Let’s face it—wine can be intimidating, and that’s especially true around the holidays when you want everything to be just right. For Thanksgiving, you might be tempted to pull out that special bottle, one you’ve been saving for just the right occasion, maybe a well-aged Cabernet or a big, oaky Chardonnay. Resist the temptation. This is the wrong time for the wine to compete for center stage. What you want is a complement to the meal—after all, wine is about food.
The good news is that the center piece of most Thanks-giving meals is the turkey, a rather neutral bird that’s a friendly companion to most any wine. The bad news is that the rest of the meal, everything from cranberry sauce to oys-ter dressing, from green bean casserole to sweet potatoes and yams, is not so accommodating. Here are a few sugges-tions to help make your choice easier:
For a warm up, consider a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. Supple and racy, fruity and floral, it is a celebration of this year’s harvest, which makes it a great choice for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re bringing in three different 2015s, available starting November 19: the Georges Du-boeuf, the Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Descroix.
Sparkling Wine: Although there’s no reason to save it for special occasions, bubbles are always a festive choice. Add to that the fact that sparkling wines are one of the most ver-satile, food friendly choices, and they make for a great Thanksgiving match. Here are a few staff favorites:
Zuccolo Prosecco Extra Dry, $12.99 See Divit’s review in the Staff Picks
Primaterra Prosecco Brut, $12.99 A beautiful take on a dryer styled Prosecco.
L. Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé, $20.00 Always a best buy, top quality sparkler.
2012 Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rosé, $24.00 Takes Spanish cava to a whole new level.
Roederer Estate Brut Rosé, $28.00 A perennial favorite fromRoederer’s California winery.
White Wines: To work with your Thanksgiving Day feast, a white wine needs either a little sweetness backed by good acidity, or a definite richness with good structure. Any of the following fill the bill.
2013 Man Chenin Blanc, $8.99
2012 Secateurs Chenin Blanc, $14.99 South Africa has a way with this variety. Take your pick from two outstanding examples.
2012 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, $12.99 A crowd pleasing favorite from California.
2014 Coiled Dry Riesling, $16.99 World class Riesling from Idaho.
2014 Hat Ranch Dry Moscato, $17.99 Voted best of show at the Idaho Wine Competion.
2013 St. Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone, $18.99 A blend of five different grapes including Picpoul de Pinet, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Clairette.
2014 Selbach Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Feinherb, $28.00
Rosés: Some people only drink rosé in the summer, but the Co-op Wine Crew pour it all year long. It’s another great choice for Thanksgiving. We still have a large selection of rosés to choose from, and the good news is that most all of them are on member sale. Here’s just a few.
2014 Domaine de Figueirasse Gris de Gris, reg. $11.99, sale $9.99
2014 Les Rochelles Cabernet d’Anjou, reg. $13.99, sale $11.99
2014 Mattes-Sabran Duc de Narbonne Corbières, reg. $14.99, sale $11.99
2014 Domaine Lafond Tavel, Roc-Epine reg. $16.99, sale $13.99
2014 Mas de Gourgonnier, reg. $18.99, sale $14.99
2014 Vacheron Sancere, reg. $26.00, sale $20.00
Red Wines: When it comes to reds it’s hard to find a more food friendly option than Pinot Noir with it’s fruit driven style backed by good acidity and soft tannins. But, if Pinot is not your thing, there are other options. The trick is to keep it fresh and fruity, but with good acid balance, and light on the tannins. Here are some top choices for most any budget:
2014 J. Lohr Wildflower Valdigue, $8.99
2014 Underwood Pinot Noir, $11.99 The Best Buy in an Oregon Pinot.
2013 Berger Zweigelt, $14.99, 1 liter An Austrian charmer in a value priced package.
2013 Gardacho Garnacha Vieja, $15.99
2013 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Willamette, $20.00
2013 Crater Rim Pinot Noir, Waipara $28.00 An exceptional entry from New Zealand.
1999 Francois Jobard Bourgogne, $30.00 A great buy on a cellar release from a top vintage.