Saturday, November 14, 2009

In the Glass: Suggestions for Thanksgiving

Picture: The First Thanksgiving, Jean Louis Gerome Ferris

Thanksgiving is around the corner. Here are wine suggestions from different sources.

See Randy Caparoso's here.

See Marisa d'Vari's suggestions here.

See Eric Asimov's suggestions here.

See what the Wine Ladies Georgia and Susanne from Toronto have to say here.

The wine couple Gaiter/Brecher from the Wall Street Journal on the question: What about Zinfandel? and suggestions for a wine giving thanks.

Here is Beppo Crosariol from Canada.

Nicole Feliciano's more general suggestions on momtrends.

Laurie Forster suggests an All-American pairing with wines from Maryland. See here.

Out-of-site wines in Vienna, Virginia, USA suggestions:

What wine works best for Thanksgiving? It's the big question this time of year, and if you're like us, you've read or heard a million different answers. What's the answer? Truth be told, many different wines work well for this most American of holidays. On Saturday, we'll have three tables full of wines for you to taste, all carefully chosen to really shine on Thanksgiving, from sparkling wine to rich whites to light and fruity reds to big blockbusters that are as bold as Americans themselves. For your convenience, we've arranged the tasting notes below by categories that we think work best, and which may assist you in making your selections.

Sparkling -- Always appropriate for welcoming guests, drinking before a meal and, of course, toasting! Sparkling wines also work surprisingly well with a wide array of foods from starters to desserts.

NV Jansz Sparkling Wine (Australia/Tasmania) $23.99. Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (90 points): "Pale gold with a light mousse. Peach and melon on the nose, with a pungent floral quality building with air. A silky, fine-grained midweight with ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and a late kick of floral honey. Finishes with gentle melon and peach flavors and impressive length. Lots of flavor for the money here."

Rich Whites -- For Thanksgiving, we prefer rich, weighty whites that complement rich foods rather than crisp, zingy wines which may seem shrill with such foods. There are no better wines in this category than Alsatian wines or Alsatian styled wines.

2007 Albert Mann Auxerrois VV (France/Alsace) $19.99. Rich, exotic wine from 35 year old vines. Full of flavors of white nectarine, ripe pear, and spice, with beautiful weight and texture to stand up to your meal. Delicious on its own, it will really shine when paired with your turkey and gravy.

2008 Inacayal Pinot Grigio (Argentina/Mendoza) $15.99. Floral with fresh apple-pear aromas and lots of weight in the mouth. It may remind you more of Pinot Gris from Alsace than Pinot Grigio from Italy.

2008 St. Innocent Pinot Gris "Vitae Springs" (Oregon/Willamette Valley) $22.99. Wine Advocate (90 points): "Classy perfume of baking spices, tangerine zest, and white peach. Smooth-textured and intense on the palate, this tasty effort will provide pleasure over the next 3 years."

Pinot Noir -- A natural pairing for turkey and stuffing, the juicy, fruity and earthy flavors of Pinot Noir work nicely with the more traditional items on your menu.

2006 Mestre-Michelot Bourgogne (France/Burgundy) $19.99. Wonderful and affordable Bourgogne showing more cherry and strawberry fruit than others in this price range. Soft, juicy and with just the right balance of wild mushroom, earth and spice to complement the pretty fruit.

2008 Vinterra Pinot Noir (New Zealand/Marlborough) Reg. $15.99; Sale $13.99. An amazing price for a Pinot Noir of this quality! Importer Notes: "The wine displays ripe, sweet plum notes with an edge of complexity on the nose. The palate is rich and round supported by fine grain tannins. Strawberry, cherry and dark berry fruit flavors. Great structure. An excellent match for most meat dishes."

2007 Patricia Green Pinot Noir "Old Vines" (Oregon/ Willamette Valley) Reg. $41.99; Sale $38.99. Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (91 points): "Bright red. Dark berries, cherry, rose and graphite on the nose. Mineral-laced cherry and black raspberry flavors are impressively precise, gaining a pleasant edge of bitter cherry skin with air. The minerality lingers on the persistent finish, adding cut to the cherry and dried rose flavors. This is balanced to age."

Old World Wines -- Many old world wines like Cotes du Rhones work well with the Thanksgiving meal for similar reasons that Pinot Noir and Zinfandel-based wines do: their rich, fruity, sometimes spicy flavors can stand up to the richness of the meal, but with a texture that avoids hard tannins.

2007 Khalkhal-Pamiès "Plaisir des Lys" (France/Minervois) $14.99. Rich, black and blue fruits laced with violets, earth, spice and a touch of pepper. This one will have folks asking, "Where can I get this wine?"

2006 Chateau des Tours Cotes du Rhone (France/Southern Rhone) $29.99. The 2005 vintage was a "secret" office wine last summer and a quick sell-out of nearly 10 cases. On this vintage, which has just arrived, Wine Advocate (90 points): "An outstanding effort, the 2006 Cotes du Rhone reveals a medium ruby color along with sweet raspberry and kirsch fruit, a silky, full-bodied texture, lovely length, and a seductive style. It can be enjoyed over the next 4-5 years."

New World Wines -- For those who want wines with big flavors that will stand up to even the richest of Thanksgiving fare, Zinfandels, New World Grenache, and Shiraz will do the trick.

2006 Twenty Rows "The Grappler" (California) Reg. $21.99; Sale $19.99. 58% Zinfandel, 30% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Super-delicious Zinfandel blend showing wild berry flavors and silky texture. Winemaker notes: "Seamless integration of flavors from start to finish. The wine starts out powerful yet smooth with ripe, spicy, cherry and tobacco flavors on the mid palate. The finish is accented with cedar and black pepper."

2008 Owen Roe "The Sinister Hand" (Washington State/Columbia Valley) $27.99. A blend of 62% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre. Sourced from vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills, where the proximity of the Columbia River is a vital part of the success of these traditional Rhone varietals. Dark in color with expressive fruit flavors, an excellent texture and a peppery finish.

2008 Two Hands "Angel's Share" Shiraz (Australia/Barossa Valley) Reg. $39.99; Sale -- This Weekend Only --$34.99 Not yet reviewed for 2008, The Wine Spectator put the 2007 vintage (92 points) on its list of the Top 100 Wines of 2008. Angels' Share has garnered 91 points or more in every vintage since 2003 from the Wine Advocate, where it is described as "fabulously rich, full-bodied, and voluptuously-styled." This is a great price for this hard to find wine.

Out of Site Wines
214 Dominion Road NE
Vienna, VA 22180
Tel: 703.319.WINE

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