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Last year's Thanksgiving wine suggestions

Toastedpinot

I’m feeling a little guilty because my Thanksgiving wine column this year was about what kinds of beer to match with the big meal. And I realize a lot of you aren’t going to do that.

So, to give you some wine suggestions, I’m re-running last year’s Thanksgiving wine column below. Keep in mind that the vintages and prices may have changed.

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the predictability of the meal -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, that green bean casserole from the recipe on the side of the soup can . . .

It conveys a sense of stability, an idea that some things, even now, can be counted on.

You can go that way with the wine, too, if you want -- a California chardonnay, followed by a California cabernet sauvignon. But that would stretch predictability to the point of boredom, right?

Why not sneak in some creativity with the wine, if for no other reason than to keep Uncle Ralph from nodding off before the game begins? With so many dishes on the table, there's no way to create a dish-by-dish match. This frees you to choose any good, rich, hearty wine you like -- red, rosé or white -- and know it will go with something.

What follows is a list of good wines I've tasted recently that will be a nice change of pace and still go well with the big feast.

WHITE WINES

Highly recommended:

* 2006 Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer, Rhinefarm Vineyards, Sonoma Valley: super floral camellia aromas, lychee flavors, soft and rich; $25.

Recommended:

* 2006 Columbia Crest Riesling, Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington: rich, crisp and dry, with flavors of white peaches and minerals; $10.

* 2006 Clay Station Viognier, Lodi, California: rich and soft, with flavors of guava and tart peaches; creamy and fruity; $9.

* 2006 Fillaboa Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain: steely, spicy, full-bodied, with floral aromas and mineral flavors; $17.

* 2006 Frei Brothers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley: full-bodied, full-flavored, crisp, grassy, flinty; $13.

* 2004 La Moynerie Pouilly-Fumé (sauvignon blanc) by Michel Redde: very dry and crisp, flinty and minerally; $15.

ROSE WINES

Highly recommended:

* 2005 Rosenblum Rosé (gamay and grenache), Appellation Series, North Coast, California: crisp and dry, with tart strawberry flavors; $18.

Recommended:

* 2006 La Bretonniere Cabernet de Saumur, AOC Saumur, France: light and crisp, with flavors of tart peaches; $14.

* 2006 Lynmar Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley: very crisp, very dry, with tart cranberry flavors; $20.

RED WINES

Highly recommended:

* 2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Orphelin" Red Table Wine (syrah, mourvèdre, grenache, cinsault, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, souzao, touriga, malbec grapes), Washington State: Rhône-style, with ripe flavors of black cherries, black pepper and smoke; $30.

Recommended:

* 2006 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, AOC Beaujolais: intensely fruity, medium body, soft tannins; zingy, spicy; tart raspberry and strawberry flavors; $12.

* 2005 Toasted Head Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast: soft and rich, flavors of maraschino cherries, chocolate and earth; $14.

* 2004 Beringer Alluvium Red Table Wine (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, cabernet franc), Knight's Valley: intense aroma of violets and flavors of black cherries and milk chocolate; rich and smooth; $30.

* 2003 Ruffino "Lodola Nuova" Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, DOCG, Italy (sangiovese and merlot): full-bodied and full-flavored, with ripe black plums and cinnamon; smooth, long finish; $22.

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