November 22, 2010
Wines to Enjoy with Your Thanksgiving Meal
With Thanksgiving coming up in a few days, I'd like to offer some wine suggestions that I know you'll enjoy with your turkey and stuffing! The first varietal that comes to mind is a Rose. I'm not talking about the Rose you can buy that comes in a jug. I am referring to a dry, crisp, light garnet in color, refreshing wine that is made up of usually Grenache grapes but can also be made with Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah grapes. There may be other grape varietals that can be used to make a Rose, but I personally have not tried them. A Rose that is fairly easy to find in your local wine shop is the "I'M Rose" - Isabel Mondavi Deep Rosé. The current 2009 vintage is made up of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and displays deep pomegranate red color and captivating aromas of strawberry, cranberry and red apple. Light weight in the mouth with waves of bright red fruit that roll across the taste buds. Mouth watering acidity dances on the tongue complementing a juicy finish. Although Rose pairs well with most dishes, this wine will give your cranberry relish new meaning- very tasty!
A new Riesling that I just discovered at the last Wildfire wine dinner just a week ago is the delicious McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Riesling. This wine has the perfect balance of fruit, acidity and overall texture. This wine has aromas of jasmine and lime with subtle hints of citrus blossoms. Flavors of fresh lime, mineral notes and ripe tropical characters combine with a crisp, clean finish- this would be my personal recommendation with turkey! For the Chardonnay lover, I would definitely recommend the Kim Crawford "Unoaked" Chardonnay. This all stainless steel white wine bursts from the glass with enticing aromas of stone fruits and pear. The ample, ripe and complex flavors include peach, pear and apple with a long, flavorful finish- you will want a few bottles of this on hand!
If you are looking for a wine that goes with pretty much everything, then Champagne is the answer! It may be difficult to find sparkling wine or Champagne for under $20.00- $25.00 a bottle, so I recommend the Valdo Prosecco (Italy) or a Segura Viudas Aria Sparkling Pinot Noir "Cava" (Spain). These sparkling alternatives are excellent with any appetizer and most definitely with turkey. If you feel like splurging a little, for $30.00 and under I recommend the Piper Sonoma Brut or the Domaine Chandon Classic Brut (both from California). The "Piper Sonoma displays hints of pear, sun-kissed citrus, baked apple, light vanilla and roasted almond aromas and flavors, while the Domaine Chandon Classic Brut has lovely flavors of citrus, melon, pear and cherry with pretty floral notes of red roses. Although perfect with turkey, both of these wines are versatile enough to pair with heartier entrees such as pork or duck.
Like most people, I really enjoy drinking red wine with most every meal. If you can relate, I highly recommend a Pinot Noir, preferably a light to medium bodied style. A wine that comes to mind is the DeLoach Sonoma County Pinot Noir. This Pinot displays fresh fruit flavors of pomegranates, cherries and currants with complementing aromas of strawberries, pomegranates and cherries. When selecting a Pinot Noir be aware that there are richer, heavier styles, usually ranging from $30.00 a bottle and higher, that would be better suited to go with beef tenderloin or lamb, which some people enjoy serving as a main entrée or as an addition with their turkey.
If you are someone who loves Cabernet Sauvignon no matter what you are eating for your Thanksgiving meal, a few of my favorite Cabernets that won't break the bank are the Sterling Vintner's Collection Cabernet and the B.V. "Napa Valley" Cabernet. The Sterling Vintner's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon displays intense black currant and dark cherry fruit flavors followed by a long, rich finish and the B.V. Napa Valley Cabernet is medium bodied, balanced tannins and has notes of black cherry, cassis and spice with a backdrop of oak flavors. Although these Cabernets would be ideally paired with a steak or prime rib, the main thing to remember is that whatever wine you personally like to drink, that is the wine that will make your Thanksgiving that much better! I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Cheers to you,