Choosing the perfect beverage to complement your Thanksgiving feast doesn’t have to be a chore. Here, local winemakers and industry experts share their picks for the best drinks to sip with the day’s spread of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.
• Brut, Sparkling Pointe, $29 — “Our Brut has really nice fruit flavors, like pear, apple, and it definitely complements any green bean casserole, apple and pear slaw or roasted Brussels sprouts,” says Kelsey Cheslock of the sparkling wine facility in Southold.
• 2008 Gewürztraminer, Lenz Winery, $20 — “Our Gewürztraminer is very fruity with notes of spices that are similar to the ones you use during Thanksgiving,” says Jerol Bailey, the Southold winery’s tasting room manager. “It also has a great level of acidity, which makes it a nice, food-friendly wine.”
• 2011 Cacklin’ Rose, Old Field Vineyards, $18 — Made from 100 percent merlot, this wine is “light, dry, and has a sort of cranberry-strawberry flavor,” says Rosamond Baiz, a co-owner and co-winemaker at the Southold vineyard.
• 2012 Island Series Pinot Noir, Martha Clara Vineyards, $29.99 — This garnet-colored wine, which was just released at the end of October, pairs well with roasted poultry and “is medium to full-bodied and dry, yet fruity,” says Gina Messa, Martha Clara Vineyards’ wine club manager.
• 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest, Paumanok Vineyards, $50 for half a bottle — Charles Massoud, the founder and co-owner of the Aquebogue vineyard, says, “With turkey, one of the reasons you have cranberry jelly, which is a bit sweet, is because when you cook the turkey you have to cook it very dry and the cranberry sauce acts as a moisturizer. When you have a sweeter wine to go with that white meat, it plays the same role.
• Outta My Vine Pumpkin Ale, Crooked Ladder Brewing Company: The last batch of this spiced beer is available at the downtown Riverhead brewery in growlers for a $15-fill up, or $20 if you’re in need of a new growler. Coming in at 5.6 ABV, this pumpkin beer “doesn’t need a sugar rim,” says head brewer Duffy Griffiths.
• Leaf Pile Ale, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.: Described as “pumpkin pie in a glass” by the North Fork’s first brewery, Leaf Pile Ale features allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s available at the tasting room for $19, or $14 if you already have a growler.
• Winter Ale, Long Ireland Beer Co.: The Polish Town brewery recently started making their beers available in six-packs at retail locations – typically available for $10 – and this brew with allspice and cinnamon throws in a dash of ginger as well. Though you won’t be able to bring this year’s Black Friday Imperial Stout batch to Thanksgiving, those up to the task can swing by the brewery on Friday for Long Ireland’s annual release party.