It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As you start planning your menu, you might also want to consider what wines you’ll serve alongside those heaping platters and casserole dishes. Check out the following recommendations from our trusty wine buyers- they have something lined up for every possible entree, and a few suggestions for dessert too! All of these bottles and more are conveniently located together at the center of the store, so you won’t waste any of your precious time on the hunt. Hurry in to cross off the most important item on your shopping list!
Brendan Kennedy, Vine & Table Wine Buyer:
Descendientes de Palacios Petalos 2014 – $22.99 (93 points Wine Advocate)
“This pick is for the wine drinker who wants something different on the table this Thanksgiving.The grape varietal in this wine is Mencia, which is native to northwestern Spain. If you’ve not had Mencia, don’t fret. Think of it as a Spain’s take on Pinot Noir. Descendientes de Palacios Petalos is silky in texture with strawberries, pomegranate, and subtle spice on the palate. Will pair with heavily seasoned turkey or roast beef.”
Pike Road Pinot Noir $18.99
“I know many of you are on the hunt for Pinot Noir this Thanksgiving. You’ve found one of the few bottles that can proclaim itself as 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an everyday price. The Pike Road line was started by Elk Cove winery a few years ago, and it has been my favorite Oregon Pinot in the $20 range since its inception. Classic Willamette finesse, with raspberry, cherry, and laced with herbs.”
Cuvaison Chardonnay 2014 (normally $26.99) $17.99
“Chardonnay can work well on the Thanksgiving table as long as it’s not overdone in oak. Cuvaison is perfect. Grown in the coolest part of Napa (Carneros), this medium-bodied Chardonnay has a lightly oaked style that lets the fruit shine instead of the wood. Goes well with white meat and spring veggies.”
Taburno Albarosa Aglianico Rosato 2016 $14.99
“Rosé in late November? Yes! I’ll be enjoying a bottle of this with all the pre-meal finger foods before the turkey is served. This particular rosé is grown just a little inland of Naples using the Aglianico grape. It’s very refreshing with plenty of acidity, and if you want to continue drinking alongside the turkey, it’s versatile enough to pair with that as well.”
Cristom Viognier 2014 (Normally: $29.99) $17.99
“Cristom’s Viognier is sleek yet very complex. I love this wine for its refreshing texture which is due, in part, to only seeing neutral oak and stainless steel barrels. Fruit flavors are peach, lemon, and apricot which will pair well with salty foods like stuffing.
Maison L’Envoye Morgon Beaujolais 2013 -$18.99
“If you’re serving baked turkey, Cru-level Beaujolais is dollar-for-dollar some of the best value in red wine. This French region makes lovely wines almost exclusively from the Gamay varietal, which will pair well with baked and dry styles of turkey. It has a soft texture that everybody can enjoy. Stick it in the fridge for a half hour for the perfect serving temperature.”
Damian Logan, Vine & Table Wine Buyer:
Le Grand Ballon – Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – $13.99
Whether it’s part of the main meal or offered as an appetizer, no holiday entertaining is complete without some great white wines. Le Grand Ballon is one of my “go to” wines that I share with my guests often. I like its versatility and refreshing flavor. Stepping away from the usual citrus notes of most Sauvignon Blanc, Le Grand Ballon is a lively blend of white grape, pear and Gala apple. Equally paired with a variety of cheeses and fresh breads, fruit, or chicken and pork dishes, this simple Loire Valley white wine has just a hint of off-dry on the finish to complement any food or any evening.
Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie (Scottish Barley) Single Malt – $59.99
I always like to take a little time out during the holidays to recharge, relax, and get ready for the next crowd to come through. There are few better ways to relax than kicking back with a great glass of Scotch. That’s when I pull out The Classic Laddie by Bruichladdich. The Classic Laddie has just enough heat to create a little warmth, even if you serve it with a splash of water and a swirl the way I enjoy it. This is a Scotch with classic flavors of caramel and nutty vanilla. But The Laddie goes a bit further in flavor levels, as you’ll note more emphasis on the sweet, comforting aromas and tastes of malted barley and hints of baked apple. The flavors arrive in a complex integration, similar to a fine red blend wine. This is a sip to be savored as you reflect on the days of family and friends and fond memories of both.
Chappellet Mountain Cuvee 2015 – $31.99
Autumn always get me thinking of deeper, richer red wines. I especially enjoy the fuller-flavored mountain cuvees, and Chappellet stands out in this category. The winemaker’s art is quite evident in this blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. The mountain elevations also mean a more expressive nuance to all of these grapes, and they work so well together in this blend. Look for a little smoke and vanilla mixed into the black cherry and cocoa in this bottle. Chapellette has a great mouthfeel and vivid flavor profile to it. This wine works well with savory and grilled red meats, but don’t rule out just sitting and enjoying glass after glass by itself.
La Procession Malbec 2014 – $11.99
I have been enjoying La Procession since it arrived this past summer, though I hesitate to say just how many bottles I have enjoyed and shared over the past few month. Most people do not think of France when they hear Malbec, but this is where cultivation of Malbec first occurred. La Procession is just deep enough and has enough peppery spice on it to be considered classic Malbec, but it’s a little more subtle and subdued. To be sure, the fine dark fruits still come through but this is a wine presented in a more approachable and friendly style. Easy drinking and flavorful, this is a wine that disappears way too fast. This is one of those bottles I keep stocked up on for the holidays… a ready and appreciated crowd-pleaser that won’t break the bank. Tasty!
Norton Late Harvest Chardonnay 2014 – $9.99
Friends and family is what Thanksgiving is all about my house, and that means hosting a few people who enjoy off-dry and sweet wines. I always lay in a few bottles of Norton Late Harvest Chardonnay for this purpose. When you leave the grapes on the vine a bit longer than usual, a natural sweetness develops. This clean sweetness is what Norton’s captures in their Late Harvest Chardonnay. Balanced and smooth, you will delight at the candied melon, mango, and peach that come through in the wine, with just the right balance between soft textures and crispness in the mouthfeel. Serve chilled and watch the smiles develop.
Malvira Birbet Brachetto – $22.99
I think Italian wine makers are the best at sweet wines and Malvira Birbet is my proof. It is elegantly made and rich in flavor, with the right touch of sweet and a little spritz. This is a wine that is sure to please your fussiest relatives. Serves quite well as a dessert wine for your more educated palates as well. This is a brighter and fresher alternative to Lambrusco. Oh yes, rumor has it that Birbet is the healthiest grape that you can drink, so Malvira can fill that little niche for its medicinal value as well! Enjoy.
Cotes De Provence Corail Rosé 2016 – $17.99
There’s aways a rosé at my table for Thanksgiving. Correction, there are always several bottles of rosé! This year’s selection is Cotes de Provence Corail, Chateau de Roquefort. The deep salmon color is outstanding and sure to build anticipation as my guests wait to share a glass. With Corail, you’ll get the usual blending of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Lighter than a full red with hints of strawberry, this is a wine that pairs well with a brined, roasted bird. It also pairs well with ham or savory pork. It is sure to be well received at any table. And don’t worry about remembering its full name; it just won’t last that long.
Maison Louis Latour Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2104 – $17.99
I love serving the wines of Burgundy year round with pork, lamb, and savory chicken meals, but they seem particularly well-suited for Thanksgiving. Burgundy wines are always a great compliment for a roasted turkey, and more importantly, they go so well with all the earthy, harvest-time side dishes. Whether sauteed mushrooms with green beans, braised or roasted carrots and parsnips, or all of the above, Valmoissine is a wine that will carry through and elevate the entire menu. Get an extra bottle; your guests will want to open another after the first one disappears so quickly.
Vigneti Del Vulture Pipoli 2012 – $19.99
I am not sure how Pipoli fits into my holiday menu but since I like it, I make it fit! This is a great wine for appetizers, lighter red meats, and pasta dishes. Or salad. Or roasted nuts. Or any time you just need to open a bottle to share with friends. On opening you’ll note medium red fruit with hints of rose petals and small notes of oak. The flavors demonstrate well-integrated deep red fruit, cherries, and some under layers of brown herbs. There’s a refreshing finish, and mature tannins give a hint of depth to a medium-light bodied sip. This is a wine that you will always want to have around the house…just in case.