Thanksgiving Wine Picks

In the last newsletter, I highlighted some favorites from Winebow’s fall portfolio tasting. This time, some gems from Weygandt Selections, based in Rhinecliff, NY. (845-516-4175;

Looking for some good wines for Thanksgiving dinner? You can’t get much better than Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.

Kurt Angerer.

This producer makes five different, terroir-driven Gruners. Here are two:

Gruner Veltliner Kies 2010 ($16). This one is bright and lively with refreshing acidity.

Gruner Veltliner Spies 2008 ($22). A bigger, riper, more mouthfilling wine than the Kies, this Gruner also has nice mineral and earth notes though less with less acidity.

Birgit Eichinger.

One of Austria’s few female winemakers produces outstanding Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings:

Gruner Veltliner Hasel 2010 ($16). Cucumber cool on the nose but ripe and juicy on the palate.

Gruner Veltliner Wechselberg 2010 ($22). Aromas like a fine French perfume. A rich and delicious wine, though a little softer on the palate.

Riesling Gaisberg 2009 ($27) Classic slate nose with ripe fruit and fine acidity.


Great breeding isn’t just for horses. The Pichler in this marriage is Elisabeth, daughter of F.X. Pichler, arguably Austria’s greatest winemaker.

Gruner Veltliner Klostersataz 2010 ($28). Everything you’d want in a fine Gruner. Ripe and focused with earth and mineral notes and excellent acidity.

Riesling Loibner Trum 2010 ($28). Lean with very good minerality and a touch of herbaceousness.


Of course, Alsace produces fabulous Rieslings too, as well as outstanding Pinot Gris, a vastly underrated food wine that is worlds apart from its Italian cousin, Pinot Grigio. Alsatian Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminers are also good choices for turkey dinner.

 Albert Mann.

This winery’s offerings were my favorite of the tasting, though some are beyond the price point I like to maintain for the newsletter. Here are two of the less expensive ones.

Pinot Gris Hengst 2009 ($34) Give this wine some air to open up and reveal its chamomile nose and juicy, ripe, almost honeyed fruit.

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steingrubler 2009 ($34). This wine needs to open up a little as well to reveal its rose petal and lychee aromas and ripe, mouthfilling fruit.

Vignoble A. Scherer Pinot Blanc 2010 ($15).

Easily the most aromatic Pinot Blanc I’ve ever experienced with perfumed peaches and apricots galore.


Though not known for them, Austria produces quality red wines from Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch grapes that are first-rate matches for food.


One of the best red wine producers in Austria.

Carnuntum Cuvee 2010 ($17) A blend of 85 percent Zweigelt and 15 percent Pinot Noir, this well-structured wine has earth and spice notes to go with ripe cherry fruit.

Pinot Noir 2009 ($24) Initial coffee and smoke aromas subside as a classic Pinot Noir meatiness takes over and combines with ripe cherry fruit.

St. Laurent Rothenberg 2009 ($29). A dark and brooding wine with some gamy qualities and ripe fruit.

Uwe Schiefer. 

This producer specializes in Blaufrankisch, aka Limberger (Lemberger in Washington state).

Blaufrankisch Eisenberg 2009 ($24) Earthy and nutty with ripe cherry and raspberry fruit.


Save this last wine for New Year’s eve, this year, next or the one after that.

Domaine De L’Aigle A Deux Tetes (the two-headed eagle) Cotes Du Jura En Griffez Vielles Vignes 2007 ($24).

Wow, that’s a mouthful. And so is this wine, which could easily be mistaken for a fine Burgundy at a very unBurgundy price. (In fact, winemaker Henri Le Roy uses old Burgundy barrels to age his wine.) It’s lean and stony with just enough juiciness and fine acidity. And as with good Burgundies, this wine can age for several years.

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