Richard Hanano is going very long on Kenny Likitprakong's wines. Hanano, the director of operations at Pure Liquid Wine & Spirits at the Westfield World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, had ordered 20 of Likitprakong's wines for his new shop. Many are perfect for Thanksgiving with their light, fresh style and palate-cleansing acidity, and they highlight the list of wines that Hanano recommends for the holiday.
Thibaut-Janisson Brut Blanc de Chardonnay ($38) is as close to Champagne as American sparkling wine gets. Claude Thibaut studied winemaking at the University of Reims, the center of the Champagne trade, before going on to make sparkling wine in France, California and Australia. Manuel Janisson's grandfather started the family's Champagne label in the 1920s, and he continues to run the estate today. The two men teamed up in 2005 to make a wine from Chardonnay grapes grown in Monticello, as the American Viticultural Area around Charlottesville, Va. is called in honor of Thomas Jefferson. The Thibaut-Janisson has classic Champagne notes of apple, pear and lemon and a beautifully crisp acidity.
The Ryan William 2012 Dry Riesling ($20) from the Finger Lakes in New York state is a classic example of the region's style with its nose of fresh citrus and palate of yellow apple. Its acidity and alcohol level of 11.4% make it a wine revelers can sip throughout the day either on its own or with the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Well-prepared hosts will have both a lighter and a richer Chardonnay on hand, since partisans of one often don't like the other. The Flora Springs 2014 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($19) is a straightforward unoaked Chard with some body and a clean palate of apple and pear.