus
Sarapo Family Wines are new to the metro, and the Pinot Noir (about $20) is here in time for Thanksgiving. Finding a quality Pinot for $20 but Sarapo is a solid choice. Not as funky or serious as its French sisters, this one has abundant fruit but enough structure to work with food. For another under $20 option, pick up the Rickshaw Pinot Noir. Both are available at Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway Ave.
One of the great names in American Pinot Noir is Ken Wright. Specializing in single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Wright has established himself as one of Oregons reliable, expert winemakers. The Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir is an amazing addition to any holiday table. Beaus Wine Bin & Sprit Shoppe, 2810 W. Country Club Dr., has a selection of Ken Wright wines and a staff that can walk you through the differences.
Do not neglect sparkling wines for Thanksgiving. Gruet wines from New Mexico are some of the best made in America. All priced under $20, they make an affordable, quality addition to your meal. Most of the line is available at Byrons Liquor Warehouse, 2322 N. Broadway Ave. For a taste, buy a glass at West, 6714 N. Western Ave.
For a sparkling red to accompany turkey, ham or even lamb, go with a Lambrusco from Cleto Chiarli. These sparkling reds and rosés are slightly sweet but have great structure. Priced at $20 or less, you can find a few at Byrons.