It’s that time of year again – the holidays! It’s time to make merry, to celebrate, to wine and dine! Having trouble selecting a wine for the Thanksgiving table? Here’s a quick guide:
Sparkling wine is always a good choice for the holidays. The wine itself is celebratory from the pop of the cork to the cheerful string of persistent bubbles. It can be used to greet guests, as an aperitive with cheese, as a delightful pairing for all Thanksgiving and holiday foods, and even as a beautiful way to end the meal.
I sampled a 2013 Left Coast Cellars Blanc de Noir. It was light and refreshing with notes of stonefruit, brioche, lemon zest, and some lovely minerality. It would pair nicely with anything, but specifically, cheese, turkey, mashed potatoes, and chocolate.
White wine always goes well with turkey, and Chardonnay is a classic. A nice, lightly oaked Chardonnay with subtle notes of fruit can elevate the turkey and complement buttery side dishes.
I picked up a 2017 Coastal Estates BV Chardonnay. This is an easy-drinking wine with flavors of lemon chiffon pie, papaya, and sugared pear, with a creamy mouthfeel. It is well balanced, with medium acidity and just a kiss of oak. This is a great food wine and would pair well with all Thanksgiving foods.
For a Thanksgiving feast filled with often heavier dishes, I recommend lighter red wines to drink. With a higher acidity, they will cut through that heaviness and complement the flavors of the food you’re eating.
Since Beaujolais Nouveau is a traditional holiday wine, why not put a modern twist on it with a well crafted Gamay? Gamay, the varietal used in Beaujolais Nouveau, is starting to have a presence in California wine. The 2018 Story of Soil Gamay Noir I enjoyed was beautifully light, with bright berry notes and a touch of earth and an aroma of smoke. It had great acidity and would pair well with turkey and stuffing.