Drink Globally

Alternative wine picks for your Thanksgiving menu

Thanksgiving is an all-American meal, but not everything about it has to be routine.

With so much tradition on the menu, the only place to really color outside of the lines is with wine, says Palate's Steve Goldun.

When making recommendations for chef Octavio Becerra's Thanksgiving Day menu, Goldun looks to low-alcohol, high-acid wines, like an Italian sparkling red or a dry German Riesling.

Aaron Elliot, the new wine director at the London West Hollywood, really goes off the grid–more east, actually. He says sake is "the perfect vehicle to enhance flavors on the plate," even a plate filled with herb-roasted turkey or butternut squash soup, as on Gordon Ramsay's menu.

"Thanksgiving isn't really the time to pull things out of your cellar," says Goldun. "It's a good opportunity to explore fun, inexpensive wines."

Here are some suggestions from the two experts:

Dewazakura Dewasansan Green Ridge Ginjo Sake ($30) Elliot says this sake is lean and herbaceous–like a Sauvignon Blanc–and a good match for creamy squash soup (wallywine.com).

2006 La Source du Ruault Saumur Champigny ($19) From the Loire Valley, this Cabernet Franc is ripe and balanced, with ample acidity. Goldun says it has a fruity tartness, like cranberries, so it's a perfect match for the bird.

Dezzani Brachetto d'Acqui ($19) This sparkling red is sweet, fruit-driven and full of berry flavors. Try it as an aperitif or with dessert.