Wine & Spirits

By Kim Taylor

Thanksgiving, turkey, pumpkin pie and wine all meld together this month in one delicious tribute to gratitude and bounty. Try one of these wines to complement your feast or to gift your host:

Give your gratitude and support to our men and women in the armed forces this holiday by purchasing Josh Cellars wine. Josh Cellars will donate $1 from every bottle sold to Operation Homefront (up to $50,000; read about this charity at http://www.operationhomefront.net), throughout November and December. Vintner Joseph Carr named this label after his father Josh, a retired soldier, so the cause is dear to his heart. These wines are hand crafted in California’s North Coast appellation using classic French techniques, and are available in Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties. Complex and sophisticated, Josh Cellars wines are a fantastic value, and pair exceptionally well with an array of gourmet and artisanal food. See http://www.joshcellars.com and Facebook/JoshCellar for the scoop on this generous winery with excellent offerings.

The Murphy-Goode winery launched the varietal Homefront Red to support Operation Homefront as well, which is a delicious blend of syrah, merlot, petit sirah and zinfandel. Murphy-Goode will donate at least $200,000 to Operation Homefront, and hopes to reach as much as $300,000 – so chip in for military families this holiday by uncorking a bottle or three of this hearty red. Operation Homefront was deemed a 4-star charity, and Murphy-Goode is a family-owned winery based in grape-nurturing Sonoma County, so you can’t go wrong with this choice at your holiday table. Peruse the impressive wine selection at http://www.murphygoodewinery.com.

German Riesling is a perfect match for turkey, ham and vegetables this holiday. Renowned throughout the world (for centuries!) for its white wine, German Rieslings are remarkably versatile and food-friendly wines. The drier German Rieslings offer a fruity acidity that complements roasted turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes, and helps to offset the heaviness of a rich entrée. If you’re having ham at Thanksgiving, a Riesling with a touch of sweetness will match well with a honey-baked or sugar-glazed ham. Germany is the home of the Riesling and produces 60% of the world’s supply. Riesling complements strong pre-dinner cheeses and hors d’oeuvres, fruity desserts (apple pie) and turkey. Riesling ice wines are ultra-concentrated and extremely refined. Arrive with some Rieslings in tow, and read more about them at http://www.germanwines.de.

If you fancy a California Cabernet from a family-owned and operated winery, then the Livermore, CA-based Nottingham Cellars would be ideal. Nottingham specializes in exquisite Cabernet Sauvignons, and winemaker Collin Cranor is the youngest award-winning vintner in Livermore Valley. The Sirah, Malbec and Chardonnay wines from Nottingham are also lauded. At http://www.nottinghamcellars.com you can order wine and also read the accolades heaped upon this impressive brand. A few Nottingham bottles would be quite special for Thanksgiving.

If a sparkling Prosecco seems perfect for your holiday table toasts, then consider La Marca Prosecco from the Veneto region of Northern Italy. This award-winning libation is fresh, fruity and effervescent, as well as surprisingly affordable. It offers tantalizing hints of peach, citrus and pear, and its elegant light blue packaging lends itself to gifting this holiday season, so purchase a slew for December and New Year’s Eve. Savor its history and more at http://www.lamarcaprosecco.com.

William Hill Chardonnay lends itself to a variety of dishes at Thanksgiving because of its full body, rich fruit taste, complex aroma of ripe tree fruit and baked apple with caramel and oak, and its crisp, palate-clearing finish. This distinctive luxury winery is situated in southern Napa Valley, where it crafts premium wines that are a genuine pleasure to experience. Read more about them at http://www.williamhillestate.com.

One or all of these six suggestions should please each palate at your holiday table, and we hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful feast, overflowing with great food, conviviality and gratitude.

Originally published November 2013
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