Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a celebration of togetherness and sharing that has only one purpose, to give thanks. Thanks for the bounty on our table, thanks for the company we get to keep, and thanks for the time we spend together.
As a wine lover though, it can be a difficult holiday, as I am sure many of you know. The traditional sides, those delicious yams, and the sweet and sour tang of cranberry sauce can make wine pairings a challenge. Fortunately for me, I am very forgiving if the wine doesn’t sing with every element of my meal, and besides that, for me it’s all about the bird, thigh please.
Nonetheless, a lot of thought goes into selecting wines for these types of celebrations. While other wines might be better matches, I’m thinking of Lambrusco and Loire Valley Chenin Blanc for example, those can be geeky and intimidating choices. So what wine is a good choice, will work well with the food, and make a thousand palates sing? Pinot Noir of course.
A Wonderful Surprise from ArgentinaFor elegance and finesse the 2007 Barda could not be beat. It just screamed Pinot Noir, with wonderful depth of flavor in a lighter style. The structural elements of the wine were exquisitely balanced, giving this bottle an impression of lightness that allowed the rich flavors to take center stage.
2007 Barda Pinot Noir Patagonia Rio Negro
While subtle, this is very complex with a faintly sweet edge to the medicinal herb notes and lovely insinuations of cigarette ash and limestone that gives this real finesse on the nose. Pure, light red fruits dance across the palate.
The Sta. Rita Hills Produce Classic California PinotFor those looking for a rich, balanced style of wine, may I suggest the 2007 Foley. It exhibited wonderful depth of fruit in a pure, unfettered style that is rich enough to stand up to the full flavored dishes of the Thanksgiving table, yet balanced enough to drink all night.
2007 Foley Rancho Santa Rosa Pinot Noir
Silken on the palate, with stealthy tannins and wonderfully supportive acids that keep the slight herb and cocoa toned cherry and strawberry fruit fresh and lively across the palate. Really very fruity on the backend, yet with a refreshing, slightly green edge.
The Central Coast not only produces great wines, but great values as well.If you are looking for value, the MacMurray Ranch Central Coast Pinot cannot be beat. It’s made in an easy drinking style but doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of richness and depth, and has such pretty, ripe fruit that it makes this one of the stars of the tasting at its price.
2007 MacMurray Ranch Central Coast Pinot Noir
Nice cherry fruit on the palate with a slight herbal edge adding freshness and complexity. The tannins are a bit coarse and there is a raw woody edge on the short finish, but the fruit is fresh with good intensity and the feel is fresh, if somewhat chunky.