Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Although I always think of Gewurztraminer as the wine to compliment baked ham, tasting panels continuously indicate it is a stellar choice for the varied flavors on the Thanksgiving table as well. And you can't do better than this affordable beauty - with it's lower alcohol and budget-loving price tag ($19) you'll want to get more than one bottle of the Radog 2007 Gewurztraminer.
Another great wine that always shows well in Thanksgiving tasting panels is a domestic Riesling. Some of the most expensive white wines in the world are made from this versatile grape, and I suggest either of these two as excellent pals for your turkey, tofurkey or other Thanksgiving dish.
- Tudor, 2007 Riesling, $14- Closer to the classic Rhine model than the '05 vintage I also carried. A nose full of classic Riesling aromas - floral, stone fruits, lychee, and hints of bitter almond - but the natural acidity was so high that Winemaker Dan Tudor used this wine's natural of fruity goodness to provide balance and complement the natural bitter almond that is a Riesling hallmark (and part of its allure!)
Roessler, 2004 Riesling, Wiley Vineyard, $18 - For fans of aged Riesling, this wine is beginning to provide the coveted petrol aromas that mark these wines as they develop bottle bouquet. Capable of aging for years, this wine is very nice right now, and is one I re-tasted recently at on of my wine classes. The Wiley Vineyard is found in California's Anderson Valley, and is a rising star for cool-weather varietals like this one.
Red Wine Options
Of course, not everybody loves white wine with Thanksgiving, and for those people I have but one word - Pinot. We have SO MANY great pinots to offer that it seems unfair to highlight one or two, so I'm providing this link to our full pinot portfolio, which ranges in price from under $15 to over $60 - a wine to fit every budget!
Roast turkey is a most versatile dish that goes well with a wide variety of wines, so why am I so enthused about pinots for Thanksgiving? Because most homes don't serve naked turkey on a plate! Once you factor in the variety of dishes people enjoy on Thanksgiving, you need a wine that easily crosses a lot of flavor boundaries. To beat the geographic analogy to death, one might say it's a wine that brings its passport and visa to every table, ready at a moment's notice to be paired with a wide variety of flavors.
And that's exactly what you need when your plate holds sweet/tart cranberries, sweet yams, salty gravy, dressing (often featuring mushrooms, herbal notes, and sometimes apples and nuts) something green (with perhaps a bit of herbal bitterness?) and the most versatile of all - the roast turkey.
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"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare and are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence."
~ Erma Bombeck (1927 - 1996)
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