Thanksgiving is a hearty, all-American meal. If you do a traditionally rich feast, choose wines that are soft, full-bodied, and fruity enough to complement butter, spices, and gamey turkey. A crisp local sparkling wine whets the appetite and cleanses the palate throughout. Here are some of our best Thanksgiving picks that won’t break the bank:
Parker Station Pinot Noir – 2010
A surprise from California, this Pinot Noir delivers the goods. A wild floral, musk nose fades into wild berries and red cherries on the palate. Easy red fruit and only a touch of baking spices are layered with balanced acidity and a fuller body. This cool Pinot is hands-down tasty and fun! Wonderful for turkey and the fixin’s, poultry and sweet onions or vegetarian lasagna.
Trentadue Old Patch Red Lot #34 – 2010
Named in honor of the original 1896 estate plantings, this peppery, rustic red is very typical of the field blends traditionally produced by the Italian farming families that settled in Sonoma County in the early part of the 20th century. This versatile wine has rich, plummy fruit with hints of vanilla and red cherries. It’s juicy on the palate and makes a great partner for burgers.
Peirano Estate Chardonnay – 2011
An, oaked, rich and fresh chardonnay with prominent aromas of lemon meringue pie, toasty vanilla and ripe tropical fruit. Enjoy along side lobster mac and cheese or herb roast chicken.
Clayhouse Vineyards Adobe Red – 2009
This five grape blend is full of ripe dark fruit, blueberry and cherry followed by some bold tannins.
Bishop’s Peak Chardonnay – 2011
A tremendous wine for the price this fresh Chardonnay is balanced with ripe tropical fruit, ripe melon, tart citrus notes and hints of spiced oak. Sur lie aging adds a rich texture and rounded mouth feel, ending with bright acidity. It’s a diverse white, pairing well with simple salads to roast chicken to seafood dishes.
Blue Pirate, Pinot Noir – 2008
The Blue Pirate is a clever bird who used to steal hazelnuts in Dundee, Oregon. This Pinot Noir, dedicated to the thieving bird, is pale in the glass, with ripe black cherries and a bit of fennel on the nose, but it goes full-throttle on the palate with plush, ripe fruit and a touch of cola. There are enough earthy notes to go well with mushrooms, winter vegetables, and glazed wild salmon.
Qupé Syrah, Central Coast – 2009
A tasty and aromatic Syrah from Qupé, a specialist in Rhône grapes. This medium-bodied wine boasts classic Syrah flavors: black fruit and a touch of black pepper.
Sobon Estate Barbera – 2010
Enjoy this rising star varietal with most any meal. It features aromas of cherry cola and spice with rich red berries on the palate. Tea tannins stroke blithely against long, jammy ripe fruit and a finish of toasted exotic spices complete the package. This Barbera was grown on steep hillsides nestled within what was once gold mine territory. Solidly medium bodied, this is Barbera with a certain New World stamp. It is perfect for creative BBQ, mixed grilled vegetables, Mexican sauces and rare burgers with Italian cheese. this wine was matured in French and American oak barrels, 20 % new
Onabay Vineyards, Blanc de Blancs Brut – 2007
This wine has aromas of green apples, lemon verbena, and honey blossoms. On the palate these aromas are joined by refreshing and mouth filling Bosc pears and Fuji apples that lead to a crisp and refreshing finish with citrus notes. Made from 100% hand-picked Chardonnay grapes picked two to three weeks earlier than the Chardonnay grapes destined for still wines allows the wine to retain all of the nervous acidity and minerality made possible by the North Fork’s cool maritime climate. It is made in the traditional method, with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle and benefits from contact with the lees that allow the acidity of the wine to soften just enough to achieve an elegant balance. The very modest level of sugar in the dosage that is added back during disgorgement ensures that the wine remains crisp and refreshing on the palate.