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Wine Advisor Express:
Tasting Notes: Turkey Day wines

To celebrate Thanksgiving Day yesterday, we enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner at the home of friends, along with a selection of wines more-or-less suited for the holiday feast.

I brought along a couple of Beaujolais (the wines featured in our Wine Tasting 101 program at, as a matter of fact), and a slightly sweet Vouvray from the Loire that I thought might go well with turkey and the trimmings. As it turned out, one of our friends brought along a dusty bottle from his cellar, too, a fine 1970 Bordeaux that he had been hoarding since buying it at Martin's in New Orleans in the late '70s.

Since turkey will likely turn up on many of your tables again during the holiday season, I thought you might enjoy my notes on these wines and how they went with the bird:

Georges Duboeuf 2000 Beaujolais-Villages
Clear reddish-purple at the core, fades to pink, then clear at the edge. Cherry fruit aromas, more discreet than the "tutti-frutti" that came blasting from the Duboeuf 2001 Beaujolais Nouveau tasted last week. Soft fruit flavor, gentle acidity, plummy and fresh finish. Pleasant wine; its forward fruitiness seems particularly suited for the stronger, oilier dark turkey meat. U.S. importer: Winesellers Ltd., Skokie, Ill.

Louis Jadot 2000 Beaujolais-Villages
Dark ruby, clear at the edge. Plummy, berrylike aromas. Smooth and soft flavor, good but not overwhelming acid, fresh if rather short. It shows Gamay's kinship with Pinot Noir and could pass for a simple, modest Burgundy. It works very well with roast turkey, especially the dark meat. U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., NYC.

Huet 1999 Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Vouvray
Clear gold in color, earthy honey and apple aromas and flavors are structured with snappy acidity, opening up to substantial richness and complexity as the wine airs and warms in the glass; a moderate level of fresh-fruit sweetness is well structured with snappy acidity. Great with the turkey, adding weight to the hypothesis that off-dry whites work best with the holiday bird: Both light and dark meat seem to heighten the wine's fruit, and its soft sweetness and cleansing acidity clear the palate for the next bite. U.S. importer: Europvin USA, Oakland, Calif.

Then came our pal's bottle, dusty but intact. There was no excess air space ("ullage") despite a quarter-century of cool room-temperature storage, and virtually no sediment in the bottle other than a small clot of crystals on the cork. The cork was worrisome - moist and crumbly, it broke into several small pieces as we worked it out - but fortunately the deterioration was mostly at the outer end, and the inner part came out intact without leaving fragments in the bottle.

Les Forts de Latour 1970 Pauillac
Inky dark purple, still surprisingly clear at the edge with almost no brick or browning. Delicious old-Bordeaux aromas, blackcurrant and cedar and roasted coffee, still focused more on fruit than earth. Full and very much alive on the palate, complex old-wine flavors blend with surprisingly youthful fruit; good acidity provides balance, and astringent tannins are softening with age but still present. If it weren't for the dubious cork, which would likely have failed completely in a few more years, this treasure would probably have another two decades of life in it. Fine aged Bordeaux might not be the ideal match for roast turkey, but a wine this good deserves to stand on its own to sip and enjoy after the meal is done. U.S. importer: Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., NYC.

A Year of Wine and Laughter:
our Wine Toon Calendar 2002!

We've still got a good supply of Wine Toon Calendars! This monthly wall calendar for 2002, exclusive from, contains a chuckle-worthy collection of cartoonist Chuck Stoudt's zany wine 'toons ... plus dozens of favorite wine quotes for every season, AND more than 100 highlighted Wine Web Links, two every week!

While supplies last, order the Wine Toon Calendar at It's only $11.99 (plus $2 shipping and handling for U.S. shipments, $4 for all other countries). Buy one for yourself, and more for your wine-loving friends, and you'll be all set for holiday giving.

Do you own or operate a wine retail store or related business? Why not offer your customers the Wine Toon Calendar on a point-of-sale display during the holiday season? For information on wholesale pricing and shipment, contact me by E-mail at

Remember, this project helps support and The 30 Second Wine Advisor!

This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page,

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Friday, Nov. 23, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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