The first thought that comes to your mind when the word “Thanksgiving” is mentioned is likely turkey. The second is probably some favorite sides, followed by dessert, followed by food coma. But a good glass of vino can elevate even the tastiest of dishes. Chef Guy Reuge, the mastermind behind popular farm-to-table restaurant Mirabelle in Stony Brook and Le Vin Wine Bar in Lake Grove, shared the Long Island vintages that will have guests giving thanks for your great taste.
Start with a Sparkle
When Reuge goes out to dinner, he always starts with a sparkling. “It’s festive and puts you in the mood for a good dinner,” he said. Bring his night-out routine in by serving Sparkling Pointe. “[Sparkling Pointe] does a very good job. You could almost mistake them for a sparkling from France.” Reuge especially loves the 2014 Cuvée Carnaval Rouge. The deep red wine has sweet notes of cherry, cassis and cardamom, making it perfect for pairing with a cheese-and-nut board or a delectable cream puff.
Move on to a Bottle of White
For a first course, Reuge suggested pairing a smoked fish or hot soup with chestnuts with a bottle of Wölffer Estate’s The Grapes of Roth Virgin Berry Riesling 2015. “It’s fruity and there is a certain amount of sweetness.” The elegant, playful mouth-feel makes it a versatile Long Island wine that can complement both the smokiness of a fish or sweet-and-salty taste of soup with nuts. For something a little less sweet, Reuge would opt for a One Woman Wines & Vineyards Gewurztraminer. Floral and dry, the steel-fermented Gewurztraminer features notes of lychee, lavender and lilac that pair well with a kale salad.
Switch to Red
“When we think of Thanksgiving we think of rich food that’s cozy and sensual. Though turkey is a bird, a good red wine would be appropriate.” Reuge is a fan of Paumanok Vineyards’ 30th Anniversary Special Edition blend. The Wall Street Journal’s Jay McInerney enjoyed it too, saying it “bears comparison with Napa reds costing two or three times as much” in 2013. Made from a blend of Merlot (70 percent), Cabernet Franc (20 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (7 percent) and Petit Verdot (3 percent), is balanced and complex despite its youth. “It’s a really, really good wine.”
End with Ice
Wrap up the meal on a sweet note with 2012 late harvest Riesling from Paumanok. It’s a good choice for pie because “it’s sweet with a certain amount of acidity,” meaning guests won’t suffer from sweetness overload.