I know this sounds crazy, but it is getting very close to Thanksgiving. I always say that the years seem to go faster and faster but somehow this holiday season is moving upon us quickly. This is the number one traditional holiday for wine across the United States and the wine choices are almost bewildering to behold.




Because turkey has side dishes that are many times heavy on the palate and have spices that linger, red or white wine is acceptable, as well as dry offerings of ros&

233;. The days of "white wine only" are no longer valid and the path is open for experimenting with wines of all kinds and of many lovely flavor sensations. Let's look at a few;




Pinot Grigio




Over the last five years Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris have exploded in popularity. This versatile wine lends itself to a variety of dishes for the holiday season in that it cleanses the palate and leaves a very fresh finish. Grigio, served less than well-chilled, offers mineral flavors as well as hint of lemon and lime. This combo is wonderful with heavy fare and never feels tiresome on the palate.




Tempranillo




For those of you who wish to step out a little, this little Spanish varietal showed its magical taste sensations during last year's holiday season. Folks who came in to try this spicy red wine came back to get it many times and told me that it was the "perfect" red wine with Thanksgiving dinner. Look for Ribero del Duoro, Navarra wines or Rioja wines from Spain. There are also a few nice Tempranillo from the United States including the fine Tempranillo from Abacela in the Umpqua Valley in Oregon.




Reisling




Wow! Reisling is a white wine that has delicacy, silkiness and overall tropical flavors that blend nicely with spicy food and heavy fare. This may be my favorite wine to judge in wine competitions because of its overall complexity, fruit-acid balance and its thirst-quenching quality with cuisine. For Thanksgiving these wines can be sipped all night long because of their low alcohol levels and light take on the palate. Look for wines from Germany as they are available and very good over the late few vintages.




Gewerztraminer




These spicy white wines come in either a sweet variety or dry. Look at the alcohol content. If the wine is higher in alcohol, the wine will, for the most part, be drier. Gewerztraminer is known throughout the wine world as a spicy wine with hint of all-spice and other very intense spice nuances. Most wine folks see this wine as the perfect choice for turkey Thanksgiving dinner as well as a dinner with ham as the main course. A well made Gewerztraminer is a joy to sip on as the spices go on forever.




Pinot Noir




A hint of spice in this very delicate red wine will send you. French Burgundy as well as the elegant and vast choices from Oregon would be just the ticket for Thanksgiving dinner. The Oregon Pinot Noirs are so well made from the last few vintages as to almost be lost in superlatives. I like the Pinot Noir from Oregon because of the delicacy of the wine, the balance of the fruit and acids and the intensity of the bouquet Pinot can have from the glass. Over the last 10 years this state has paved the way in Pinot Noir charm and continues to lead the country in excellence in the vineyard as well as in the winery. Yes there are some very stunning California Pinot Noir but Oregon is Pinot country and the pairing with Thanksgiving fare is really a wonderful choice.