Seaboard Turkey Picks
It’s crazy to think that a year ago we were eating Thanksgiving dinner outside or with much smaller groups of family and friends. We thought it would be fun to have some Turkey Day picks that might evoke the travel we have all missed so much since the pandemic, so this year we are focusing on Thanksgiving wine pairings from Italy, France and around the “New World”. Check out some of the wines we will be enjoying on Thanksgiving day (in moderation, of course):
Le Masciare Fiano di Avellino; Campania, Italy ($24.99)
Le Masciare refers to a witch, but you can keep
that to yourself with a smirk as you pour a glass for your
MIL. We love Italian whites as they come alive with food.
Fiano di Avellino is one of two DOCGs for white wine in
Campania. The nose reflects white flowers with a tiny hint
of volcanic ashiness. In the mouth, this wine is voluptuous
while showing plenty of minerality and stone fruit. A hint
of sage, a squeeze of lemon, a clove of roasted garlic are
all flavors that would make this wine come alive. A fine
companion with shrimp, clams, flaky white fish or aged
San Biagio Vecchio Cacciabruco; Emilia Romagna, Italy ($16.99)
The hipster kids are home from Brooklyn, talking about sour beers, pet-nats and orange wine. We'll call this orange wine with training wheels. A blend of Trebbiano, Chardonnay and the highly aromatic Malvasia Candia that spends eight days of skin contact. It shows a wild yeast nose while having a waxy mouth feel. Hints of almond, earl grey and pineapple with a mouthful of tannins. Food-wise, this kind of straddles the line for both as white, rose and red in one. The style of wine you can enjoy from salad to bird to cheese course.
The winemaking is a blend of both saignée and direct press (50/50). Made from 100% Nebbiolo, the nose is loaded with red berry and spice. The palate shows unripe strawberry with a kiss of tannin evoking a savory quality. It’s much more serious, less about quaffing and more about eating, food friendly. This is super savory rose from the Piedmont region of Italy. This might slow down the lushes in your family and hopefully they won’t be passed before the turkey is on the table. Pair it with smoked fish, salty snacks, confit, or oyster stuffing.
Gorghi Tondi is a certified organic winery
located on the southwestern edge of Sicily. This Frappato
has typical characteristics of rose petal, violets, and
raspberry red fruit, super soft with lots of pleasant berry
notes. Tannins are quite soft making it quite food friendly;
think fusion cuisine, spicy foods or even NC eastern BBQ.
Can be served slightly chilled to accent the delicate fruit
and spice undertones.
Alvi Primitivo de Matera; Basilicata, Italy ($27.99)
Looking for a more full-throttle red to serve with holiday meals or enjoy by a roaring fire? This Primitivo hails from the volcanic soils of Basilicata. The nose expresses the ashy soil along with dense blackberry fruit and sundried tomato. There is plenty of mouth filling texture and purple fruit while being super savory in the mid palate. A thought-invoking version of Primitivo- pair it with roasted meats, duck with fruit glaze or pastas with spicy red sauces.
Hewitson ‘Gun Metal’ Riesling; Eden Valley, Australia ($21.99)
We’re not messing around here, bring your ‘Gun
Metal’ to the family dinner of opposing political views!
Just kidding, Gun Metal refers to the single vineyard in the
Eden Valley that makes this incredible dry Riesling. It’s
vibrant, it’s fresh and layered with stony minerality, white
peaches and apricot. Tingly with acidity while being broad
across the palate. Why Riesling? It’s not at all sweet but
has the bracing acidity you are looking for to pair with the
10 lbs. of butter being used in every s i n g l e dish at
DAOU “Discovery” Chardonnay; Paso Robles, California ($21.99, discounted 25% by the case)
Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou were born in Beirut, raised in France, and have taken Paso Robles by storm. They both studied electrical and computer engineering in San Diego, built a tech company, took it public, and cashed out. With a passion for wine and a full war chest, they set out to find an untapped vineyard site in Paso Robles to produce world class wine. And they did... 212 hilltop vineyards with remarkable geology, favorable microclimate, and high elevation combining Old World tradition with New World techniques. Not every winemaker has a mountain named after them, but with patience and expertise, DAOU Mountain wines are winning awards and accolades here and abroad.
This is a Chardonnay even Jenn King would drink
(but won’t admit it). Balanced with ripe tropical and tree
fruit notes, laced with lemon citrus, baking spice and a
kiss of oak. The flavors are full yet restrained (in a
French sort of way) and it’s a nice bridge between European
and domestic Chardonnay drinkers to keep the peace at your
holiday dinner table.
Decoded Pinot Noir; Sonoma Coast, California ($19.99)
Everyone thinks that Pinot Noir is a great pair
for the turkey on the table. We tend to agree, but also
think there is a certain great crowd appeal to a silky
Russian River Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir comes from four
vineyards located within the Russian River Valley AVA of
Sonoma County. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak
barrels of which 25% were new. It's rich with luscious dark
cherry fruit with underlying notes of rose petals, vanilla,
tea leaves and baking spice. Also delicious with game birds,
pork loin or savory casseroles.
Aguijon de Abeja Cabernet Franc; San Juan, Argentina ($17.99)
Bzzzzz, it’s a bee sting (that’s the Spanish
translation)! Or perhaps you will be stung by how freaking
delicious this Cabernet Franc is...or perhaps you’ll just
get buzzed. We are enchanted by the red crunchy fruit and
pretty aromatics that lean towards violets. It’s not just a
pretty fruit bomb, it has just enough finely structured
tannins to keep it interesting. Food wise- it should be
quite friendly, pairing well with both earthy flavors (like
mushrooms) and the pops of sweetness that appear throughout
the Thanksgiving Day table.
End of the Vine Merlot; Mendocino County, California ($17.99, discounted 25% by the case)
So, everyone has a Miles Raymond (the leading character of the film Sideways) in their family. The guy who can complain about everything and not really know anything he’s talking about. Well, Miles, this one's for you. Merlot is finally shedding its reputation as being thin and fruity. Our friends at EOV have sourced this delicious ripe Merlot bursting with plum, cherry, blackberry, black pepper, and cocoa. It has soft tannins but is not without structure. For the crowd that wants a little fuller bodied red but still wants it to work with the fatty fare of Turkey Day.
Paul Buisse Cremant de Loire NV; Loire Valley, France ($19.99)
A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Chenin Blanc
made in the traditional sparkling method. Aromas of fresh
white fruit lead into richer notes of hazelnut and brioche.
It shows plenty of fruit while being super creamy in the
mouth and finishing quite dry. A great starter wine for a
crowd of wine snobs and novices alike. Excellent value in a
Domaine Dutron Macon-Vinzelles; Burgundy, France ($25.99)
Want to sneak an excellent Chardonnay into the
Holiday mix for that picky cousin from California? "En
Paradis" is a vineyard within the commune of Vinzelles
consisting of a majority of vines 80+ years old, the
remainder being 15+ years old. A bouquet of citrus and
honeysuckle builds to a fuller more complex style as it is
aged on the lees for about 6 months. Classic Macon-Villages
that drinks better than most Pouilly-Fuisse – try with
roasted chicken, river fish or light cream sauces.
Domaine Richeaume Rosé; Provence, France ($23.99)
Let’s get serious about some Rosé. It’s an illusion as it
looks light in the bottle and you expect it to be delicate,
but it’s powerful stuff. It has super powers, much like you
when you decide to keep your opinions to yourself as Uncle
Bob starts in on his “Back when I was….” rant. This is
adult rose, as it has had a little time in the bottle to
mellow out much like you. It shows off notes of citrus,
light strawberry, raspberry, apricot, and white flowers.
Persistent acidity is met by a round, medium-bodied
Pascal Aufranc 'Les Cerisiers’ Julienas; Beaujolais, France ($22.99)
Nouveau Beaujolais usually dominates the
Thanksgiving table, but let’s not forget the more serious
side of Gamay with a single village “Cru”. This Juliénas
shows deep purple color. The palate is characterized by
dense dark cherry fruit perfectly balanced with charming
floral (violet) and peppery notes. The long-lasting finish
offers a refreshing end to this compelling Gamay. Serve
slightly chilled with ginger-glazed pork, roasted duck,
seared rare tuna, or any holiday dishes passed your way.
Saint-Damien ‘Plan de Dieu’ Vieille Vignes; Côtes du Rhône Villages, France ($24.99, discounted 25% by the case)
“An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the 2019 Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes is an excellent option for consumers who don't want to spend the extra money for the Saurel family's Gigondas bottlings. The garrigue on the nose is a bit more subtle than normal this year, with the bulk of the aromatics being super ripe cherries and berries. Full-bodied and intense, with a helping of firm tannins that keep the jamminess in check, it finishes dusty and savory, with ample length..." The Wine Advocate 31 Mar 2021.
We concur with the WA folks - this is about as
close as you can get to the style of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and
it is half the price. Going off the beaten path this
Thanksgiving? Proudly pour this wine with filet mignon,
standing rib roast, roasted lamb or game dishes.
Fresh, fruity and food friendly. Always one of our favorite wines for Thanksgiving
Pierre-Marie Chermette "Griottes" Beaujolais Rosé Primeur
2021 - Most
of our Rosé wines are sold out until next vintage, so this
beautiful Beaujolais arrived just in time for the holidays!
Chermette was among the first in the region to practice
sustainable farming techniques and the extra labor and
expense show in every bottle. This is a delightful Rosé with
light floral and red berry aromas, ripe round strawberry and
cherry fruit with a touch of spice and crisp acidity on the
long finish. An excellent selection for your Thanksgiving
table, and will pair nicely with everything from fish to
fowl; but alas, only a few cases are left to be had.
Pierre-Marie Chermette Beaujolais "Origine" Vieilles Vignes 2021; 750ml or 1.5 liter magnum - The Best Beaujolais Nouveau Is Here! Pierre-Marie Chermette's Nouveau Vieille Vignes is a Beaujolais enjoyed in France’s finest cafés and bistros - this is not the stuff end-capped at the local grocery or chain store. The first grower to produce Nouveau from old vines, hand picked fruit from his 35-85 year old sustainably farmed vineyards, aged one month in neutral oak and bottled unfiltered to retain all the fruit and complexity of the grapes. Surprisingly full and ripe with red & black fruit, bright tannins, violet notes and a touch of dark spice. Pairs well with oven roasted birds as well as roasted pork, rib roasts or spicy seared tuna. Available in 750ml bottles and 1.5 liter magnums - the magnum bottle will look (and taste) quite impressive on your holiday table! ($17.99/750ml or $44.99/1.5 liter magnum).