Thanksgiving Wine Picks to Please Every Person & Plate

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings For Every Palate on KTVU (VIDEO) 0
Monique Soltani, Sal Castaneda

The most meaningful meal of the year is back in a big way. For many people this will be their first Thanksgiving (in three years) where they will share it surrounded by family and friends filled with big hugs and lots of in person love.

While we pour a ton of attention into the turkey (or in my case Tofurky)  most folks forget that this is also the World Series of Wine! The time is ticking to pick your favorite Thanksgiving wine to share with your loved ones.

For me wine is all about a connection, it’s about the way it makes me feel (about the person, the place, the grapes) the deep personal connections I have made, a belly to belly business, I often call it. So, when deciding which wines to feature on KTVU I gave myself a few parameters.

1. All American Wines: from the Bay Area’s backyard and one from the birthplace of modern day America.

2. They are all family owned and operated. These are real people pouring their hearts and souls into every bottle of wine.

3. Quality for value. The cost of everything is on the rise including wine. I picked producers who are knocking it out of the park and could be commanding a much higher price but they keep the costs down in an effort to make their wines more accessible.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Every Course

2014 Stargazing Cuvee – Iron Horse Vineyards– Magnum (two bottles in one) $195

Inspired by the images from the James Webb Space Telescope

250 cases of only Magnums released in October 2022

Appellation: Green Valley of Russian River Valley Blend: 75% Chardonnay 25% Pinot Noir

TASTING NOTES: Aromas of fresh brioche and toasted almonds. Bright citrus notes on the front palate, Meyer lemons, persimmon and lemon curd, and kumquat on the mid palate with a gorgeous long finish.

2018 Gratitude – Iron Horse Vineyards- Sebastopol $72

$5 for every bottle sold goes to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

Appellation: Green Valley of Russian River Valley Blend: 100% Chardonnay

TASTING NOTES: A complex nose of cinnamon, orange peel, toasted almonds and fresh yeast. This lively sparkler has the flavor of red apple on the front palate, with Meyer lemon, and honeysuckle on the mid palate.

PAIRING: Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, family own and operated with a sustainable farm located near Sacramento California.

2021  Early Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay Virginia $35

Founding mothers and fathers attempted to make wine during the time of the first settlers. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the Virginia wine industry began to take route.

Grape Variety: 99% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Gris

TASTING NOTES: barrel fermented and aged, but the oak statement is very integrated in the fruit with a flavor profile more like a 1er Cru Chablis – bright acidity, citrus character and beautiful minerality. This vintage displays the freshness and versatility of Chardonnay. The savoury character of the wine is highlighted by herbal notes of thyme and bay, and allspice, influenced by barrel and lees aging.

PAIRING: Mashed potatoes are perfect for this Chardonnay – it’s bright and fresh and will enliven rich, mild dishes. Or a try it with Oyster Stuffing, traditional dish they serve in Virginia.

2019 Kutch Wines Mindego Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mts. $69

Artisan Pinot producers based in Somana making balanced and restrained Pinots in the traditional style using whole closer. Specializing in cool climates and balancing fruit and earth.

TASTING NOTES: 75% Whole Cluster | Alcohol: 12.5% | Production: 225 cases | 100% Neutral French Oak (no new) Clean and pure.  A real balancing act of fruit and earth characteristics.   •• 100% Neutral French oak, no new

PAIRING: Turkey Because turkey is so lean, reds with low tannins work well—think Pinot Noir, Gamay and Grenache

2019 Di Costanzo “Farella Vineyard” Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley $140 

Di Costanzo’s passionate focus is single-vineyard, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted by partners in wine and in life, Erin and Massimo Di Costanzo

This very bottle just hit the wine list at the French Laundry a few days ago.

98 points from Vinous, “a major-league wine” ; elegant, age-worthy and impeccably structured Cabernet Sauvignon

TASTING NOTES:  The Di Costanzo has the tannin and the acidity (trademark of the cool, volcanic Coombsville appellation in Southern Napa Valley) to stand up to the fat and savory herbs in a great Porchetta. Black cherry, plums and leather in the wine add to the rustic, warming flavors and elevate the dish to new heights.

PAIRING: Porchetta or Porcini Bread Stuffing

Rodney Strong A True Gentleman’s Port – Sonoma $30

Rodney Strong Vineyards is a family-owned winery that sustainably farms 11 estate vineyards across Sonoma County’s finest appellations. The winery was founded in 1959 by dancing prodigy and Sonoma County wine pioneer Rod Strong.

The wine itself contains old-vines zinfandel grapes from a vineyard dating back over 50 years as well as Malbec and Touriga Nacional, which is traditional to Port Wines from Portugal.

PORT NOTES: The rich, fruity notes of a Ruby Port pair perfectly with a cherry or blackberry pie. Vintage Port goes great with pumpkin pie because of its semi-sweet notes. And, Tawny Port goes great with apple and pecan pies, because of its nutty and caramelized flavor.

PAIRING: Rodney Strong Port to be stylistically a cross between a vintage port and tawny port, so my favorite pairings fall into that pumpkin pie and pecan pie realm, playing off the exotic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and nutty, caramelized notes.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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