Wines for a Thanksgiving Turkey





 Although Thanksgiving is an American National Holiday, it is becoming an increasingly popular celebration on the fourth Thursday of November in the UK too, whether it be with expats from across the pond, or simply because it’s a good excuse to have a party. It is the end of November after all; that strange middle ground where singing Christmas songs is still frowned upon (just a few more days, Jon!) and the warming tipples and bright lights of Bonfire Night seem a distant memory…
 
 
Image by Satya Murthy
 
Let us at least do some of the hard work for you and choose the wine, so all you’ll have to do is cook the turkey (which, to be fair, is no mean feat).
 
 Image by Tim Sackton
 
It seems only fair to start with a few offerings courtesy of our American cousins…
 
The hugely-acclaimed Robert Mondavi Winery makes a marvellously smooth Pinot Noir with a fruity, plum and berry nose with a hint of spice, which is also echoed on the palate. The light tannins make this splendid wine an ideal accompaniment to white meat.
 
Tangley Oaks’ Merlot is a wonderfully smooth red with a medium-bodied, fruity palate: it would make for a fine accompaniment to a flavourful meal with lots of rich trimmings, stuffing and gravy.
 
 Image by Tim Sackton
 
The Federalist Zinfandel continues to cause a stir in the office having featured regularly at a few of our consumer tasting events this month. Some believe this punchy number would overwhelm the succulent turkey, whereas others wouldn’t dare drink anything else. The previous vintage (2010) won Best Zinfandel at the IWSC and this deliciously fruity red, adorned with a beautifully designed wine label that commemorates the most famous Federalist in American history, Alexander Hamilton, is a suitably patriotic wine to showcase on Thanksgiving.
 
Crossing over to France, you cannot go wrong with a great Red Burgundy. Embrace the tradition of the Old World with the Domaine Rodet Château de Mercey Pinot Noir. This relatively light and fruity red will perfectly complement the light flavours of your turkey. Or, if it’s a white wine you are after, an oaked Chardonnay such as Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet is a fantastic wine that will be a winner with poultry such as turkey.
 
 
The acidity of Northern Italian whites lend themselves very nicely to food, and this Gavi di Gavi by Domini Villa Lanata is a great match for this rich white meat. Fresh and minerally, this aromatic Italian from Piemonte is a deliciously versatile food wine and a real favourite with some of London’s top sommeliers.
 
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to plan a Thanksgiving Supper so I can drink some of these wines!
 
 
 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir 2009, Carneros £17.99
United States | Carneros
 
 The Carneros region enjoys the cooling influence of the nearby San Francisco Bay and produces excellent Pinot Noir grapes. This wine is marvellously smooth and seductively typical of the best Pinot Noirs – well worth trying.
 
 
 
Tangley Oaks Merlot 2010 £12.99
United States | Napa Valley
 
Napa Valley Merlot grapes were tank fermented and the wine aged for 20 months in French oak barrels. Shows ripe plum, dark cherry and savoury herb notes on the nose. The medium-bodied palate, with its smooth and rounded texture, replays the fruit shown on the nose but adds a touch of mocha.
 
 
 
The Federalist Zinfandel 2011£18.99 now £17.09
United States | California
 
 Handcrafted parcels of Zinfandel from the optimum growing region of Dry Creek Valley vineyards, help produce this lovely wine that has a robust berry fruit character and a lively acidity that allows it to partner superbly with a wide variety of foods.
A hugely impressive wine made from handcrafted parcels of Zinfandel picked in the optimum growing region of the Dry Creek Valley in California. This hugely-acclaimed, big bruiser of a wine has a robust berry fruit character, lively acidity and a hearty alcoholic kick that allows it to partner superbly with a wide variety of foods, particularly chargrilled meat. Very much a critical darling, the beautiful wine label features the leader and most famous Federalist in American history, Alexander Hamilton.
 
 
 
 Domaine Rodet Château de Mercey Pinot Noir 2008 £12.49
 France | Burgundy
 
 Overtly fruity yet elegantly complex Burgundian Pinot Noir from a respected Château that was founded in 1875. An award-winning Pinot Noir from its spiritual home in Burgundy, some of the grapes for this abundantly fruity and effortlessly accessible wine come from the picturesque vineyards that embrace the 16th Century Château in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune appellation. A fifth of this stylishly structured blend is aged in oak in order to add a complexity and depth of flavour, yet the delicious, fruit-led personality is never compromised.
 
 
 
Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet 2011 £31.99
France | Burgundy
 
Together with its neighbour Puligny, Chassagne-Montrachet is what white Burgundy is all about - subtle and yet full, a glass of wine that has so much in it, you have to sip it slowly to really appreciate the finesse. No strong flavoured foods with this wine – ideal with grilled or roast chicken or a piece of freshly grilled fish will be the perfect foil.
 
 
 
Domini Villa Lanata Gavi di Gavi 'La Toledana' 2013£14.99 now £11.24
Italy | Piemonte
 
 Apparently, aromatic Italian is the way to go and we're not talking about the opposite sex. Aromatic whites, like this Gavi, are a real winner with chicken, fish and seafood. Gavi's a bit similar to Chablis when it comes to flavour, perhaps with a little more weight. We like drinking this...lots!
 
 
 Main blog image by vxla
 
 
 

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 

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