Wine and Food Pairing

Last-minute Wines For Thanksgiving

Looking for last-minute recommendations for wines for Thanksgiving? We could make a number of suggestions, but you might think we’re biased about our choices. Instead, we’ll defer to some of our favorite wine people.

Matt Bekebrede appeared on Springfield, Missouri CBS-TV local affiliate KOLR to discuss “Picking the Right Wine for Thanksgiving.” Here’s what he said:

“So if we are looking at a white wine to go with our turkey, where should we start?”

“The first one I would try is the Pacific Rim Dry Riesling. By being bone dry, you’re not going to have that sugar which gives it the sweet characteristic and the higher alcohol content. But as you can tell just on the nose even, it has a nice bright fruit to it. It’s got very nice flavor. It’s not going to be overpowering. And it won’t be that overly sweet option either.”

View the entire segment below

On Let’s Talk Live on WJLA (ABC-TV’s Washington, DC affiliate), Laurie Forster — a.k.a., “The Wine Coach” — recommended Bolla Prosecco as a Thanksgiving aperitivo.

Wine&Spirits Magazine Executive Editor Tara Q. Thomas mentions both a recipe and a perfect pairing in the magazine’s “Thanksgiving Drinking” article:

“I’m supplying the chicken liver pâté—Suzanne Goin has a fabulous recipe in her A.O.C. Cookbook cranked up with thyme and pancetta. She likes it with Prosecco, and so do I: The bubbles and the earthy, orange-citrus notes of Maschio dei Cavalieri’s Rive di Colbertaldo Prosecco will play well off the sweet, creamy richness of chicken liver, and it’s a fun way to kick off the meal.”

Everyone’s favorite syndicated wine columnist and competition organizer, Robert Whitley, has excellent “Holiday Party Wine” suggestions that fit any budget in his recent Wine Talk column. There isn’t room here for the entire piece, so we’ll just show you the first few sentences:

“When the need arises for some very good budget wine, the following five brands are tried and true, consistently producing delicious wines at modest prices.

Banfi Centine — This is the entry-level brand produced by the notable Tuscan winery Castello Banfi. Best known for its exceptional Brunello di Montalcino, Banfi also makes the inexpensive Centine wines that come in three flavors: rosso, bianco and rose. You have probably figured out the rosso is sangiovese-based, the bianco pinot grigio-based and the rose is primarily juice from sangiovese. These wines are reliably delicious and priced around $10 a bottle, a little more or less depending upon where you live.”

Want to choose among “15 Oregon Pinot Noirs for Your Thanksgiving Table“? Then visit Great Northwest Wine. We happen to like #4:

Rainstorm Winery 2013 Pinot Noir
Nicolas Quille, a Portland-based vintner and disciple of iconic Randall Grahm, spearheads the Rainstorm brand for the Banfi group and sources from the Willamette and Umpqua valleys for this rather tasty — and affordable — expression of Pinot Noir. It’s fruit-forward throughout, starting with aromas of boysenberry, Bing cherry and black currant that pick up a whiff of saddle leather. Inside, it’s a pleasant and approachable drink with reddish tones as boysenberry, red currant and pie cherry make for a juicy finish.

Rating: Excellent

Check out The Seattle Times for wines to bring to a holiday meal. For example:

Pacific Rim Winemakers 2013 Hahn Hill Vineyard chenin blanc, Yakima Valley, $14: One of the classic white wines of France is making the slightest of comebacks in Washington, thanks to producers such as Pacific Rim and L’Ecole. This has a beautiful balance of fresh acidity and luscious fruit.”

Lorri Hambuchen, founder of The Wine Center and wine columnist for The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, suggests a number of “splurge wines” for Thanksgiving, including San Angelo Pinot Grigio.

Rainstorm Oregon Pinot NoirDid you want something for Thanksgiving Eve? Wine-Esquire suggests a nice Oregon Pinot Noir for the day people traditionally regroup with friends from high school.

Finally, head on over to What the Doost if you’re looking for “Gifts for the Millennial Wine Lover in Your Life.” Gina Doost suggests that

When you want to keep it sweet with some dolce bubbly …
Choose Rosa Regale, tastes like what I imagine a berry rainbow to taste like. This is a fun bottle to pair with dessert, your best friends sweet tooth, and even pour into your sangria mix. I like the sound of that — Sangria Rosa — with raspberry vodka, muddled strawberries, and pineapple.

Hope some of these suggestions help you with your Thanksgiving wine selections. Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Joe Janish is Director of Public Relations for Banfi Vintners, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and a veteran of the wine industry for over 20 years. He launched one of the first wine blogs back in 1997, the now-defunct “Wine Dictator,” and cut his teeth on his grandfather’s homemade wine. He still keeps a copy of Wine for Dummies nearby for reference.

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