October 2010

Fun And Quirky Wines For Thanksgiving

Author: Krissy Cantelupe

Each year since the first publication of CH2/CB2, I have written about what to drink with your Thanksgiving feast. Usually I recommend Gewürztraminer, which I still do, and Pinot Noir, which also pairs fabulously with turkey, duck or quail. But this year, I wanted to showcase some fun and “different” wines that work great not only with Thanksgiving, but other great fall feasts.

Why not sparkling, and why not Prosecco? Instead of traditional Champagne, which may cost much more, choose an Italian Prosecco. LaMarca Prosecco is relatively new, and it does not disappoint. The flavors are fresh and clean, with ripe citrus and lemon, green apple, and a finish of grapefruit, minerality and a hint of toast. The wine is made in the Treviso area of Northern Italy and from 100 percent prosecco grapes, giving full-textured and persistent bubbles—fantastic for Thanksgiving Day and all your fall feasts.

This wine is a delight from South Africa with the quirky name to go with it. The structure is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Gamay Noir, and Mourvedre. The color is a bright, cheerful pink, and the nose has notes of red fruit and berries. The flavors are fresh and vibrant, slightly sweet and fruit-driven, with all the berry flavor you can imagine and a complex, lingering finish. Not only is this a match for your fall feasts, it can stand up to the cranberry sauce and a harvest fruit and nut salad.

BEYOND HALLOWEEN: The Spanish Demon Tempranillo:
Who says you can’t serve something sassy with your Holiday feast? Even though Halloween has passed us by, The Spanish Demon lives on. The grapes for this little Tempranillo are from the very best growing region in the Rioja area of north-central Spain. And it is 100 percent Tempranillo with no other grapes blended. The flavors are rich and intense with crisp black fruits and lots of style, even a dash of white pepper to spice things up. This is a fantastic wine for a brand “new” red drinker, or for those looking for fewer tannins. But the best part is the label…

QUE? SYRAH? YES: Matchbook Syrah:
Looking at a bottle of Matchbook Syrah (from Dunnigan Hills, California) reminds you to keep an eye on whatever is in the oven. The label looks as if someone playing with matches started burning it and then was yelled at to put it out. This is attributed to the winemaker and his brother who did play with matches, especially rockets, constantly seeing the fire trucks appear on their property. The wine is divine and speaks for itself. The fresh blueberry and blackberry flavors are complemented by chocolate and vanilla spice. The wine is perfect for anything grilled, braised, or deep-fried in a turkey fryer.



If you manage to cook your way through the recipes in this section, we suggest “picking up” dessert.

For something a little different, try this vanilla bean gelato cake with Reese’s and cream on the inside. You can find it at Pino Gelato in the Village at Wexford.

For something everyone expects, try pumpkin pie – recipe on the back of any canned pumpkin – or call Keith Kelson for his brothin-in-law’s recipe!

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