Let’s face it; Thanksgiving is a lot of work. Between the shopping, getting the house in order, and doing the cooking, you need all the help you can get. When you think you have it all under control, you forget one thing: the wine. Lucky for you, choosing the right Thanksgiving wines doesn’t have to be a hassle this year.
As Thanksgiving is a wholly American holiday, it is only fitting that your wine choices reflect our great country. Forget about finding the one perfect pairing as Thanksgiving fare is diverse in flavors. With so many guests, it is best to indulge their palates with an assortment of food-friendly wines. You may not have time to pop into a favorite wine shop, but I have got you covered. I have chosen six excellent wines that are easy to find. As a matter of fact, most of these are available at your local grocery store. They are guaranteed to please every type of guest and match very well with your excellent meal.
Rosé California 2017
Pink is in, and it’s not for summertime anymore. Everyone from your millennial cousin to your seen-it-all grandma likes to drink rosé. Rosé is very food-friendly and has a great balance of fruit and acidity that pairs well with the holiday fare. The Day Owl Rosé is made from mostly Barbera, which gives the wine a rich fruitiness of strawberry, melon, and pomegranate. The body is full and ripe, with a lush mouthfeel and fresh acidity that keeps the fruit from becoming too sweet. Have plenty of this chilled for both before and during the meal.
Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015
Someone in the clan is going to want Chardonnay, and it better be buttery. The richness of an oaked chardonnay can add excitement to roasted turkey, vegetables, and even pumpkin pie. The Ramey Chardonnay from Russian River Valley has all the hallmarks of a traditional California Chardonnay. A lush body with opulent richness is accented by notes of tropical fruits, lemon curd, almond, and cream.
Wildflower Valdiguié Monterey 2016
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck and want to impress the pseudo-snobs by choosing an oddball varietal, this little gem from the Central Coast of California is the thing.
Valdiguié is a grape variety that originated in southern France and made it’s way here sometime in the early 1900’s. Confused for the Gamay Noir grape that makes up Beaujolais wines in France, it was called Napa Gamay here until its true makeup was discovered by DNA profiling at UC Davis. Look, now you have something to talk about as you pour this wine at the table.
The J. Lohr Valdiguié is a crowd pleaser, with soft berry fruit and an easy-to-drink palate. Notes of cranberry, pomegranate, and blueberry accented by crushed violets and mint. Keep plenty of this value on hand.
Au Bon Climat
Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2016
Pinot Noir is the easy go-to of Thanksgiving wines. It has a great balance of fruit and acidity and shines with a variety of foods. Almost everyone is a fan of this grape. If the winery Au Bon Climat sounds familiar to you, you may remember it as one of the first wineries from the movie Sideways.
That movie may have made Pinot Noir famous, but the winery has been producing top quality wine since 1982. Their Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is redolent with the aromas of strawberries and boysenberry. The fruit is further accented with dark floral and baking spice notes. The mouthfeel has some weight, but acidity and tannin balance the wine.
Kith and Kin Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
There is no way getting around it, you must have Cabernet around, or things may get ugly. There will always be one or two “Cabernet only” drinkers in the crowd, and as a host, it is best to keep them happy. The Round Pond Kith and Kin is classic Napa Valley Cabernet, with aromas and flavors of currant, blackberry, toast, vanilla, and kirsch. It is voluptuous and firm, finishing with a lingering spice and juicy tannins.
Methodé Traditionnelle Blanc de Noirs Brut 2013
This one is for you. The perfect ending to a job well done. After your guests leave and you reflect on the day’s events, open a bottle of this bubbly, grab another slice of pie, and put up your feet. You deserve it. The sparkling wines from the Schramsberg Winery in Napa Valley prove that we make excellent bubbles here in America. Their wines are more than a match for many of the Champagne houses in France. The Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is a beautiful, elegant wine with classic aromatic notes of baking spice, toasted brioche, marzipan, and golden apple. The palate is rich and frothy with lush bubbles, vanilla, lemon curd, fresh cream, and allspice flavors. The perfect ending to a perfect (or not so perfect) day.
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