Thanksgiving is just days away, and holiday entertaining is about to hit in a big way.
In the early years of Grape Sense, I’d frequently include specific wine choices I could highly recommend. It dawned on me recently I hadn’t done that in a couple of years.
Thanksgiving wine: The first rule is really rather simple — just match the wine to the entire dinner and not just the turkey. Think about spice, bold flavors and how your wine choice might pair up with the entire table of goodies.
Specific and safe picks would be Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both work well with fowl and the usual side choices.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, look for a white Chenin Blanc or a Spanish Tempranillo red wine. A good French Rose or Oregon Rose would be another excellent pairing.
Here are a few wines or types of wine I’ve been drinking lately. They were all purchased or are available in Indiana.
Oliver Winery: I spent some time with Bill Oliver a few weeks ago and tasted through his Creekbend vineyard wines. Several of those wines would make outstanding Thanksgiving wine, and you can brag to your guests that it is grown and made in Indiana.
The Creekbend Vignoles is a big winner in my book. It’s soft enough for the non-wine drinker and interesting enough for the more serious wine geek.
The Oliver Chambourcin is light like a Pinot Noir with good earthiness for any meal.
Red blends: There is nothing hotter in the wine world right now than red wine blends. They tend to be softer and more drinkable than many red choices.
Rook Washington Red is a wine that has strong dark raspberry flavor and a smooth delivery. It’s a steal at $14.99.
Go to your wine shop and look for Washington state red wine blends, and you’ll seldom be disappointed with the many choices available for under $15. Of course, you get up to $20 and that’s where the quality difference becomes more pronounced.
Spanish reds: There are few categories which over-deliver like Spanish red wine. Most Spanish wines will be predominantly the native Tempranillo grape.
If you think of a light mouth feel but full flavored-wine, you’ve started a good description of most Spanish wines. Spain ages its wines before release, so many are ready to drink right off the shelf.
Black Slate Porrera Piorat and Cogolludo Guadalajara Tempranillo-Syrah are great wines I purchased in state. If you want something really tasty, go for the Tocs Priorat, which is 100 percent Garnacha (or Grenache) for $20.
Tasty whites: Alsatian Pinot Blanc from France, Rousanne from France or California’s Central Coast, Stoller Estate Chardonnay from Oregon or a Grenache Blanc from southern France would be great picks for Thanksgiving or a holiday party.
These wines are meant to be crowd-pleasers. The wines here should appeal to most any palate.
If you have specific wine questions, don’t hesitate to write at hewitt email@example.com.
ward W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, writes about wine every other week for more than 20 newspapers. Contact Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.