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A Sommelier’s Top Thanksgiving Wine Picks

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Paul Grieco, co-owner and wine director of New York City’s Hearth Restaurant and Terroir wine bars, is a known champion of unusual wines. In an effort to think beyond our typical Thanksgiving reds, we turned to the winner of the 2012 James Beard Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional Award for his top pairing choices to go with a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The bonus? Grieco’s commentary was just as bright and offbeat as his tastes.

The wine: Schoffit Chasselas Vieilles Vignes (Pinot Blanc/Pinot Auxerrois)
The vintage: 2010
The region:
Alsace, France
The price:
$20
The reasoning: ”On America’s great day, we send a vinous salute to Frederic Bartholdi, the Alsatian-born designer of the Statue of Liberty.”

The wine: Nigl Riesling Dornleiten
The vintage: 2011
The region: Kremstal, Austria
The price: $27
The reasoning: “Let’s be honest, Riesling goes with everything … and I mean EVERYTHING … and that includes everything on your Thanksgiving plate!”

The wine: Hatzidakis Nikteri
The vintage: 2008
The region: Santorini, Greece
The price: $29
The reasoning: “From the home of democracy comes challenging white wine, filled with vim and vigor. It might even be a little revolutionary.”

The wine: Tzora Vineyards Shoresh
The vintage: 2009
The region: Judean Hills, Israel
The price: $33
The reasoning: “To the Holy Lands we go for a masterpiece of balance … one could even say it is divinely inspired.”

The wine: Frank Cornelissen Munjebel 4
The vintage: Nonvintage
The region: Sicily, Italy
The price: $60 (but it’s worth the splurge)
The reasoning: “If you thought Grandma’s basement smelled funky, wait until you encounter this wine. Grape juice never smelled so odd and so glorious. It is sure to provoke conversation.”

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