Turkey Wines

Ruh roh

Uh oh

It’s almost that time of the year again, Thanksgiving!

Time to gather the family, roast a turkey, eat until you can’t move and grab a few bottles of good vino so you can handle said family and food.  Luckily I’m here to help you wash away your woes with a list of delicious wines that won’t break the bank (all of these, aside from the Champagne, should retail under $25) but will go well with the holiday spirit and match the different textures and flavors on the table.  In fact, I’ve lined them up in terms of cost, and you’ll see I’m not lying.  So warm up your corkscrews, here we go…

Le Roujal

Le Roujal

Let’s start with what I like to call our “party” wine, the Terre du Sol Le Roujal.  In other words, it’s inexpensive, easy to drink, and delicious.  In this case, there’s even some earthy complexity to the wild red fruit notes.  It’s from a densely-planted vineyard with sandy soils by the Mediterranean in the South of France, and it’s a field blend.  In other words, we’re not quite sure what’s in it, though we’re pretty certain there’s Syrah, Grenache and even a drop of Merlot.  But who cares?  For a wine this good and at this price point, you can chug this all day long without worrying if it goes with Auntie May’s cranberries or Uncle Joe’s potato salad.  And you don’t even need a corkscrew, it’s under screwcap.  So twist away the night, baby!

Le Rose

Le Rosé

Most people think serving Rosé after September 1st is like wearing white after Labor Day: a real no-no.  WTF is wrong with these folks?  Rosé makes you think of summer during winter, refreshes you in summer, and is one of the most versatile wines on the planet, if done right.  Luckily for us, Clos Bagatelle’s Jardin de Bagatelle Rosé is gorgeously well-made.  Crisp, refreshing, minerally, with lovely light red fruits, it’s got weightless weight to it that lets it marry well with most foods on the table at Thanksgiving.

 

Tripoz Macon

Tripoz Macon

Let’s face facts, sometimes you just want a lovely crisp glass of Chardonnay.  And a white with tons of acidity balanced by lovely bright fruit would match many of the dishes at the Thanksgiving table as well as being quite refreshing.  This is where Catherine et Didier Tripoz’ Macon Charnay Clos des Tournons comes in handy.  Screwcapped, it’s a blend of 12 subplots of varying ages that are vinified separately in stainless and concrete tanks, then blended based on what Didier thinks each subplot can bring to the final wine.  A real quaffer, easy to drink.

Cabot Klamath Cuvee

Cabot Klamath Cuvee

OK, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, so we have to have an American wine to celebrate it with.  But, you don’t want to spend big bucks, which can be hard to do these days.  Luckily, John Cabot’s Klamath Cuvee, an Organic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grown on the steep banks of the Klamath River Valley (WAY up north in Humboldt County, better know, for, ahem, growing other things…), can be found for under $20.  This is a wine full of bright fruit and lively acidity, with smoky accents and earthy herbal notes adding to the complexity.  Organic, complex, delicious, this is a great example of what CA wines should be like.

Tsoin Tsoin

Tsoin Tsoin

Many wine writers will recommend Beaujolais Cru for Thanksgiving, and they’re right, for the most part.  However, how about some Biodynamic Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil in the Loire that’s been treated like Gamay is in the Beaujolais.  In other words, a carbonically macerated Cab Franc?  With bright, tart cranberry notes and a super crisp and minerally frame, Laurent Herlin’s Tsoin Tsoin is a great vin de soif and perfect for the varied textures and tastes at the Thanksgiving table.  It’s deliciously different.

FRONT Chinon Closeaux

Speaking of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, you could also choose to go to the ancestral home of that grape: Chinon.  Thierry Landry’s Cuvee des Closeaux Chinon is an Organic wine made from old-vine Cab Franc, hand-harvested and pressed using a 17th century basket press.  Beautiful red fruit notes are accentuated by just a hint of green (I won’t say soupçon, I promise), a medium-bodied frame and a long finish that makes you thirsty for more.  This is one of the best food wines out there, and it will shine on the Thanksgiving dinner table without dulling your wallet.

Cru Vallet

Cru Vallet

Jean-Pascal Aubron’s Cru Vallet Muscadet would be my next choice for whites.  It’s deeper and more complex than the usual Muscadets out there, thanks to several factors: it’s from old vines, it’s from a different soil (gabbro – look it up), and it’s been aged 18 months on its lees in glass-lined underground tanks.  This is traditional wine-making at it’s best.  Perfumy, with a medium-light body and super bright crisp fruit, this will balance well with both the food and the family, refreshing your palate and mind and making Thanksgiving much more enjoyable.

Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz Brut

Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz Brut

Last but definitely not least, I would recommend Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz Brut and Brut Rosé.  Then again, I am a bubblehead, so there’s no real surprise here.  Biodynamic bubblies are what I love, and Jerome is crafting some gorgeous and expressive wines from the Marne Valley.  His wines have low dosage and tiny bubbles, and are quite expressive.  As we all know, Champagne is a great food wine, and Jerome’s wines are no different.  Lastly, let’s not forget, this is a holiday after all, and Champagne always evokes celebration, so let’s party on!

There you have it, a small selection of (mostly) sub-$25 wines that should pair nicely with the Thanksgiving meal and make the day so much more enjoyable for so many reasons.  If you’re interested in the technical details, you can find detailed information HERE.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

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