It’s almost here! One of our favorite holidays of the year, where it’s all about food and wine!
Every year we ask around the office to find out what our staff is looking forward to popping. Being a bunch that enjoys their food and wine, it’s always fun to read what the picks are and why. This year we have a wide variety of choices, from Champagne to Oregon Sparkling Wine to Beaujolais to Chardonnay and more. It just goes to show there is no one right and perfect answer to the question “What goes great with Turkey.”
NEW THIS YEAR! One click to find out where to buy these picks in Minnesota!
Enjoy the 2014 list!
This Thanksgiving, there is sure to be an extremely diverse range of indulgences on my table! From fish to fowl, homemade cranberry sauce, the traditional green bean casserole, butternut squash with candied walnuts, stuffing with little bits of apricot and dried cranberries hidden within, egg and cheese strata…you get the idea. I cannot think of a more versatile wine to serve with such a vast assortment of delights other than some Cru Beaujolais! My pick would be Domaine Launay St. Amour. This wine offers a warming spiciness, very soft tannins, and wafts of peach and deep fruit aromas wrapped up in a medium-weight jacket of pure silkiness. I cannot wait to share this incredibly friendly, inviting wine with my family on what is sure to be the coldest, snowiest Thanksgiving we have had in awhile. Cheers.
I usually go the traditional American wine for an American holiday route for Thanksgiving, but this year I’m going Italian. Not because I think there is any secret illuminati society of Italians actually running the American holiday turkey market, but because I’m just so unbelievably excited about the Felsina wines right now I really want to share them with my family this Thanksgiving.
Since I’m just supposed to pick one I’m going with the Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva, but there is not a bad one in the bunch. This is the wine I can’t get out of my head right now, so it seems like I should just drink a lot of it with friends and family to see if that helps.
In fairness, I should point out that there will be no Turkey on my Thanksgiving table, and if you were correctly imagining how great this wine would be with turkey and stuffing, now turn your attention to the match with Ribeye Roast. Boom. Now you can kiss the sky!
I’m having Gamling and McDuck Chenin Blanc. The bright acidity is perfect with Turkey Gravy! There’s a beautiful mouthfeel and weight to the wine which stands up nicely to the turkey. I also feel Thankful to support my friends in California
Thanksgiving dinner is a time to appreciate and take advantage of the finer things in life and to over-indulge on foods not normally found on my everyday menu. My focus this year is Grandma’s roasted garlic mashed potatoes with ample butter. You can keep the gravy for the turkey. Another dish is Mom’s cheesy hash brown bake, for which I await all year in anticipation. I’m bringing Alexander Valley Vineyards Chardonnay to accompany my butter and cheese laden potato fest. This wine is a crowd pleaser and will be quite suitable for the other foods on the table, be it turkey or ham, or whatever you choose. It’s got just enough oak and very balanced acidity. It’s sure to be enjoyed on your table as well.
I nominate Nebout St. Pourcain for my Thanksgiving table. Admittedly obscure and funky-in-a-good-way it is made from two turkey-friendly grapes, Pinot Noir and Gamay and has a quiet power that I feel would marry well with the wide variety of flavors and textures presented on the holiday plate.
I’m picking Argyle Brut Rose’ this Thanksgiving. I have found this wine to fulfill so many needs when trying to pair it with a variety of food. I love the festiveness of it to start out our celebration, I love the bright acidity that will work with the variety of flavors present on our table, and the beautiful color will add a touch of class to our holiday get together. Any kind of bubbles always puts a smile on everybody’s face.
Thanksgiving at my house has always been a very traditional dinner; turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole (which I hate), etc. This year we are going to drink non-traditionally. The people that I am sharing this holiday are strangely enough all people I like, so I will be serving Ayala Brut Majeur. Normally serving something like Champagne at a holiday celebration at my house is like throwing pearls before swine but not this year. The fruit and weight of Champagne pairs perfectly with turkey and virtually all of the sides. The style of Ayala, low dosage and extended lees ageing, makes pairing this Champagne with this traditional dinner a no brainer. When the company you are keeping pairs with a wine of this quality, it’s always a good time to drink Champagne.
Being a uniquely American holiday, I like to stick with wines from the good ‘ole USA. This year I plan to shake things up a bit and serve a sparkling wine as one of the main offerings, and my plan is to go with the 2010 Argyle Brut Rose. Many of us in the wine business prophesize about how sparkling wines should be enjoyed with meals and not simply to toast celebratory moments, so I’m practicing what I preach! It will work great, as all the delicious flavors of garlic, sage, butter and salt (all key ingredients to the headliners of roasted lamb, turkey, and homemade dressing) will play nicely with the great strawberry/raspberry flavors and fresh minerality.
This is an unfair question, for the table will be full of wines and if history is any indicator, more wines on top of that will be spontaneously popped as the night goes on! It’s one of those events where I know I’ll walk down to my cellar the day after and think “did I really pop that?”
However, that being said, here is what I’m truly looking forward to enjoying on Thanksgiving 2014: Melville Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills. Recently added to our portfolio, this gem not only celebrates American wine but shows the incredible potential of the Pinot Noir grape in one of the coolest (figuratively and literally) wine regions. It’s smooth as silk, sexy as can be, and gutsy enough to hold up to all the dishes on the table (except the cranberry sauce, which is always a wine killer. Do what I do and have that for dessert).
I have two Thanksgivings every year. First is the family one with all the non drinkers. I bring Villa Wolf Gewürztraminer. Easy on the pocketbook and a great, if safe pairing. The following weekend is Friendsgiving. More turkey, gravy and stuffing, but now we’re drinking 2012 AVV Redemption Zin, Gamling & McDuck Cab Franc, McNab Ridge French Colombard and Oregon PN.
So every year I grill my turkey and this year, given the drop in temperature, I think it will take longer than usual. What better reason to drink bubbly than waiting for seared flesh to get to an appropriate temperature to eat?
“Hello…Ayala Brut Majueur? Yeah, I’m gonna need two of you over at my place before the bird is done because I got restless people who got a fever and you are the only prescription.”
At dinner I will take my pleasantly tuned up family on a journey into Cab Franc land with Lang and Reed’s “Two-Fourteen” and show them the subtle ability of Cabernet Franc to perfectly pair with all the things on the table but in completely different ways.
Darn it, I forgot Dad’s not going to drink the red. Good thing I brought Robert Weil’s Tradition Riesling with to quill his love of sweeter things with my need for balance and elegance.
Can’t wait for the left overs…we make these things we call Stuffys and drink Argyle Brut Rose exclusively.
I love Thanksgiving but now I need a nap.