While my husband slaves over the Thanksgiving meal, I’m happily in charge of the wine. I have my normal, everyday wines that I enjoy on a casual Saturday evening, but I always like to try something new and special at the holidays. Are you with me? With my table full of family and friends, I like to stay sophisticated without breaking the bank. Here are a few of my favorite, and affordable, wines to give a try this Thanksgiving.
Viognier is Virginia’s (my home state) official grape and aptly so. It was one of the first grapes planted in Virginia by Thomas Jefferson. In fact, I first met, and fell in love, with viognier at Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville circa 2008. Ever since then it is has become one of my go-to’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I wouldn’t drink this casually without pairing it with food as it stands up better with rich food. It is a sweet wine with stony and citrus flavors that can be paired with a variety of dishes. Basically it’s just as versatile as us Virginians.
*Ask your local wine store about these as they are not easy to find and don’t ship to every state.
The name just screams Thanksgiving-buttered sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, candied carrots, you get the picture. I’m not a big fan of overly oaked wine and this one is a nice balance of creaminess and acidity. It begins with a touch of hazelnut and butter (hence the name) and has a nice finish with slight apple flavors. This pairs nicely with a traditional turkey dinner, dressing and all of the fixings. In fact, I recently gave it a try paired with a butternut squash soup and it didn’t disappoint.
Erath Pinot Noir
I became a Pinot Noir lover like many people my age after watching the movie Sideways. My palette has evolved over the years but I still love a nice simple and earthy Pinot Noir. My favorites, as I’ll soon share, come from the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, to be exact. Erath has a nice structure, not too bold and not too weak. It’s smooth from the start making it at love at first sip. Tastes of red plum and subtle earth round out to a hint of chocolate at the finish. Who needs dessert with this wine around?
Château Saint-Sulpice 2012 Bordeaux
APPELLATION: Bourdeaus, France
I’m learning my French wines, slowly and surely. Bordeaux is classic and serving a bottle at Thanksgiving adds an old-world touch to the meal. Chateau Saint-Sulpice is an easy-to-love red made predominately of Merlot. It’s cherry-forward with a hint of nut with a nice, smooth finish. It pairs well with most meats including roasted turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving and cheers to you and yours!
Share with me your favorites for the holidays or if you serve one of these and let me know your thoughts.