Wines to be Thankful For


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 great selections for your Thanksgiving table. The off dry white Riesling grape, or even Gewurztraminer pair well with all of the different flavors going on in the traditional Thanksgiving meal; as does the delicate, light bodied red, Pinot Noir grape, or a bolder American Zinfandel.

If you want to enjoy an American wine for this American holiday, Washington Hills Riesling from the Yakima Valley is low alcohol, around 10%, with aromas of nectarine and white peach, flavors of orange peel and dried apricot, and faint notes of lime and honeysuckle. The palate is medium sweet with well-balanced acidity. I give it two bones!

Our friend Fess Parker, who played the cowboy Daniel Boone for Disney, has an outstanding Santa Barbara County Riesling. It’s slightly off dry with perfect acidity, and matches well with foods that are salty or spicy. Aromatics of lime, citrus, white flower and ginger, the palate is crisp, with flavors of green apple and honey. I give the Fess Parker Riesling two bones!

Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztraminer offers a great organically produced wine for the finicky guests at your table. Sourced from Certified Organic farms in Mendocino, California, this light white has a small “bite” of spice, with apple, pear flavors and honeysuckle floral notes. I give it three bones!

Another favorite from Fess in Santa Barbara is the Fess Parker Pinot Noir. This wine is affordable, opulent, with sweet cherry nose and strawberry and white pepper on the palate. This wine can take on spicy sausage stuffing, mushrooms and cranberry sauce! I give it two bones!

Pinot Noir is such an easy to drink varietal, its light to medium body helps it marry with all sorts of foods, from turkey to sweet potatoes, to sour dough or corn bread stuffing! I’m getting hungry! One of our favorites from California is Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir. 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!

An old favorite that is never a disappointment is Saintsbury Pinot Noir from the beautiful Carneros Region of California. This wine is soft and velvety with flavors of blackberry, raspberry and cherries, with an elegant lingering finish. I give it three bones!

Red Zinfandel is thought to be one of the very first grapes planted in this country by Italian immigrants in California in the early 1800's. It will be great with cranberry sauce or spicy stuffing alongside the bird. Try Michael David’s Earthquake Zinfandel from Lodi. This wine is loaded with luscious fruit flavors of currants and spicy black pepper and even hints of cocoa. I give it three bones!

If you prefer a lighter style Zinfandel for your holiday table, Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin is a wonderful expression of the grape from Sonoma. More delicate in fruit and spice, it still holds up to the meal with dark red fruit and subtle black pepper. I give it two 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 explore new wines. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and see you soon!


 By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown