Who wants to spend Thanksgiving Day cooking a turkey and all the sides without a nice glass of wine in hand? Who wants to serve their friends and family the same old supermarket wine you grabbed in haste in Aisle 9? Wouldn't you rather spend the day enjoying some unique wines that will be an exceptional part of your Turkey Day meal? If so, Eater Atlanta has you covered. Here is your Thanksgiving wine shopping guide from three of Atlanta's top wine professionals at three of Atlanta's best wine shops. Whether you want to spend a little, or maybe even splurge a bit — hey, it's the holidays — this list of wines from our pros has you covered. These will not only help you survive a marathon day of cooking, they will also impress the most erudite guests gathered at your Thanksgiving table.
Eric Brown, Le Caveau Fine Wines
2012 Domaine Barmès-Buecher 'Brut Zéro Dosage' Crémant d'Alsace $24.99
A biodynamically farmed sparkling wine that is a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot from Alsace. It is produced without the use of added yeasts or sugar and shows green-yellow apples and white flowers on the nose with a wonderful purity of ripe fruit on the palate and a dry, stony finish. This is perfect aperitif wine for Thanksgiving.
2011 Domaine de la Pinte 'Pinte Bien' Poulsard Arbois $22.99
A red from Arbois in Jura and is made from the Poulsard, aka Ploussard, grape. The fruit comes from vines grown in Jurassic red marl soil and produces fresh and lively red wine. In the local dialect "Pinte Bien" means "enjoy your drink" and this wine is a great red or turkey dinner as the palate shows brown spices and white pepper coupled with red fruit flavors and a savory, meaty quality.
2012 Michel Guignier 'La Petite Oseille' Moulin-à-Vent $39.99
This red wine comes from the grand cru of Moulin à Vent where the Gamay grape derives structure, minerality and a nervy energy from the decomposed granite and manganese soils. Guginier is certified biodynamic and his wines are made sans soufre (without any added sulfur) and aged in big foudres that were former beer barrels. This would be especially great with a smoked turkey.
Sarah Pierre, Three Parks Wine
Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon $19.69
Who wouldn't want to drink white Pinot Noir with turkey, mac and cheese, and stuffing?The wine is aged sur lie in stainless leaving it rich in texture and aromatic. It's perfect for this time of year — full bodied white with baking spice, peach, spiced pears, hint of citrus, cherry, and stone fruit. One hundred percent Pinot Noir.
Terrazze Dell'Etna Brut Rosé, Sicily $37.99
Ninety percent Pinot Noir, 10 percent Nerello Mascalese. I just love, love, love this sparkling wine from Sicily. Grown on volcanic soil which is apparent when you try the wine. Barely pink in color, this sparkling Rosé is delicate, balanced, and fresh with red fruit — strawberry and raspberry. It's definitely what I'm drinking this Thanksgiving.
Jean-Francois Mérieau "Le Bois Jacou", Touraine, France $14.99
This wine is the winner for Thanksgiving pairings. You will always hear people, including myself, suggest Beaujolais as the red pairing, but I recently tried the Mérieau's 100 percent Gamay from Touraine, and I was hooked immediately. You get pomegranate and cranberry balanced with dried earth and brush. It's high in acid and is super refreshing. This wine is a steal at this price. It's definitely a red that should be purchased in bulk and shared with everyone over the holidays.
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rouge, $39.99
A bit of a splurge for Thanksgiving dinner, but if you're going to do it, it should be with Vacheron Sancerre Rouge. This wine is killer. It's 100 percent Pinot Noir from Sancerre. This mineral driven red is earthy with notes of red fruit and berry, touch of spice, and mouth-watering finish. Definitely what you want to be drinking with your family and friends on Thanksgiving, even if it's just one bottle.
Jordan Smelt, Cakes & Ale
Jo Landron ‘Atmosphères', Loire Valley, France $19
It's the holidays, which means you need to have some bubbles on hand. And while serving legit Champagne can put a sizable dent in your bank account, from Crémant's to Cava's, budget-friendly alternatives are aplenty. Case in point is this super-smart sparkler from the Loire Valley. Made from Folle Blanche and Pinot Noir, it's crisp, crowd-pleasing, and the perfect wine to enjoy while you're waiting on the turkey to be carved.
Domaine de la Prébende, Beaujolais Blanc, France $14
I know what you're thinking ... a white wine from Beaujolais? It's true. And don't feel bad if you've never come across one before: less than 5 percent of the vines in Beaujolais are planted with something other than Gamay. Anyway, this un-oaked Chardonnay has great fruit and offers tons of bang for the buck. Your aunt that only drinks Rombauer probably won't dig it, but everyone else at your table will.
Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly, Beaujolais, France $22
When choosing the red you're going to serve at Thanksgiving, you need to find a wine that will taste great and play nice with the wide range of food you'll be serving. A Swiss Army Knife wine, if you will. Beaujolais is always a no-brainer, but year after year, Château Thivin always finds its way onto my table. On the lighter side but just sturdy enough, this bottle will taste just as great with your turkey and dressing as it will with the squash casserole and sweet potatoes.