Thanksgiving Wine Picks From 7 of L.A.'s Best Wine Shops

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Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 10:59 AM

click to enlarge Wines at Domaine L.A. - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • Wines at Domaine L.A.
Sure, the turkey's great, the pie is awesome. But for certain drunks wine connoisseurs among us, Thanksgiving is all about what's in the glass. Whether it's bubbles to get you started, a serious wine to go with the main event, or something sweet to pair with pie (seriously, dessert wine was made to pair with pie -- think about it: who wants Sauternes with cake?), there's much to consider when figuring out the liquid portion of the holiday.

Rather than recommend a bunch of bottles that you may or may not be able to get your hands on, we turned to the best wine shops in town and asked the experts there to pick some bottles from their current inventories that they think you might enjoy with your Thanksgiving feast. From Manhattan Beach to the top of Glendale, we've got a lot of ground covered, location-wise, and a lot of styles covered, wine-wise, so no matter where you are or what you like, there should be a shop and a bottle here you can actually go out and purchase. Happy Thanksdrinking!

click to enlarge Barsha Wines & Spirits - B. RODELL
  • B. Rodell
  • Barsha Wines & Spirits
Barsha Wines & Spirits, Manhattan Beach

Picks from owner Adnen Marouani.

Chateau Moncontour Cuvée Predilection 2010, Loire, France. $19.95

"This sparkling Vouvray is rich but balanced by deep acidity and crisp green vegetal texture. Lemon zest and quince add the fruit element. This is fun in a bottle."

Familie Maier 2011 Zweigelt, Kremstal, Austria. $15.99

"Zweigelt is an Austrian grape whose parentage is the Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent grape. This wonderful wine has delicate cherry flavor intermingled with a nice piney, spice perfume. Taught minerality with a Gamay-like body but with richness. This is the one to pair with your turkey -- this wine embodies the holiday flavors."

Bar & Garden, Culver City

Picked by Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel, owners.

Bar and Garden is doing things a little differently for Thanksgiving -- they're offering Thanksgiving Wine Six Packs. Choose Red, White or Mixed, all of which feature two bottles of three different types of wines chosen for their Thanksgiving-worthiness. Six packs get you 5% off the total price. Mandel says:

"In our White Sixer ($106), we've included the 2011 Reichsrat Von Buhl Riesling Sekt, because everybody needs to try this amazing bubbly stuff - a perfect aperitif wine to loosen up the table. It's Riesling, it's dry, and it has tiny little bubbles and the scent of freshly baked bread - it's alarmingly easy to drink.

"Featured in the Red Six Pack ($124) is the 2012 Le Bout du Monde 'Tam Tam', a lovely, light, fruit-forward (NOT sweet) Syrah from a desolate stretch of the Pyrenees (Le Bout du Monde translates roughly as 'the end of the world'). A perfect, thirst-slaking, alternative to Beaujolais Nouveau, this stuff is organically grown in schist soils, hand-harvested, native yeast fermented and has little, if any, added SO2. Drink up - glou-glou!

"For adventurous drinkers, we have a Dry Cider Six Pack (as in "What would the Pilgrims have drank?" $88), as well as the 'Bar & Garden Recommends' Sixer ($144), which includes six different (and also "different") wines; this is the six pack for those who want a little variety with their meal. Included is the 2012 Donkey & Goat 'Stone Crusher' Rousanne, which we love for its gutsy versatility. This is an orange wine, so called because it spends 15 days on the skins in a wood vat before completing fermentation in neutral oak barrels, and it pours a lovely cloudy orange in the glass. It's chewy and complex and a great match for dressing, squash, and other side dishes that use spices like clove and cinnamon."

Buzz Wine Beer Shop, Downtown.

Picked by Jamil Williams, wine buyer/manager.

Chateau De Lavernette 'Le Clos' Beaujolais-Leynes 2011, Beaujolias, France in Magnum (1.5L) $56

"When we think about Thanksgiving at Buzz, we think big and plentiful. We suggest Gamay served from larger than normal bottles. If you're a part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the wine you put on the table should match the scale of the meal. Big Turkey, big bowl of stuffing, big everything...and...a big Magnum bottle of yummy Gamay from Beaujolias, France -- it's the coolest thing."

Tasting Notes: A tall, dark, handsome Casanova. A wicked wine with intense aromas of blackberry, tobacco, and spice. Mulberry, black cherry, black pepper and black licorice permeate the palate. A smooth ingress, full body, and well-balanced finish sheathed in black satin tannins give this charmer its divine structure. The Beaujolais-Leynes is a delicious wine fantasy come true.

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