Tag Archives: Thanksgiving wine

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Thanksgiving wine 2015

thanksgiving wineThis year’s “Why did they bother?” Thanksgiving wine press release offered two roses, costing $65 and $100, as the perfect holiday wines. We’ll ignore for the moment that the point of rose is to cost much less than that; rather, why would anyone need or want to pay that much money for wine for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the greatest wine holiday in the world because it isn’t about money or showing off, but because it’s about being thankful that we can be together to enjoy the food and the wine.

Needless to say, my suggestions for Thanksgiving wine cost much less and almost certainly offer more value. Guidelines for holiday wine buying are here.

? King Estate Pinot Noir 2013 ($26, sample, 13.5%): I tasted this Oregon red at an American Wine Society dinner, where we also had a $160 California red. Guess which one I liked best? This is is not to take anything away from the California red, but to note the King Estate’s quality and value, and especially for pinot noir — lighter but with a touch of earthiness, cherry and raspberry fruit, and a wonderful food wine. Highly recommended.

? Pierre Sparr Cr mant d’Alsace Brut R serve NV ($18, sample, 12.5%): Sophisticated sparkling wine from France’s Alsace that got better the longer it sat in the glass, and which surprised me with its terroir and sophistication. Look for stoniness and minerality with ripe white fruit.

? Bonny Doon Le Pousseur 2013 ($26, sample, 13,5%): This California red is my favorite Randall Grahm wine, not necessarily because it’s better than any of the others, but because of what it is — syrah that somehow combines New World terroir with old world style. Lots of black fruit, soft tannins, and that wonderful bacon fat and earthy aroma that makes syrah so enjoyable.

?Domaine Fazi le De Beaut 2014 ($10, purchased, 11.5%): A Corsican rose made with a grape blend that includes sciaccarellu, the best known red on the French island. Maybe a touch thin on the back, but an otherwise more than acceptable rose with a little tart red fruit and that Mediterranean herbal aroma known as garrigue. And yes, I’d take 10 bottles of this over any $100 rose.

? Muga Rioja Blanco 2014 ($13, sample, 13%): Spanish white made with mostly viura has some oak, tropical fruit, and refreshing acidity, and why the Spanish don’t bother with chardonnay. Muga is one of my favorite Spanish producers, and almost everything it makes is affordable, well-done, and worth drinking.

More about Thanksgiving wine:
?Thanksgiving wine 2014

? Thanksgiving wine 2013
? Thanksgiving wine 2012

 

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Winebits 361: Thanksgiving 2014 edition

Thanksgiving 2014Thanksgiving wine suggestions from around the Internet:

? Keeping it simple: From Real Simple, part of the Martha Stewart magazine empire, “affordable” wines for Thanksgiving. And who says we’re not making progress on the cheap wine front? The recommendations include so many wines that I’ve reviewed here that I think the author may have visited the blog once or twice. They include Gruet sparkling (though the article says it’s New Mexico, which hasn’t been true for years); the Pine Ridge chenin blanc blend (and can the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame be just seven weeks away?); and the Sicilian Planeta red. One caveat: This is a dated post, despite its high Google position, and some of the wines listed will be hard to find.

? Surprisingly simple: From Forbes, which offers mostly affordable wine, including too many that aren’t all that good. Still, one of the world’s great wine values, the $12 Acrobat pinot gris, is included. Equally as bizarre — the $10 Handcrafted chardonnay, about as simple as chardonnay from a Big Wine producer gets, is next to the $60 Sea Smoke, a 14.9 percent California monster with 16 months of oak and a critical darling. The only thing those two wines have in common is that they have grapes in them.

? Never simple: From Eric Asimov at the New York Times, whose annual Thanksgiving column, which I always enjoy, is not unlike the Passover Seder scene from “Annie Hall” — lots of arguing between people who mostly agree about they’re arguing about. His choices include a $14 white Loire from Fournier Pere et Fils, made with sauvignon blanc that I’d love to try. But I’ve never seen in a store and Wine-Searcher,com says it’s only available from east coast retailers. The rest, as delicious as they sound, seem to be as New York-centric as the Fournier.

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Thanksgiving wine 2014

Thanksgiving wine 2014The Wine Curmudgeon got a press release last week touting a big-time California producer’s five pinot noirs for Thanksgiving. Because, I suppose, we’re supposed to drink pinot noir for Thanksgiving.

Excuse me while I throw a fit. Is this 1985, when we could only drink certain wines with certain foods at certain times? Of course not. This is the 21st century, when we can drink what we want when we want with whatever food we want. Which makes Thanksgiving the greatest wine holiday in the world, since it is about and variety and being thankful for all those choices.

Guidelines for holiday wine buying are here; this year ?s suggestions are after the jump:

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Winebits 309: Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving wine advice from around the cyber-ether, but not including the site that said picking the wrong wines would ruin the Thanksgiving meal. I guess I need to send that person a copy of the cheap wine book.

? The always tasteful Ray Isle at Food & Wine, with two roses — yes, two, and bless you, Ray — and nothing that costs more than $20. My favorite suggestion is the Adami Garb l Prosecco ($15), which he notes is direr than most Proseccos.

? Eric Asimov at the New York Times: “No matter how much you decide to spend on wine, serving myriad sweet and savory foods to a large group is no time to fuss about matching particular bottles with individual flavors; it ?s pointless.” Plus, none of the suggestions costs more than $25, and he says it’s OK if you don’t want to spend that much. Is it any wonder he’s the best wine writer in the U.S.? My favorite suggestion? New York’s Fox Run cabernet franc, made by the very talented Peter Bell.

? How about wines from American winemaking families for this most of American of holidays, suggests Katie Kelley Bell at Forbes? This is not the usual trendy California lineup, either, but includes choices from Virginia and the Pacific Northwest. Her choices are a little pricey, like the Gundlach-Bundschu merlot, but almost all are wines worth drinking.

Wine of the week: Domaine D’Arton Les Hauts 2011

Domaine D ?Arton, a white blend from the Gascony region of France, is great cheap wine, even by the Wine Curmudgeon ?s exacting standards. It ?s not only on a level with the Gascon wines in the $10 Hall of Fame, but it also demonstrates that wine doesn ?t have to come from the same old places and be made with the same old grapes.

The D ?Arton ($9, purchased) is an odd blend, even for Gascony, made with mostly colombard and fleshed out with sauvignon blanc (not the region ?s best grape) and gros manseng. The result is a dry white with some lemon peel in the front, yet underneath is that wonderful white grapiness that makes Gascon wines so distinctive and so much fun to drink. It's the kind of wine that doesn't require a critic or a sommelier; just a simple dinner or an evening on the porch, friends and conversation.

And I ?m not the only one who feels this way, for all the doubters and chardonnay drinkers out there.

Is this a Thanksgiving wine? Is the Wine Curmudgeon a crank about cheap wine?

Winebits 256: Thanksgiving wine

What others are writing about wine for Turkey Day:

? Last minute holiday wines: From no less than Eric Asimov at the New York Times, which does not seem like something he would write about ? rushing to the store just before Thanksgiving. And his selections include Beaujolais (no, not the Nouveau); Macon-Village, the inexpensive white Burgundy that I like a lot as well; and zinfandel, believe it or not. And here is where things get really spooky ? Asimov recommends Ridge ?s Three Valleys, which I just did, and Ravenswood ?s Old Vine Sonoma County, a grocery store wine (I know, I know) that I tasted a couple of weeks ago, liked, and scheduled for a review.

? Go French: Oddly enough, that seems to be a theme this year. Among those who recommend French wines are Pam Busch of Examiner.com, who notes that ?It s almost impossible to go wrong with these French wines at this time of year. ? She likes a Kermit Lynch producer, Domaine Dupueble, which begs the question: When is not a good time for a Kermit Lynch wine?

? An eclectic selection: The Denver Off the Wagon website has something for everyone ? literally. There must be more than three dozen selections, including those from two Bouder experts, Bobby Stuckey and Arian Kara. The J pinot gris is always a good choice, as are the French choices (more French agan): the Bertrand cremant from Limoux and the Humbrecht pinot blanc from Alsace.

Thanksgiving wine 2012

Thanksgiving wine 2012

Hmmm, that Gascon wine sounds like a fine choice for my turkey dinner.

The only rule when choosing Thanksgiving wine? “If Aunt Dorothy likes [insert a wine you hate here, like white zinfandel or a sweet red], who are you tell her she can’t have any?”

So forget all that stuff about proper pairings and $50 bottles of 94-point wine. Thanksgiving is not about wine snobbery, but about having a good time and sharing food and wine and memories with your family and friends.

This year ?s suggestions are after the jump:

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