Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Only One Turkey at the Table: Thanksgiving Wines

Have we gotten over the "Pinot-Noir-is-the-only-wine-that-goes-with-Thanksgiving-dinner" mentality, yet? If not, it's time to be adventurous like a pilgrim landing on Plymouth Rock.

Traditionally, there is an assortment of foods at the Thanksgiving table and usually something for everyone, so why limit your wine choices?

Start your dinner guests with a glass of bubbly before dinner, whether domestic or authentic Champagne. Blanc or rosé - - or both. Also, look at other sparkly and affordable alternatives such as Cava or Prosecco. You can also continue the bubbles throughout the meal.

Make room for a bottle or two of white wine - preferably a Gewurztraminer or Riesling. If you want to "go Walla Walla" when it comes to your origin of wine, 2010 Dowsett Family Gewurztraminer (good luck if you can find it, but if you do, it will be something to be thankful for) and also Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Magician" white. The 2010 Magician is a blend of 85% Gewurztraminer and 15% Riesling. Perfect.

Long Shadows Poet's Leap is a classic Riesling with it's notes of floral and stone fruit. It will pair well with Aunt Doris's ambrosia salad. Also, Saviah Cellar's "The Jack" Riesling will pair well with from the cajun-injected spicy fried turkey to the apple pie with it's crisp acidity and subtle sweetness.

L'Ecole No 41 Chenin Blanc is an alternative white wine and an extra treat. It's aromatic, crisp. and with a light sweet finish. Sweet potatoes, anyone? Marshmallow or plain?

Rosés are not just for summer, anymore. I love how they pair with the guest bird of the evening and you can find them produced from Sangiovese to blends. "Dazzle," produced by Long Shadows, is not only elegant and delicious, but the bottle itself will bring a certain elegance to the table. 2010 Dusted Valley's "Ramblin' Rosé" is crisp and clean, while still showing off its fruit of 34% Mourvedre, 28% Cinsault, 26% Grenache, 12% Syrah.

And now a commercial announcement for Pinot Noir. Walla Walla isn't known for Pinot Noir, but I can make a few recommendations from Oregon. My go-to from the Willamette Valley are from Domaine Drouhin and Stoller Vineyards. Both wineries offer an affordable label or higher-end. Hey, go "high-end," it's Thanksgiving!

Grenache or even a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) is an alternative to Pinot Noir, especially paired with the darker meat from the turkey or other birds. Gramercy Cellars has that covered with their 2009 "Third Man" (GSM) or 2009 L'Idiot du Village (Grenache and Syrah). Also, 2008 Rotie Cellars Southern Blend (GSM) is a fine addition to the meal.

Another alternative to Pinot Noir is Sangiovese. This grape is typically higher in acids and will pair well with most foods, especially spicy ones. Mannina Cellars 2009 Sangiovese is amore' with the spicy Italian sausage that Uncle Pasquale puts in the stuffing every year.

There is always room for dessert and a sip of dessert wine is always a pleasant ending, whether you pair it with Grandma's pumpkin pie or not. Forgeron Cellars 2008 Late Harvest Semillion and 2010 Watermill Winery's Late Harvest Gewurztraminer both bring to the holiday table an abundance of flavors.

May you enjoy the true spirit of this glorious autumn day. Gobble.

1 comment:

feiane (fe-yan) said...

your blog is nice..... its all about wine and i love it!