5 wines to serve with Thanksgiving dinner

Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM ET

AP Photo/Larry Crowe /

As you plan your Thanksgiving eats, it's time to plan what wine you'll be serving. Here, Aldo Sohm, the chef sommelier at New York's Le Bernardin, shares his picks for bottles that will complement traditional turkey day dishes.

Half Bottle Roederer Brut NV Champagne France, $19

Roederer is a famous, smaller champagne house, and this pick is crisp, fresh and elegant with beautiful fruit notes. You can get good quality champagne in half bottles, and four glasses can be squeezed out of this one -- just enough to toast or for brunch.

Bourgogne Laforet Chardonnay Joseph Drouhin, France 2009, $10

This wine is elegant, fresh and crisp, with a little bit of creaminess. It’s a wonderful drinking Chardonnay that doesn't fill you up, and is not too heavy. It should complement the turkey as the fresh acidity acts as a counterpart to the fat in the meal.

Chardonnay Santa Barbara Sandhi 2010, $25

This one is part of the new wave California Chardonnay – it’s not creamy, buttery and oaked. The grape is originally from Burgundy and the style goes back to Burgundian origins. It’s a little tannic, with integrated oak and fruit. While a bit more expensive, it’s worth the splurge on those days you want to sit down with beloved family and treat yourself well.

Frappato Valle Dell Acate, Sicily/Italy 2010, $18

People always advise going with California Pinot Noir for turkey, so we dug a little deeper. For turkey with gravy, you want a red wine that's fresh and elegant, with a bit of cherry or cranberry fruit to complement the meal. This one has a beautiful energy to it and it’s also heaven with pasta.

Moulin a Vent, Beaujolais, Christophe Pacalet 2009, $20

Beaujolais suffers a bad reputation because the brand became worn down. Millions of gallons are produced and mass marketed for the yearly Beaujolais Nouveau, and the wines have become flabby, tasteless and just not good. Now, producers are focusing on this wine. This one is organic, with a richness and elegance. It’s fruity, has more tannins, and it freshens up the meal so you can eat a little more.