Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Wine Picks 2010

If you’re like me, your friend’s and families’ wine preferences vary greatly. Here I’ve put together some recent samples that are sure to please a multitude of palates. From sweet to drier, none of the wines are offensive and should be a hit in any group.
2008 Helfrich Riesling A.O.C. Alsace
For an appetizer try pairing salty or rind cheeses with a nice Riesling such as 2008 Helfrich Riesling priced right at $14.99. I try to keep the appetizers a little light. Try pairing this wine with Big Ed’s cheese, I found mine at Whole Foods. You could also serve this wine with the main course or dessert, it lends itself beautifully to a multitude of food flavors.
Aromas are full of honey, citrus and orange blossoms. Flavors are crisp and clean with more citrus, green apple and a hint of mineral. Flavors are off dry so this isn’t a really sweet Riesling.
Harvest Brix 24
Alcohol 12.5%
TA 8.3 g/L
pH 3.05
RS 6.0 g/L
For more Helfrich reviews, click here.

2009 Wild Rock Vin Gris Rosé Hawke’s Bay
I have to admit, I was almost afraid to try the Wild Rock Vin Gris Rosé. I’ve had so many disappointing Rosé wines this summer, I wasn’t sure if I could face another. I ws very pleasantly surprised, this one was delicious. Priced very affordable at just $9.99, you can go for a little bigger turkey now.
Aromas are perfect for Thanksgiving bursting with cranberry, cherry and a hint of citrus. Flavors are crisp, fresh and still slightly dry with residual sugars at 6.0. Well balanced acidity throughout, only complaint was the creamy finish was a little too short. I wanted to keep on enjoying. I solved that problem by tipping the glass back once more.
Harvest Brix 23.1
Alcohol 13.72%
TA 6.2 g/L
pH 3.07
RS 6.0 g/L

2006 St. Francis Winery Merlot Sonoma County
Not everyone is a fan of Rosé, offer other choices for your guests. I know the old adage, white meat, white wine. I find that very old school and feel there really are no rules when it comes to wine and food pairings. Drink what you like so go ahead and put that red wine on the table. The wine will hold up well with all the spices in those side dishes. St. Francis Merlot is fruit forward and packs loads of lush plum and black pepper aromas. Spicy herbal flavors, bold tannins and a hint of chocolate in the finish will make this a must serve on any Holiday table.
Alcohol 15%

Total Acidity .065 g/L
pH 3.49
Price $22

2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Red Burgundy
Founded in 1859, this old world classic is light and easy drinking, critical when you’re filling up on carbs and hitting the food wall. Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Burgundy is 100% Gamay grapes. Aromatic raspberry and black plum pair beautifully with fresh cranberry sauce and turkey. Flavors are light and not overpowering with just a hint of spice and black pepper. Meant to be consumed when bottled but can be cellared for up to five years. Pairs great with leftover turkey sandwiches.
Fonesco Porto Bin 27
Don’t put down that fork or wineglass yet, we still have dessert. Port is one of the most delightful and guilty pleasures in my little world. Coming in a wide range of prices Fonesco Porto Bin 27, priced at $19, is geared toward the budget minded Port drinker. While it will age some, Bin 27 is meant to be consumed directly after bottling.
Color still shows the deep red and plum colors of a red wine but looks can be deceiving. Sweet, fruity plum aromas, sweet and velvet smooth flavors wash over the palate. Pairs wonderfully with apple or pecan pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Remember to consume this one in moderation as alcohol content is 20%.

W & J Graham’s Porto Tawny Aged 20 Years Douro Valley Portugal
I’ve saved the best for last with Graham’s Tawny 20 year old Port. Priced around $52, this was a Christmas gift last year from my father-in-law. The Port is a blend of older more complex wines and younger wines. Light amber in color, nutty and orange aromas intermingles with smooth, rich concentrated flavors of honey, almonds and caramel. Finish is warm and lingering. This would be truly magnificent with homemade pumpkin pie. My only problem is, at best we have about two sips left in the bottle so I’ll have to just imagine what the two would really taste like.

So there you have it, my Thanksgiving picks. Regardless of what you serve, enjoy the day and remember when things get a little tense, grab your wine glass, take a sip and just breathe.

2010© Kellie Stargaard. All Rights Reserved.

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