Thanksgiving Wine Roundup ~ Expert Recommendations

It’s that time of the year again, when wine bloggers and journalists start recommending wines to go with the holiday fare. A couple of local writers, Hayley Hamilton and Jeremy Parzen offer some of their professional recommendations. Here are a few applicable ones, gleaned from their brilliant posts. Read on…

What to Drink Now: Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving

Source: Side Dish
November 16, 2011
By: Hayley Hamilton

  • 2008 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir - Also from Russian River, this one has a bit more concentration and weight than the Siduri, but still has that similar aroma of Russian River fruit. Ripe red cherry with blackberry, red plum, cola and sweet baking spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.  Firm tannins with balanced acidity make this a great option for pairing with bold Thanksgiving flavors like fried turkeys, oyster and sausage stuffing and pecan pie.
  • 2009 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir – With a name like “cherry pie” it makes you want to open this any time of year from the 4th of July through the holidays, and aptly enough, it embraces bold cherry fruit flavors without all the sugar of a traditional cherry pie. Made from fruit grown in the Carneros region of Napa Valley at Stanley Ranch, the fruit is really the star of this wine, with blackberry, red cherry and black cherry, pairing well with everything from salads to mains to dessert.

more recommendations…HERE

Thanksgiving Wines (That We Actually Drink)

Source: Houston Press
November 17, 2011
By: Jeremy Parzen

​Yes, folks, it’s that predictable time of year when everyone posts their Thanksgiving wine recommendations. Among the literally hundreds of blogs and feeds that I follow, one of my favorites this year was Eric Asimov’s “What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?” There are a gazillion interesting posts out there: Just search for Thanksgiving wine (not in quotes) in Google Blog Search and you’ll find a trésorof inspired suggestions.

One of the common themes is the challenge that the Thanksgiving meal poses for the would-be sommelier: With so many dishes, with such a wide variety of ingredients, aromas, and flavors, and with so many cooks in the kitchen, what one wine can you recommend?

But there’s another relevant (and in my view, equally important) question we should ask: With such a heterogenous group of people gathered for the all-American holiday, what wine will pair well with both the food and the guests?

Full post HERE

Photo by Jeremy Parzen.

  •  Pacific Rim Riesling: The Pacific Rim winery in Columbia Valley (Washington State) makes a healthy spectrum of fresh, clean, bright Rieslings, ranging from dry to sweet. With its zinging acidity, Riesling (in general) is one of our favorite grape varieties to serve at Thanksgiving. We’re particularly fond of the winery’s single-vineyard Wallula.
  • Cap Rock Roussanne Bingham Family Vineyards: When leading authority on Texas wine Russ Kane and I tasted some of his favorite labels together earlier this year, the Cap Rock winery (Lubbock) Roussanne impressed me with its freshness and its depth of fruit flavors. While Russ will be the first one to tell you that at times it can be hard to track down Texas wines in Houston, he reports on his blog that you can find Cap Rock at Spec’s (after a period of absence here). At around $12 the Roussanne — sourced from one of the most acclaimed growing sites in Texas — is a great deal.
  • Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare: If you’ve been following along here you know how much we love this rosé from California by one of our favorite producers. At under 13 percent alcohol, this wine will pair well with your Thanksgiving meal and your guests. And it has just enough tannic structure to bring out the flavor in your turkey drumstick. One of my first posts here was Righting the Wrong of Rosé. The way rosé wines were marketed to us back in the 1970s did a disservice to the great food-friendly rosés of the world.
  • La Mozza Morellino di Scansano I Perazzi: Italians loveThanksgiving. Back when I was a grad student, I would always bring my Italian counterparts home with me for the feast and they would always bring a bottle of Sangiovese. La Mozza’s Morellino di Scansano is made primarily from Sangiovese grown on the Tuscan coast. And although it has a small amount of Syrah in it, the French grape doesn’t eclipse the classic plum flavors and signature acidity of this quintessential Italian variety. This is Emeril’s everyday-at-home wine, by the way.
    Photo by Jeremy Parzen.
  • Marchesi di Gresy Dolcetto Aribaldo: Beyond the fact that I am an Italophile at heart, I find that Dolcetto is the ideal Thanksgiving wine because its brightacidity and its gorgeous fruit will stand up to the rainbow of flavors of the traditional meal without overwhelming my palate (or my mother’s) with excessive tannin. The Marchesi di Gresy single-vineyard Dolcetto is one of our favorites.
  • Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel: I wanted to include at least one higher-end American red in this list, and the Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel was a no brainer. Paul Draper, who served as Ridge’s winemaker since 1969, is one of the great pioneers of the American wine industry and a champion of chemical-free viticulture in California. He’s one of the dudes who made California Zinfandel a true American original and the wines are known for their balanced alcohol and elegance in a field dominated by heavy-handed wines. You’ll find the Lytton Springs Zinfandel for under $50 in our market, a great value for the quality of the wine .
  • Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo: For under $25 a bottle, the Langhe Nebbiolo by historical cooperative Produttori del Barbaresco (in the village of Barbaresco, Piedmont) is one of the greatest values in the world of wine today. Made from younger vines and macerated with skin contact for shorter periods than the winery’s flagship Barbaresco, this wine — also made from 100 percent Nebbiolo — delivers the lip-smacking acidity I need for Thanksgiving with just enough tannin to match well with the fattier dishes on the table. It’s one of our favorite wines and you will always find a bottle of it in our cellar at home.

Full post HERE

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