Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wonderful Tasting Turkey Wines!

It’s not what you think. I’m really not going to pitch you on drinking wine made out of turkey. I would never suggest you drink a wine made with turkey flavoring. There are sodas that are flavored that way, but I wouldn’t drink them either. However, it is time to round up wines for the big turkey dinner again, and I’m all jazzed up about the opportunities!

Thanksgiving dinner is probably one of the toughest meals of the year to buy wine for. Usually served as somewhat of a potluck, you never know exactly what is going to be served until the meal shows up on the table. That is exactly why I always suggest that you buy several wines for the event.

First, you should include a sparkling wine. I just learned that one of my local favorites is being discontinued and won’t be available long. Domaine St. Michelle’s Frizzante is a slightly sweet sparkler that has won several awards in the last few years. Get it while you can.

You really can’t have Thanksgiving without a bunch of white wines. I prefer to host with Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Viognier or Rousanne, and a good old oaky Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio has citrus and mineral qualities that break down fats well. If you are serving creamy foods such as green bean casserole, you’ll love the way this wine pairs with it. I’ll be serving one of my favorites made by Casey McClellan at Seven Hills.

Good Rieslings are spicy, fruity, and also have a level of minerality to them. I tend to like ones with low residual sugar, and prefer them bone dry if I can find one. Pacific Rim winery makes a wonderful Riesling that hits the spot.

As for Viognier, I would suggest Alexandria Nichole Cellars. Lots of fresh fruits including pineapple, melon, and a faint hint of banana coax out the flavors of a nicely prepared butterball, and pair with mom’s stuffing.

I prefer a good, old fashioned Chardonnay for Thanksgiving. I serve one of those major oak bombs that you usually run from, but the vanilla and buttery flavors compliment so well with the comfort foods of the day. I suggest a good Napa Chardonnay, or if you want to go local I suggest Columbia Crest Grand Estates.

If you are like me, you’re into having smoked turkey, duck, or venison on the table. For smoked foods you really need to step out with some fun reds. I highly suggest a Rose’, a Pinot Noir, Malbec, and a good Cabernet Sauvignon to keep the Bordeaux drinkers happy.

The Rose’ that we’ll be drinking this year is from San Juan Island Vintners. I’ve reviewed this before so I won’t bore you, but this dry Rose’ is great with everything on the table.

Eyrie Pinot Noir is my hands down choice for Thanksgiving. Its bright raspberry notes turn to a earthy finish are great with duck or smoked meats. As for the Malbec, I love them dark and spicy, with huge flavors of blueberry pie. For that I suggest Saviah, Terra Blanca, and Gascon depending on where you want the wine to be from.

The choices for Cabernet Sauvignon run deep in my house. I’m just going to put my hand over my eyes and grab something off the rack. But, if you have to make a special trip, I would suggest picking up one of the local artisan winemakers such as Fidelitas or Whitman Cellars.


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