Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving wine’

Thanksgiving Wine Classes

November 22nd, 2014 • No Comments

It’s that time of year where everyone wants to know which wine goes with the Thanksgiving Turkey..

Here are some fun wine classes around Thanksgiving that offer more than just the usual suspects like Beaujolais Nouveau and German Rieslings – both great, but there are so many fantastic and fun pairings to consider! The key to Thanksgiving is to consider the whole family..or at least those over 21 years of age – I mean does Aunt Harriet really want some complex pairing partner to her pumpkin pie with marshmallows? Maybe something not too heavy, and even a touch sweet works better! I always say bring 2 bottles to the Thanksgiving meal – one cheap for everybody who just wants something fun to drink and one for yourself..who’s going to notice anyway – just put your favorite bottle under the table, grab and pour when needed..

Turkey Day Walk-Around at New York Vintners on Sunday, November 23, 2014

In this walk-around style event, you will be “Thankful” to taste 15 of our most sought-after. Those wines are hand-selected by our Chef and Sommelier Staff and beyond Beaujolais with 3 stations of wine styles that are perfect compliments to a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Whether you are planning dinner at your own home or want advice on what to bring to a party, our 3 sommeliers will assist you while you taste delicious, great value wines.

Turley Blind Zinfandel Tasting at Cafe Tallulah in New York, Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This is with Wine Workshop which not only does excellent tastings but some pretty awesome (pricey too!) wine dinners with some of the world’s greatest wine producers..Since Turley’s debut vintage of 1993, it was quickly established that Turley Cellars was deadly serious about making blockbuster Zinfandels from some of California’s oldest, pre-prohibition, head-pruned vineyards. The wines are made from super ripe grapes that express the essence of Zinfandel. Larry Turley’s wines are extraordinarily rich and clearly the most concentrated and powerful Zinfandels ever made. As Robert Parker has stated many times in the past, “Turley Cellars’ offerings have become the reference point for Zinfandel, as they are the most complex, concentrated, hedonistic wines ever produced from this varietal.”

Taste among these classics:
1996 Aida; 2002, 2003 Dragon; 1998, 2001 Duarte, 1999 Estate; 1997, 2001 Moore ‘Earthquake’; 2001 Pesenti; 1999, 2001 Pringle Family; 2003 Rattlesnake Ridge; 1999, 2000 Tofanelli and 2001 Vineyard 101. Fantastic Fortified Flavors of Port, Sherry and Madeira, Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 at Chain Bridge Cellars, McLean, VA

As Fall turns to Winter and Thanksgiving and the December Holidays come close, it’s a fine time to explore the warming wonders of the world’s best fortified wines.  They can be dry and savory (like Rainwater or Sercial Madeira) or sweet and unctuous (like Bual Madeira or Port).  Some are complements to a fine meal, while others are the crowning touch after dessert.  But all are fascinating, fun to explore, and very, very, delicious.

Join us on Sunday, November 23, as we explore the world of sweet and savory fortified wines from Port and Medeira.  We’ll taste four Ports, ranging from a wood-aged white Port to a rare single-vintage Tawny and two wines from the great 2011 Vintage Port release:

Rozes Porto White Reserve NV
Quinta Dona Matilde Vintage Port 2011
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2011
Quinta Dona Matilde Colhieta Port 2004

For the Madeiras, we’ll travel back in time to the 18th Century, when Madeira was the most popular drink of our Founding Fathers.  The Rare Wine Company and Madeira producer Barbeito have created a line-up of wines that showcase styles most popular in various cities of Colonial America – we’ll try four of them:

Barbeito New York Malmsey Reserve
Barbeito Boston Bual Reserve
Barbeito Baltimore Rainwater Reserve
Barbeito Charleston Sercial Reserve

We’ll serve you some wonderful pairing bites like walnuts, dried fruit, salty bleu cheeses, and even a little dark chocolate so you can enjoy how well the wines play with food.  You’ll learn how they were created, are made, and the best way and time to enjoy each wine.  Most of all, though, you’ll enjoy eight delicious fortified wines and a rousing good time!

Is It Impossible to Match One Wine With Thanksgiving Meal?

November 23rd, 2008 • No Comments


One of the most published wine articles in the U.S. is how to pair the perfect wine with the Thanksgiving Turkey and fixings.  This is truly next to impossible to do, what with the flavors at the table which go from subtle or even bland turkey (standard Butterball, Organic, Free-Range, Heritage?) to super sweet and fruity cranberries.  Add to this the fact that every family seems to have it’s own take on the meal: oyster stuffing, fried turkeys, sweet potato pie with marshmallows baked on top, etc..  So what is your best bet for pairing wine with this traditional meal?

I like to drink wine with pretty much every meal, but not everyone in my family cares for wine, in fact some family members don’t drink at all!  If you live in DC, most likely you’ve caught the wine bug and you love to drink with your meal, but maybe your Uncle Ted or cousin Martha is not really a wine lover and prefers jug wine or white zinfandel out of a box, so this is the first hurdle – who’s going to be sharing the wine with you?  My solution: provide a cheap $10 or under a bottle of wine that is a well-known brand, one bottle of white like Chardonnay and one bottle of red like a Cab or Australian Shiraz, and keep the bottle of wine you like under the table – it’s your private stash!  If somebody protests, simply give them a pour of your wine.  If there are other serious wine lovers around, by all means share, that’s what wine, family and Thanksgiving are all about!

So which wine goes best with turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry salad, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, etc..?  With such a myriad of flavors, no wine could match all the robust flavors at the table, so wine rule number 1 applies: simply drink a wine you really like..if you’re not satisfied with that answer, always choose wines in the middle range of flavors when you have a broad range of food flavors.  For example, a light white wine might get overtaken by all the fattiness on the table and a big Cabernet will overwhelm pretty much all of the subtle flavors.  On the other hand light-bodied to medium-bodied red wines like Beaujolais (Nouveau is fine for this meal), Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Pinot Noir are less tannic than Cabernet and often marry well with a variety of flavors.  If you like white wine, then Riesling with a touch of residual sugar (off-dry) really does a nice job with a variety of flavors like the sweetness and tanginess of cranberries and the wine’s acidity can cut through the fattiness of gravy.  Chardonnay will work in a pinch, maybe a less oaked one will show best, but I find if there are any smokey foods, than oaked Chardonnays work fine.  Gewurztraminer?  I’ve heard this goes with Thanksgiving a million times, but the fact that it’s such a rich and sometimes overwhelming fruity and can also be a bitter wine, I think it just overwhelms everything.  Plus, there aren’t that many affordable and good Gewurz’s sold, so why put yourself into a corner?

A good inexpensive sparkling wine definitely gets everyone in a great mood, goes really well with fatty/greasy foods, and sets the tone for celebration.  Rather than spend a fortune on good Champagne, go for a less expensive Cava from Spain or even a slightly sweet Prosecco from Italy – for under $15 a bottle you can enjoy them without breaking the bank!

On dessert wines – they tend to be expensive even when you consider they normally come in half-bottles.  If you’re having dessert sweets, skip the dessert wine as a pairing, I find dessert wines paired with sweets to be overwhelming and frankly take away the pleasure of dessert wines.  On the other hand, dessert wines make a nice nightcap if you’re not hitting the Scotch or Cognac, maybe a good idea if people are hitting the road!  BTW – please watch out for people who are drinking too much, especially if they’re driving – definitely make sure they don’t get in the car inebriated..

Have a happy Turkey from..

Charlie “I Drink On Job” Adler