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Top 10 Thanksgiving Day Wines


Thanksgiving can be a high pressure event with all of the food prep, guest preferences, wine selections and seating arrangements, but it doesn't have to be! While turkey tends to take the spotlight, it's really the savory sides that demand the perfect pairings from a wine on Thanksgiving Day. The white and dark meat of the roasted bird are pretty easy to please when it comes to finding the right wine; however, the herb-filled stuffing, cranberry sauce or relish, and roasted veggies can put the pairing pressure on finding the right wine. We'll try to pare down the preparations by offering up a starting point for our top Thanksgiving wine picks and pairings.

1. Hahn Estates Pinot Noir 2012 (CA) $14

Hahn Estates
This well-priced Pinot Noir from Hahn Estates promises plenty of ripe raspberry and bright cherry on the nose mixed with earthy undertones and sweet vanilla spice. The palate profile is brimming with a triple berry blend of raspberry, strawberry, and Bing cherry with silky textures and a medium bodied style. Perfect for pairing with a variety of summer time favorites, this particular Pinot will bring out the best in grilled pork, poultry, or even portabella mushroom.

2. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc - Viognier 2012 (CA) $14

Pine Ridge
This stunning, exceptionally priced cuvee of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier packs a gorgeous nose featuring the engaging aromatics of ripe melon, sweet peach and d'Anjou pear along with a dizzying dose of complimentary floral notes. The palate plunges into exotic themes of tropical fruit with lush pineapple, juicy peach, and mango with a medium-body, a slightly off-dry character and lots of lively acidic zip. A delicious delight from start to finish!

3. Schloss Saarstein Riesling Spatlese 2011 (Germany) $24

Schloss Saarstein
A delicious Riesling from Schloss Saarstein running at 8% alcohol, the 2011 brings layers of lemon and lime citrus to the forefront with a peach punch and backed up with plenty of lively, lip-smacking acidity. This Riesling charms with a medium-body and a significant fresh factor firmly grounded by undeniable slate-laced minerality and an elegant, enduring finish. Consider pairing the Schloss Saarstein Riesling with assorted Turkey Day fare, sure to be a crowd pleaser with the sweeter palate profile and generous, food-friendly acidity.

4. Gary Farrell Pinot Noir 2010 (CA) $40

Gary Farrell
From Sonoma's Russian River Valley, the 2010 Gary Farrell Pinot promises plenty of deeply concentrated red fruit and pumpkin pie spice, sealed in a vanilla veil. The palate pleases with plush red berry fruit, beautiful balance and an engaging, silky finish. Pinot Noir in general, is one of the most forgiving red wines when it comes to food pairing problems and remains one of the best picks for a red wine tasting partner on Thanksgiving Day.

5. La Marca Prosecco (Italy) $15

La Marca
Everybody loves a good bottle of Prosecco and La Marca enjoys plenty of fans these days. With easy going bubbles, sweet citrus fruit, and delicate floral aromas, it's no wonder that this is a very popular Prosecco. Clean lines, lively acidity, food pairing versatility, a fair price and solid distribution, all work together to give the La Marca Prosecco a definitive market edge. Give it a go with a variety of Thanksgiving Day appetizers or let this bubbly march through the meal from start to finish, seamlessly adapting to a variety of spices, textures, and tastes.

6. Hogue Genesis Syrah 2009 (WA) $12

Hogue Cellars
A fantastic, wallet-wise Syrah find from Washington State, the 2009 Hogue Cellars Syrah charms with black currant, blackberry and black licorice. A classic hint of gamey character along with the warm vanilla spice and a cerebral, steady structure give this supple Syrah an edge for Thanksgiving pairings.

7. Segura Viudas Brut Rosé NV (Spain) $9

If you are looking to shake things up, then you might want to consider this bright pink sparkler from Spain. You will find a good dose of citrus on the nose and buckets of strawberry mingling with raspberry on the effervescent palate. Good acidity, a surprising finish and a great price make this Brut Rose a perfect pick wine for any occasion.

8. Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2012 (CA) $15

A lively, layered 100% Sauvignon Blanc that offers up some serious citrus in the form of lemon, lime and grapefruit on the nose and followed up on the palate profile. Classic herbal undertones, with a touch of smoke and wet-stone minerality round out the rest of the aromatic content. Expect plenty of bright acidity - a major factor in this wine's extraordinarily food-friendly nature- along with structural depth and an enduring finish. Perfect for pairing with herb-filled stuffing, white and dark turkey meat, sweet potatoes, and much more.

9. Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2011 (CA) $20

There's a lot to like about the 2011 Seghesio Zinfandel, and even more to enjoy over a Thanksgiving meal. From the generous layers of blackberry, raspberry and dark cherry fruit to the enticing swirl of toasty spice, this Zin has got it going on. Plenty of lively acidity and palate pep, decisive integration and overall balance with a remarkable finish, this particular red wine will handle itself well alongside turkey and all of the favorite fixings on Thanksgiving Day.

10. Graham's "Six Grapes" Reserve Port (Portugal) $20

The Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port is a young, dynamic blend of six grape varietals that showcases rich, concentrated aromatics and engaging fruit intensity on the palate. A welcome introduction to the world of fortified wines, this particular entry-level port from Graham's brings layers of flavor including dark cherry and chocolate with an under girding of warm spice and a nutty nuance. Port is perfect for this time of year with a mix of darker chocolates, nuts, blue cheese and berry-based desserts. Think Thanksgiving pies from pecan to pumpkin and Bourbon chocolate chip pie to cherry tart. Ports deliver a delicious finish to the Thanksgiving meal, whether partnered with dessert or serving as dessert itself.
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