Thanksgiving is again upon us, and the store will be full of people looking for that special wine to go with their holiday meal. I have a few suggestions.
A white wine must stand up to the myriad flavors that assault our taste buds at the holiday table, not be overpowered by them. My favorite choice is Gewurztraminer, especially those from Alsace. These spicy, full-bodied wines are an ideal choice to go with the yams, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and everything else…especially the bird. Domaine Trimbach does an especially fine job with this varietal.
Riesling, with its touch of sweetness and generous minerality works well too. Donnehoff Estate from Nahe and Darting Estate Kabinett from the Pfalz are both classic examples of what the Germans can do with this grape, and Kung Fu Girl does Washington state proud. Vouvray, the Loire’s version of Chenin Blanc, is another appropriate choice, with its symbiotic blend of minerality, fruit, and flinty acidity. Try Varennes Du Clos.
Choices abound for the red wine lover. Probably the most commonly chosen is Pinot Noir. Its medium body, fragrant aromatics, and cherry flavors mingle gracefully with roasted fowl. Baus Family is a good example from California. Llai LLai is an extraordinary value from Chile, while Regis Bouvier’s En Montre Cul and Drouhin’s Chorey Les Beaune admirably represent Burgundy.
While I’m a big Pinot fan, especially of those from Burgundy, this year my red is going to be a Chinon, probably Jean Dumont Les Mureaux. This wine is from the Loire Valley and is 100% Cabernet Franc. Most commonly known as one of the Bordeaux grapes, Cab Franc can be awesome on its own. The nose has a characteristic herbaciousness that combines with nice berry fruit and round tannins in a medium body with a food-friendly acidity. This varietal goes very well with turkey and other fowl.
Best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!