When we think of Thanksgiving, many things come to mind - family, food, friends, food, football, food, falling leaves and food. Finding the perfect wine for the Thanksgiving table can challenge the most accomplished wine aficionado. It's no snap to find a wine that works with bacon-braised Brussel sprouts and sage infused stuffing.
Don't let this deter you from enjoying wine with the meal. The best approach is to consider wines you just plain like and wines that are good "food wines" in general. In any event, wine at the table will brighten your Thanksgiving. Here are suggestions that are off-the-beaten path, and remember, we're here to give you ideas based on your meal.
2007 Domaine de La Citadelle Le Chataignier Blanc, France. An electrifying blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Rolle, don't let the name of this French white scare you off. Formerly served at Al Forno in Providence, it's plump and forward with tasty melon, peach and papaya backed by a clean, round and creamy finish. Perfect with Turkey! ($16.49)
2007 Albert Bichot Chablis, France. Bichot's Chablis (Chardonnay grape) has lovely freshness/plumpness to the nose with a pleasant acacia perfume. The palate is fresh featuring peach and citrus fruit with nice floral overtones. This is a great alternative to the heavily oaked Chardonnays. ($22.99)
2008 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling, Germany. An elegant, crisp, and fruity Riesling with a hint of natural residual sweetness, this wine has the typical light character of the Riesling. It has just the right amount of sweetness, even non Riesling fans will enjoy this one. ($15.49)
2008 Grooner Grüner Veltliner, Austria. The Grooner Grüner is fresh, crisp and perfect for Thanksgiving. Tart green apple and citrus aromas lead to tropical flavors on the palate. Grooner has a wonderfully, balanced acidity and a soft very round mouth feel. Perfect for any occasion. ($13.99)
2007 Domaine Monpertuis Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, France. Zesty citrus and pear aromas, along with a slow-building floral quality lead you to juicy orchard fruit flavors with a snap by tangy lemon and lime. This is a refreshing, energetic style with an emphasis on delicacy, not power. This is just the one for turkey, sweet potatoes and butternut squash bisque. ($45.99)
2007 Angelini Pinot Noir, Italy. Red berry aromas with candied apple, plum and hints of cranberry fill the nose. A velvety soft entry on the palate delivers candied apple flavors, plum and subtle hints of spice. This is a great match for traditional Turkey and it's fixins. ($11.99)
2008 Faillenc St Marie Rose, France.
Made from Syrah, this off-dry Rose is a great Turkey wine. It has just the right amount of fruitiness and acidity that it will be a nice partner for the many Thanksgiving dishes, including stuffing, mashers and yams. ($16.49)
2007 Chateau de Pizay Morgon, France. This wine is made from the grape Gamay Noir which is a relative of Pinot Noir and is the perfect Thanksgiving wine. It is lovely. This will be one of our Turkey Day selections. The nose is greeted by ripe fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry along with subtle hints of earth. Be careful; this wine may make you forget about the meal. ($17.99)
2005 Domaine Houchart Provence Rouge, France. This Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend will surely please this Thanksgiving. Lush berry aromas with undertones of spice fill the nose while red berries, generous acidity and balanced tannins coat the palate. It may not be your typical choice for the holiday, but you'll see just how quick this wine will settle in with the family and with sausage stuffing. ($12.99)
2006 Cosentino The Zin, California. This Zinfandel is a great choice for one wanting a heavier wine for Thanksgiving. It's luscious, rich & filled with flavors of black fruit - boysenberry, blackberry & black cherry. A smooth wine! It's great and will be just as great with turkey's dark meat, candied sweet potatoes and yes, brussels with pancetta. ($23.99)
2007 Albert Bichot Gevery-Chambertin Pinot Noir, France. This king of Burgundy is a testament to the greatness that Pinot Noir can achieve. It's welcomed with earth aromas, ripe cherry, black currant and herbal notes. A velvety attack enrobes the beautiful structure of the wine reinforcing its tastiness. ($48.49)
1999 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino, Italy. This we think will make your dinner special. This 1999 Brunello is primed and ready to go; the aging has been done. Subtle aromas of spice, blackberry and cherry lead you to a medium-bodied palate with rounded tannins and fresh finish. If Pinot Noir just doesn't cut it for you, then this may be your choice. ($65.99)
TO ENJOY AFTER
Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz, Australia. What's red, bubbly and tons of fun to drink? Sparkling Shiraz! This wine offers it all. A full bodied offering that combines attributes of fruit, sweetness and bubbles to deliver rich concentrated flavors and a full and rewarding palate. Pop the top at the table and watch the jaws hit the floor. Enjoy with dinner or dessert. ($18.49)
Piazzo Moscato D'Asti, Italy. What better way to end a lovely meal than with a small glass of fresh Moscato. Sit back and relax as light, yet bursting, flavors of pineapple and peach consume your palate. Sip on its own or with fruit tarts, Italian cookies and pumpkin pie. ($19.99)
Tre Monti Passito, Italy. The nose of this dessert wine is full of dried and candied fruit. The body shows notes of citrus zest and candied apricot. Delicious! It's great with biscotti, pecan pie and shoofly pie. ($29.99)
Ramos Pinto 20 Year Tawny Porto, Portugal. Ramos Pinto is a great, well known house in Portugal. Its 20-year Port is divine. Full of nutty, caramel flavors, this is the perfect choice to top off a night! ($72.99)