SEATTLE: Another Thanksgiving is near and that means my yearly, obligatory Thanksgiving Wine recommendation list. While opinions of what pairs well with the foods at a typical Thanksgiving table vary, one that that most all wino aficionados agree on is that sparkling rose’ goes with nearly everything. So a nice Sparkling Rose is the no-brainer pick.
However, this is America – we love things in excess. Having choices. So why do so many have a mindset of only enjoying one bottle on such a special day?
There are, in fact, so many varieties and styles of wine that play very well with the foods we consume – often in way too large of portions. So here are some selections to whet your appetite and most all of these should have good national distribution, making them relatively easy to find.
As I try to do with all wine roundups, is give you a smorgasbord of varying styles, regions and varietals to choose from and be adventurous with. As you’ll find, there are a variety of price points to choose from.
Thanksgiving Wine – Whites:
If there’s one grape varietal that the Germans are world-renown for, its Riesling. At nearly $40, it’s on the pricier side for a Riesling, however, it offers a world-class product that’s among the best we’ve tried. Beside, it’s Thanksgiving – your family is worth it. What makes Riesling such an adored varietal, especially from Germany, is its sense of minerality and stone fruit. Peaches, pears, herbaceousness and citrus are all here. Drink now or hold for another 20+ years.
There is only one Champagne and most of the time, you pay more for wines from that region. This non-vintage Brut from one of the most iconic producers in the world delivers in spades. Delicate flavors of ginger, pears, fresh-baked bread – right out of the oven, greet your nose like it looks all its life for you. These aromas are augmented by some delicious minerality that helps create a multitude of layers.
Ridiculously good notes of stone fruit – pears, apples – that combine with a lingering citrus to create a wine that’s food friendly, has a great texture component and lingers nicely at the end.
Layers of meyer lemon, gunpowder, toasted almonds combine in a harmonious way that simply glide around the palate. Thanks to the barrel aging, there’s a very smooth mid-palate and finish.
If you’ve never had an Albarino, this wine is a great gateway into this amazing varietal. In here, you’ll find solid minerality, fresh cut flowers, Bosc pears, nectarines with a solid citrus-like finish.
Made with the Pecorino grape, this wine has persistent notes of citrus, fresh flowers, stone fruits and hints of fresh herbs. A no-brainer, easy pick for the money and it’s always fun trying a new varietal that I’m sure most people have never tried or even heard of.
Thanksgiving Wine – Rosé:
This stellar bottle comes from the high desert of New Mexico where Gruet has been producing award winning bubbles for years. Made using methode champenoise (The traditional method is the process used in the Champagne region of France to produce Champagne), this Rosé has notes of fresh strawberries, black cherries, cassis and Fuji apples. It leaves a tasty, lingering finish that hangs out for a long time.
Produced using the Saignée method, this gorgeous-looking rosé has the dryness, fruit flavors and aromas that are similar to bottles costing 2-3 times its price. Flavors of red currants, cherries, and citrus combine with a delicate hint of salinity that make it one of the most food-friendly wines you can find for $10 or under, anywhere.
Thanksgiving Wine – Reds:
A tasty Zinfandel is always a good call for Thanksgiving and this one exhibits notes of clove, violets, black cherry, olives, and sage. It’s a complete no-brainer zin, for the money and pairs very well with a variety of foods.
A tasty cab for the money where flavors of blackberry, earl gray tea and spice abound. It’s bold enough to go with some zesty stuffing yet delicate enough to do well with the turkey and cranberry sauce as well.
For years, Pedroncelli has and continues to present wines at an excellent value. This 2016 Mother Clone Zin is absolutely solid for the money. You’ll find notes of dried raspberries, black currant, blackberries, marionberry, cigar, baking spices and white peppercorns. A fruit-forward wine that’s very food friendly and an easy pick for Thanksgiving.
A classic new-world style Pinot that showcases what a great Sonoma Coast is all about. You’ll find notes of rose-hips, pomegranate, dried plums with a hint of forest floor. This is an incredibly delicious Pinot that demonstrates how world-class Pinot is made there. Fleshy, lively, with solid fruit and acid will help this wine elevate most any dining experience.
2015 Mohua Pinot Noir – $24
Widely known for its Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand also does a great job with Pinot Noir and this wine presents an exceptional value. It’s throwing out notes of raspberries, cherries, red currant, strawberry compote and spice.
Notes of clove, herbs, black fruit, jerky and spice. A very solid Syrah from Sonoma County – with a solid start, mid-palate and finish that lingers for a long time. What’s easy to love about this wine is the mid palate transition and how it does a delicate job of balancing the fruit, acid and tannin.