BRUNELLO’S NOSE KNOWS….
Wines To Be Thankful For
The holiday season is approaching, Thanksgiving is almost here, and every dog knows, this is the time for turkey and gravy, friends stopping by for a glass of good cheer, gift giving and parties. We are stocking the shelves here at Ed’s Fine Wines with food friendly wines and sparklers for your Thanksgiving table. The off dry white Riesling grape is the traditional varietal that pairs well with all of the different flavors going on in the Thanksgiving meal; as does the delicate, light bodied red, Pinot Noir grape. I’m suggesting some bubbles and a red Zinfandel also. You’ll need a few different wines as we get into the holidays, and Dan, Theron, my Uncle Perry, and Dad, Ed will be happy to help you find some selections. As chief dog in this store (I know my cousin Gibby has been around a lot lately, he’s ok) here are my picks for your upcoming parties:
One of the greatest experiences is drinking stars! Champagne bubbles, that is. Champagne Ayala is one of the oldest Champagne houses, independent and family run. Ayala is the sister winery to the world famous Champagne Bollinger. Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it is elegant, clean, floral and crisp. I give it three stars!
Washington Hills Riesling’s current vintage is 88% Riesling and 12% Semillon from the Yakima Valley, Washington State. The wine is low alcohol with aromas of nectarine and white peach, and faint notes of lime and honeysuckle. The palate is medium sweet with well balanced acidity. I give it two bones!
For a drier style, the Thomas Schmitt Kabinett is an estate grown wine, fourth generation family with vineyards sourced along the Mosel River of Germany. It is off dry, medium bodied with intense flavors of Granny Smith apples. I give it two bones!
The Schloss Vollrads Riesling, QBA, meaning wine of quality, is another approachable Riesling that undergoes a selective harvest, gentle processing, and slow fermentation. This Riesling from the Rheingau (vineyards along the Rhine River in Germany) is semi dry with crisp acidity and fresh fruit, flavors of apple and white peaches. I give it three bones!
If you’re looking for something other than Riesling, one of our favorite white blends is Pine Ridge CBV , this blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier is a light, tart crowd pleaser. Pine Ridge of Napa sources fruit from around California for the CBV, showing flavors of apricot, white peach, and a touch of minerality. Two bones!
Pinot Noir is the red wine answer to pair with Turkey Day- its light to medium body helps it marry with all sorts of foods, from turkey to sweet potatoes, to sausage and corn bread stuffing! I’m getting hungry! One of our favorites from the Arroyo Grande Valley of California is Laetitia Pinot Noir. BACK IN STOCK! Notes of cranberry and nutmeg scream for the Thanksgiving dinner table, with crisp acidity, flavors of pomegranate and just a touch of spice on the finish, this wine could even go with Pumpkin pie! I give it three bones!
Another favorite that is never a disappointment is Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Pinot Noir. This wine is soft and velvety with flavors of blackberry, raspberry, cherry, and an elegant lingering finish. I give it three bones!
If you’re looking for a bigger Pinot from California, try anything from the Ken Wright Pinot Noir series. We recently tasted his entire line up on a special Saturday event. These wines range from delicate strawberry and Bing cherry flavors, to jammy flavors of black cherry and luscious plum, with hints of herbal tea. Only a few thousand cases are made; this special wine is found in our cold room. I give it three bones!
If you must serve a bigger red with your bird, then American red Zinfandel is the way to go. Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel is one of our top picks. The vines for this wine were first planted in 1895 in Alexander Valley. This wine boasts flavors of raspberry, roasted sage, white pepper and licorice. A perfect Zin for your holiday dinner and a Wine Spectator 92 point rating. I give it three bones!
Whatever you’re drinking with your holiday meal this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to stop by the store and sample some wines at our Friday night tastings starting at 5:00. It’s a great opportunity to learn and expand your palate. Watch the calendar for special Saturday tastings and Sunday Specials as we enter this holiday season, too. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and see you soon!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown