When it comes to Thanksgiving beyond the bird – deliciously basted with butter and crusted with herbs – and all of the sides, the wines served offer the opportunity to stray from the classics. This season let me recommend these seven stellar wines from around the globe for your holiday pleasure. These selections are a mix of reds and whites, both dry and sweet, because turkey goes with both in my book and I do enjoy both during my holiday feast.
Start your Thanksgiving meal with a white wine, especially if you are serving a first course like a cream soup or a salad tossed in vinaigrette. I’ll be serving a creamy butternut squash soup this year and pairing it with a selection of white wines.
Livon Pinot Grigio 2012 is a dry Italian white with touches of nutmeg and seasonal spices. Livon is very fragrant with a great nose that pairs exceptionally well with holiday flavors without being overpowered. ($16)
Philosophy Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is an organic white crafted by Danny Seo that hails from California. Philosophy is a lighter white that trends on the fruity side with notes of pear and kiwi. This white pairs delightfully with poultry and a light first course like fish. ($19)
Bodegas Franco-Espanolas Royal Blanco 2013 from the Riojas region in Spain, best known for their reds, is a hidden gem making a name for itself in the United States recently. The nose is full of citrus – lemon and grapefruit specifically – and the finish is light. Pair this wine with appetizers and vegetables. ($10)
WELL ROUNDED REDS
Not to play favorites, but I do enjoy a full-bodied, well-rounded, spicy red that stands on its own or plays well with others on the dining room table during a feast. These four from Italy, South Africa, and Spain are all that and more. Salut!
Marvelous Red 2011, a blend of syrah, grenache, viognier, and mourvedre from South Africa, is, in a sip, marvelous. Winemaker Adam Mason and Chef Peter Tempelhoff worked together to create their Marvelous Wines that would pair with food. They succeeded as this full-bodied red is certainly spicy and works with sage and rosemary in balanced perfection, there is nothing subtle about this red. ($15)
Voga Italia Red Fusion 2013 is a full bodied blend of zinfandel and cabernet from Salento, Italy. Each sip is slightly sweet with touches of blackberry and black cherry. The feel is lush and the finish is delicate. ($12)
Angelini Estate Pergola Rossa 2013 is a 100% pergola with a dramatic ruby red color from the Marche region of Italy. Pergola Rossa is a dry red with a silky texture and touches of cherries and currants. This red pairs with all of the holiday sides, especially sage sausage stuffing or a risotto is you’re going off the traditional map. ($17)
Bodegas Franco Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva 2008, from the historic Rioja region in Spain, is a traditional red with all of the flavors and body that you’d expect. Rioja Bordon Reserva is a blend of tempranillo, garnacha, and mazuelo grapesaged in white American oak for 18 months. The well-rounded body is a mix of red fruits and a touch of balsamic to keep things interesting. ($15)