Thanksgiving Wine

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ClosDuBoisChard Whether you’re cooking your own turkey or playing guest at someone else’s abode, what wine to bring to dinner is a crucial question this week. (Unless, like my family, you drink champagne instead of wine on holidays – but that’s another story.)

My recommendations have always been simple:

  • Get what you like, though keep your hosts or guests in mind if you know your tastes differ greatly.
  • Peruse the Chairman Selections at your local Wine & Spirits store. Descriptions and ratings make it easy to grab top notch wine for as low as $10.
  • Easy go-tos include Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Nouveau (just out!) and Pinot Grigio. I find these are wines that are agreeable to most palates.
  • And, here are 12 Affordable Wines for Thanksgiving from Real Simple.

If you’re into buying local, you’re in luck. The Pennsylvania Winery Association released this helpful guide from local vintners on what they recommend to pair with your Thanksgiving Dinner. Read the list after the jump.

Allegheny Cellars: Try their gold-medal winning Bull Hill Blush. It’s a “finely tuned blend of Niagara and Concord and its fruitiness lends itself perfectly to Turkey and all the accompanying goodies.”– Alan Chapel, Allegheny Cellars Winery

Benigna’s Creek: Try their Benigna’s Tears, a semi-sweet Cayuga white.

Blue Mountain Vineyards: “2009 Riesling would go great with a smoked turkey or roasted turkey with bacon tucked under the skin and sage stuffing. Use a mixture of our 2009 Vignoles and chicken stock to baste your turkey to get intense flavors of pineapple throughout the meat and then thicken to make a sauce. The Vignoles would also be great mixed in whipped sweet potatoes with a touch of orange zest. Of course, make sure you save some to enjoy with the meal!”—Jamie Metzger

Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery: Try their gold-medal winning Gewurztraminer. A sister of the Riesling grape, Gewürztraminer has a heavier mouth feel with just a touch of spice.

Calvaresi Winery: “Definitely Riesling!” – Tom Calvaresi

Chaddsford Winery: “Some good Chaddsford suggestions would be PROPRIETORS RESERVE WHITE because it has enough acidity to cut through the bland turkey and hold up to the fattier side dishes, or perhaps SUNSET BLUSH for it’s balance of flexible fresh fruit. And I have no doubt that the zingy acid and slight sweetness of our new ’09 RIESLING would be a killer! If you like dry reds, a light red like our 2008 PINOT NOIR with its delicate, fruity flavors is a good choice.” – Eric Miller, Chaddsford Winemaker

Clover Hill Vineyards: Try their Turtle Rock Red, Oak Vidal Blanc, Spiced Apple and Riesling. “Fact: Few wines are as flavorful as Riesling and few meals are as flavorful as the Thanksgiving Day feast.”

Crossing Vineyards: Try their unique version of the Beaujolais Nouveau called “Le Nouveau”. “Le Nouveau is made from estate grown Chambourcin grapes and is a perfect complement to Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings.” – Chris Carroll

Hunters Valley Winery: Try their Vidal Blanc.

Laurel Mountain Winery: Try their Mountain Mist, a fruity, semi sweet white that pairs well with chicken or turkey.

Mount Nittany Winery: Try their Geisenheim (white) and Syrah (red).

Nissley Vineyards: “The Nissley family’s key to successfully pairing wine with the traditional turkey dinner is to serve at least two wines: Cabernet Franc, a dry light-bodied red wine for the wine experienced Aunts and Uncles; and Candlelight, a semi-dry pale rosé wine for the less experienced nieces and nephews. Children join in with fruit juice served in sturdy stemmed glassware.” – Judy Nissley

Oak Spring Winery: Try their Cranberry Wine (made from 100% cranberries). Their motto is “Why buy cranberry sauce when you can get cranberry sauced?” – Scott Schraff

Rose Bank Winery: Try their Cranberry or Pomegranate wine.

Seven Mountains Wine Cellars: Try their Cranberry Wine, sweet up front with the tartness of the cranberries at the finish. “Once you try this pairing you’ll never go back.” – Maryann Bubb

Shade Mountain Vineyards: Try their semi-sweet Cranberry wine. It’s made from 100% cranberries, ends with a bit of tartness and it’s extremely refreshing.

Sorrenti’s Cherry Valley Vineyards: Try their Cranberry Blush, featuring cranberries blended with white grapes.

Stargazers Vineyard: Try their Dornfelder. “You can’t get any more special than that!” – John Weygandt

Stonekeep Meadery: Our Elderberry Melomel or our Traditional Honey Mead both go very well with Turkey. Elderberry is for those that like a flavorful and slightly earthy wine to go with a meal and Traditional Mead is for someone who likes something a little sweeter. “If the Vikings had turkey they would have been drinking mead.” – Sheree Krasley

Stone Villa Wine Cellars: Try their Padre’s Rose’. Its cranberry fruitiness and hint of tartness pair nicely with those holiday entrées such as turkey, ham and pork.

Vynecrest Winery: “Our 2010 Vintage Nouveau Beaujolais crafted from the Gamay Beaujolias grape is young, fresh and fruity, meant to be opened and enjoyed within six months. It pairs well with holiday turkey.” – Jan Landis

West Hanover Winery: Try their Blackberry Wine.

Winfield Winery: Try their Cranberry and Plum wines.

To sum this up, here’s some advice from Eric Miller of Chaddsford Winery — “Don’t forget, if there are enough people coming to dinner, you can satisfy everyone’s preference by serving more than one kind of wine!”

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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