Monday, November 23, 2015

Wine guide for Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is in 4 days! I just love Thanksgiving. Time to be with family and time to eat! I have 3 Thanksgivings. Yes, 3! My dad's side Thanksgiving for lunch, Bobby's side for Thanksgiving dinner and then my mom's side Thanksgiving on Saturday. So by the time Sunday get's here, I'm over stuffed and extremely tired. And this year will be no different. 

One thing that gets me through the holiday is wine. I know that sounds bad but it is what it is. It calms me, relaxes me and taste amazing! And I love enjoying it with my family. But there is a lot of wine out there and if you are not familiar with what everything is, it can be overwhelming. 

Here is my wine guide to Thanksgiving:

Wine to go with the main dish: TURKEY!

For you white drinkers, stick to something on the drier side. That doesn't mean the taste will be dry or it's dry on the palate. That means drink something that is not sweet or overly sweet. 
Here are my top 4 varieties: 
When you think of Riesling, you automatically think sweet. But if you grab a dry Riesling, you will actually have a white wine that is not sweet. It is more refreshing. It has more of an apple, apricot taste to it. Finding one from the Alsace region is the best. But Washington and Germany make great ones as well. Trimbach Riesling is one of my favorites. It ranges from $19-$22 a bottle. 

Another good white to drink is a Sauvignon Blanc. They hold up well to turkey and mashed potatoes because of their citrus based flavors. New Zealand SB's are going to have more grassy, grapefruit notes where California SB's are more on the fruity side. I recommend New Zealand over Cali for Thanksgiving. One that I love is called Momo. It ranges from $13-$16 a bottle. 

An Italian Pinot Grigio is one of my favorites. They are bolder than California and tend to not be as sweet. If you are having a garlic flavored turkey, or something that has a lot of fat to it, PG's are the best. Santa Cristina is a really good one. Ranges from $14-$18 a bottle. 

Here is a wine you may have never had or even heard of.....An Albarino! They come from Spain and have an apple, pear, citrus profile. It is an extremely light white wine and goes great with spicy foods. Martin Codax Albarino is one of my favorites and ranges from $10-$15 a bottle. 


For you red wine drinkers, you want something that is going to be on the softer side with less tannins. You don't want anything to overpower your food. 
Here are my top 4 varieties:
You can never go wrong with bringing a Pinot Noir to the table. It is the softest of the red wines and the healthiest to drink. California Pinot Noirs are softer and more fruity. Oregon Pinot Noirs are more earthy and have more of a mushroom taste to them. I love both. One of my favorites is Meiomi. It ranges from $14-$18 a bottle. 

A Zinfandel is a fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity of a Pinot Noir. So if you know you have red wine drinkers that love a full bodied wine, bring a Zin. They are bold enough and full bodied enough but won't take anything away from the food. One of my favorites is Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel. It ranges from $19-$22 a bottle. 

So you have heard of these but aren't sure what the difference is. Syrah and Shiraz. So a Syrah is from the U.S. and France and a Shiraz is from Australia and South Africa. The flavor profile for them is medium to full body and have flavors of black cherry, plum, chocolate and black pepper. I prefer Syrah over Shiraz but that is because I am more familiar with US and France grapes. One of my favorites is made by Calcareous called Twisted Sisters Syrah. It ranges from $19-$21 a bottle. 

The next wine is considered part of the red wine family, even though it is pink in color. A Rose. And no....not white zinfandel. And actual Rose wine. Surprising enough, a Rose wine is the most versatile, food friendly wine you will ever drink. You can literally drink it with anything. It's light enough, fruity enough, bold enough and is extremely pleasing to the palate. You can find Rose from all over the map. From Cali to France to South Africa. You can find one in almost any price range. I have a lot of favorites but the one that sticks out in my mind is called La Flor Malbec Rose from Argentina. It ranges from $14-$16. 



Ok.....so you don't eat Turkey but love the ham! So what do you drink with the ham instead? Stick to Rose, Riesling and Zinfandel. All 3 of those will pair nicely with the sweet, salty flavor of the ham. 
All of the wines above will go with some part of your dish. Rather it be a plate full of Turkey or a plate full of Pumpkin Pie (don't forget the Cool Whip), the wines above will get you through your meal. You can find all of those wines in most grocery stores but you can for sure find them at Spec's



Side note: If you are looking for something in a certain price range but aren't sure if it's good or not, ASK ME! I will be completely honest with you. The wine's above are more expensive then I purchase normally but for the holidays, I tend to buy nicer. So if you are looking for an $8 bottle because your family drinks it like water and doesn't give a flying fart about taste, I have recommendations for you!