When you have a warehouse with literally thousands of wines to choose from, what do we pick to have with the most American of holidays? We polled our staff and the results are below.
From all of us at The Wine Company, to all our loyal wine drinking friends and family, we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!
Josh Landy: “I am blessed with a great family, but not a wine drinking one. Thanksgiving as a wine drinker in a house full of non wine drinkers always presents a challenge. What to bring that will keep the aunts happy (and maybe get them a little tipsy – a worthy goal in itself) that I will drink as well? Having learned the hard way that not bringing wine results in either two buck chuck or some horrible White Zin, I will be bringing no less than 4 bottles of 2011 Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer. Just enough sugar, great richness and a nice touch of spice. Why reinvent the wheel? Classic pairing that makes everyone happy. Mercifully a few family members have learned to drink red wine. Unfortunately they’ve learned to ask what I’m drinking. When they ask I’ll have to fess up that I’m sipping on 2010 Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir. Never the biggest or showiest wines from Oregon, but always the ones closest to my heart. If the night goes long and more people dip into the red wine I’ll have a few bottles of 2009 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel handy. It’s a superb single vineyard Zin from a great year at a laughably cheap price. On second thought, you shouldn’t bother with the Pedroncelli. Nothing to see there. At least not until after I get to stock up.”
Chris McDonnell: “In addition to being blessed to work for a company that has more than its share of beautiful wines, I am equally blessed with a family that enjoys them as much as I do (this is a blessing as the sky is the limit for wine selecting!). I, like many, go domestic for turkey day, so this year we’ll be enjoying 2011 Calera Mt Harlan Chardonnay, 2009 St Innocent Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2009 Owen Roe Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc. The Calera Chardonnay is delicious because it has wonderful complexity of flavors (perfect for the variety of thanksgiving menu items). The St Innocent Justice will go perfectly with our turkey, but will benefit from some decanting. The bright and bold flavors are what I love about this wine…great structure and fruit. The Rosa Mystica will be a home run with the lamb and stuffing. It’s rich, dark fruit and sage-like notes will compliment perfectly the strong flavors of lamb.”
Tom Lloyd: “Every year I grill my turkey and my wife makes the most amazing stuffing with sausage, bacon and cranberries. This year I am serving the Cary Potet Aligote which is as mouth filling and pleasing as my Mom’s whipped mashed potatoes with enough supple fruit to really make the salt of the rendered fat from the turkey sing and I believe it will really bring out the acid from the cranberries. Refreshing and complex.
And honestly, I can’t think of anything more perfect that some Loire Cab Franc as the red foil to the meal. The smoky nature of the grilled turkey and the gamey loveliness of the stuffing paired with the bright acid and dark blueberry notes of the Chateau de Riviere Chinon is enough to be thankful I don’t have to get up off the couch after the meal. Really can’t wait.”
Mike Barnes: “Pichot Vouvray. It’s not easy to find one wine that will play nice with everything on your thanksgiving table, this is why I chose a wine from the Loire. Chenin Blanc with its crisp, floral and minerally qualities is a great pair with both white and dark meat, cranberries, sweet potatoes and light salads.
Pale-gold in color, this wine has exceptional clarity and depth. It’s delicate aromas have distinct floral scent. Fresh white fruit, soft sweetness held up by a core of lemon acidity. Excellent balance, clean and very long.”
Deb Yanker Black: “I’m doing the local and friends connection with Gabe’s Gamling and McDuck Chenin Blanc and Andy Cutter’s Duxoup Gamay Noir.”
Larry Colbeck: “Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Along with the Fourth of July it is the only time I serve exclusively American wines. Undoubtedly the Pilgrims drank red wine with their wild Turkey but today there is a lot of white meat off that huge breast so a white wine is a reasonable choice. The rest of the meal at our house, especially the savory dressing and rich gravy, call for a red; a Pinot Noir from St. Innocent or Argyle. Whet appetites and conversation with sparkling wine from Iron Horse.”
Wil Bailey: “For the record, I come from a tradition of serving roast beast (“moo” / “baa”) at Thanksgiving rather than Turkey and will be continuing that tradition again this year. I figure if I’m going to spend all day in the kitchen the centerpiece of my efforts should send little bloody smile lines streaming down the sides of my face when I finally get to eat it. With that in mind, plus the American Holiday/American Wine parameters and sides of butternut squash soup, roasted carrots and brussel sprouts (see, I’m not entirely non-traditional), I’m leaning towards Ridge “Ponzo” Vineyard Zinfandel. Iconic American wine and winery / Iconic American holiday, ridiculously tasty, great balance, plenty of fruit to go with the caramelized flavors of the side dishes, plenty of depth and class to go with the beast, not so heavy as to freak out my mother. Did I mention it’s also ridiculously tasty?
If I were going to have Turkey, I’d have to give a shout out to the Gamling & McDuck Chenin Blanc. Goes with everything on the traditional table, enough fruit to keep Grandma happy, full of style and personality to hold the attention of whoever you’re trying to impress as well. And at this most “local” of holidays it’s made by local MN gal done good (and personal friend) Gabrielle Shaffer who’s busy trying to drag the rest of her California wine making peers towards the Loire Valley kicking and screaming all the way.”
Jeff Nelson: “Thanksgiving wine? I say dry Riesling. I say dry Riesling from our friends at Von Schleinitz. The Thanksgiving table typically has a variety of palates (and personalities…oh, the stories I could tell) and also a variety of flavors and textures. A well made dry Riesling (did I mention Von Schleinitz?) will offer full fruit which can trick the brain of someone who desires sweetness (did I mention my cousin Dick?) but at the same time satisfy the wine-savvy at the table. Versatility is key and you have it in this wine.”