Friday, November 21, 2014

A users guide to Red Wine for Thanksgiving

So we talked about what white wine to have with thanksgiving so its only fair we tackle red wine. I myself, am more of a white drinker. It is more pleasing to my palate and it doesn't stain my teeth! But you don't get the benefits like you do in red wine. But that is for another day and another lesson! Today we are focusing on what red wine to drink on that wonderful Thanksgiving day!
The best red wine for me that goes with everything and almost will satisfy every palate, is Pinot Noir! Pinot Noirs are the lightest more diverse red wine out there. In the US, the 2 main places you buy Pinot Noir is Oregon and California. And boy, is there a difference. Cali PN's are fruitier, silky and are lighter on the palate. Oregon PN's are a little heavier, have a little more spice to them and tend to be have a richer color. I love both sides. They both are good for different types of food. If you are having your traditional turkey, baked and a little season, go with California PN. If you are having a turkey that is fried or has a bunch of seasoning, go with Oregon (Willamette Valley). Pinot Noir can be described as cranberry, cherry, raspberry, vanilla, mushroom, tobacco, cola, and caramel. Pinot Noir is also the best wine you can drink for your body. Because the amount of antioxidants you get compared to how many calories you are drinking. It has the lowest calorie count for wine.

Mark West- A pleasing mix of black cherry, cola, strawberry, plum, and soft tannins. Around $8-$10 a bottle.

Picket Fence Pinot Noir- Aromas of brandy, red cherries, forest floor, toasty baking spices and warm vanilla. The chewy red and black fruits come through in the mouth with layers of fine tannins and French oak. A delicious finish ends this wine on a lush note of crème brulee topped with a hint of plum. This is one of my favorite pinots for the price. So amazing! Around $12-$15 a bottle.

Meiomi Pinot Noir- Deep, rich garnet color. The wine opens up with aromas of ripe berries, fresh cranberry, candy apple and vanilla. There is a hint of Granny Smith apple and cream soda with cherry cola notes. It has some many different layers. It has a hint of earthiness and sweet oak on the finish. Around $14-$19 a bottle.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir- Bright ruby in color, the wine opens with aromas of cherries, strawberries and clove with a hint of earthiness. Flavors have a fruity and sweet front, juicy middle and soft finish. Around $17-$22 a bottle.

Bear Boat Pinot Noir- Ruby in color with flavors of strawberry, bing cherry. Delicate body, well balanced acidity and a lingering finish with a hint of vanilla. Around $18-$22 a bottle


                                                    Firesteed Pinot Noir Willamette Valley- Alive with Raspberry and dark Cherry aromas, begins with bright fruit up front, but later reveals deeper tones that combine cedar and spice with the wine’s luscious flavors of vanilla bean and blackberries. The wine’s silky tannins will continue to soften. Around $22-$26 a bottle.

Argyle Pinot Noir- Argyle Pinot Noir is honest and unmingled. Fermented in small lots, and blended for purity, this blend has ripe, red raspberry, cherry and a hint of backwoods spice. No other word can describe the palate but lush. Gentle, slightly firm tannins. Around $22-$26 a bottle.

So you're saying, those are great choices Dani, but what if I want something a little heavier. Something a little different. Well then I would tell you to go for a juicy Syrah from California! The reason I wouldn't pick Cabernet or Merlot, is because they are to much for Thanksgiving dinner, We want to compliment it, not over power it. Listen to me describe a Syrah to you: blackberry, jammy, blueberry, boysenberry, olive, pepper, clove, mint, chocolate, bacon fat and tobacco. Ok, now if that doesn't go with Thanksgiving.....then my name is not Dani! Sometimes a true Syrah is hard to find, so you could also look for a GSM blend. Again, another day for that lesson!

Cline Syrah- is a wine of surprising complexity. The deep purple color explodes with fresh blueberry and black cherry jammy fruit spiced with cracked black pepper aromas. Around $9-$12 a bottle.

Fess Parker Syrah- this handcrafted wine represents the best of what Santa Barbara County Syrah has to offer.  Flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, spice and toast on the palate with light mint and herbal notes. Around $17-$22 a bottle.

                                            Red Car Box Car Syrah- We get a balanced syrah, heavy on flavor but not on weight, with notes of cigarbox, earth, barnyard with a nice white pepper twist on the finish.  Around $25-$29 a bottle.
I hope there is something between the 2 of these choices you like. If you are not sure, stick with a California Pinot Noir. It pleases the most palates. Your red wine drinkers will love it but its nice and soft enough for your white wine drinkers. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful weekend.