Best Wines for Thanksgiving
Regardless if you are hosting or you going to someone’s home you are probably trying to decide what wine should be paired with dinner. People frequently ask, “What is the perfect wine to serve with Thanksgiving meal?” Answer: There isn’t a perfect wine. There are so many rich and varying flavors, it is impossible to select just one wine. However there are wines that pair better with thanksgiving. What are the best wines for Thanksgiving?
Start at your local fine wine store. Wine stores offer wine tastings on a weekly or daily basis during the holiday season. You can call or go on their website to find out what days the tastings are available. These tastings are often free. The store will pour between 4 to 6 wines. This is great opportunity for you to try different varietals.
Bring your dinner menu with you. The wine representative can offer suggestions on what to pair with the wine. You may find your new favorite wine.
If the store is not offering a tasting, you still may have an opportunity to try an instore tasting. You may ask the sales person to uncork the wine you are serious about purchasing. Some stores will uncork the bottle for you.
If you cannot attend an instore tasting, there are no fail wine selection tips you can employee.
TIP #1 – Go with sparkling wine. Everyone likes a sparkling wine (well almost everyone). Sparkling wine is the most versatile wine. It is the little black dress of the wine world; it is good for any occasion. It can be paired with almost any meal. Try a dry sparkling wine, a brut, with your meal and a demi-sec, sweeter sparkling with dessert. Great Shoals, 2012 Cuvee Blanc Sparkling Wine, is a Maryland sparkling that is a blend of Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc in a brut style. It is a great way to begin your meal.
TIP #2 – Some like white, some like red, offer both. Rarely will all your guests like only white wine or only red. Offer them a choice. You will look like a very sophisticated host.
TIP #3 – Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Albarĩno are great complements to side dishes. Stay away from oaky Chardonnay; it can overwhelm your meal. You can locate Albarĩno at local vineyards like Black Ankle Vineyard and Serpent Ridge.
TIP #4 – Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel complements your hearty and savory dishes. You also can try red blends. Red wine blends, like Meritage and Bordeaux, are excellent with turkey legs and dark meat.
Have a very, very safe and happy Thanksgiving! Vino 301 Wine Concierge is thankful for your continued support and we wish you well during this holiday season. Cheers!
Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s first endeavor was a self-guided tour of Maryland’s vineyards and wineries. For a flat fee, a person could go to all of the participating wineries across Maryland and enjoy a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Great project … right? Well, not so much. Vino 301 just started and no one knew who we were. No one was interested in taking a chance on a new company. It was a challenge convincing vineyard owners to take a chance on us.
There was one vineyard that stood out during that time. They were fairly new too. They just opened their tasting room and were abundantly cautious about participating in our project. They had their own woes of being a new business. Several calls were placed; selling the merits of this endeavor to the General Manager, Drew Baker. Mr. Baker finally agreed to Old Westminster Winery participating. I would love to say the event was a huge success. It wasn’t and we had to cancel it. However, it was the beginning of partnership between our organizations.
What a difference three years makes. Since that time, Old Westminster Winery has grown and experienced tremendous success. Old Westminster officially opened a newer and grander new tasting room earlier in this month. “It looked like someone’s home, with a huge front porch and beautiful lights, just begging you to come in and have a drink”, is how someone described Old Westminster’s newly opened tasting room. The building is airy with vaulted ceilings, and plenty of space to socialize. Outside is beautifully landscaped. Most of the construction was completed by the family, which is not surprising. Old Westminster Winery is synonymous with family. Each member of the Baker family contributes to the success of the vineyard.
Old Westminster is a must visit. You can bring a picnic with you, but they do have food to purchase. You are always greeted by warm and friendly people, who are extremely knowledgeable about the wines they are pouring. The staff is always happy to answer any questions you have, even the geeky questions, like what was the growing elevation for these grapes. On the weekends, they have live entertainment.
Most importantly, you have to sample the wine. Old Westminster is known for its award winning wines. Our new favorite is the 2014 Farmer Fizz. Just in time for the holidays. It is a sparkling wine. Chardonnay-dominated blend. It has crisp apple and citrus flavors, followed by a touch of apricot. It is youthful, fresh and crisp.
Congratulations Old Westminster Winery and much success. We look forward to our continued partnership.