Thanksgiving kicks off the season we start to drink better wine.
The thing about Thanksgiving is that it really kicks off the season we start to drink better wine. I’m not sure who you follow on social media, but my feeds have been filled with articles and blog posts about turkey wines and how to perfectly cook your bird.
This year, things seem a little different. Some people have pointed out that pairing wine with turkey is kind of a moot point in itself. Turkey will pair with just about anything you can pick up at the LCBO.
To be honest, malbec or baco noir wouldn’t be on my table for Thanksgiving. We still tend to save our sparkling wine for special occasions and, for most of us, the stretch from October to January 1 may be the only time we pick up a bottle of bubbles over the course of a year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that sparkling wine, with its bright crisp acidity, will often be put on the table next to turkey.
The other thing about Thanksgiving is it’s kind of like daylight saving time for wine drinkers. Because you can pair any wine with your feast, you are likely to have bright, crisp white wines on the table alongside your reds. But post-Thanksgiving, it’s red-wine season. It’s essentially like the adage about wearing white after Labour Day—but wine-related.
I just want people to take a moment to realize the pattern so you can break the habit. That prosecco and pinot gris you had reserved for sipping on a patio belong with your heartier winter meals.
Without further ado, here are some wines to drink with turkey.
2015 Coffin Ridge Bone Dry Riesling – Vintages 232744 – $17.20 – **** –
This is a solid Riesling. Even though it’s called bone dry, you still get a slight sense of sweetness on the mid-palate. The bright crisp acidity keeps your mouth in anticipation for the next sip. The nose is honey, green apple, and citrus, with flavours that match. The finish is clean with a nice mineral note. This will make a welcome addition on a table with sausages or perogies as we head into fall and heartier cuisine.
2010 Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir – Vintages 266391 – $24.95 – **** –
With this wine, there is a lot going on in the glass. In a province where getting a good bottle of pinot noir will usually run you more than $30, this bottle is a steal. The nose is violet and smoke over cherry and cranberry. The mouth feel is a little heavy and it feels like the fruit sinks right to the back of your mouth only to have it replaced with violet, smoke, and damp, mossy forest floor on the finish. This wine drinks dangerously easy and at this price point you may want to pick up two.
2011 Stoney Ridge Excellence Chardonnay – Vintages 254243 – $17.95 – ****+ –
When I tasted this wine last year, it cost $7 more. But I feel that it has actually improved since then. This wine offers intense tropical flavours and aromas all wrapped in vanilla. Be prepared to enjoy something that has spent some time in oak barrels, and be mindful of serving temperature, because if this is too cold it will start to taste a little woody. There is nice balance with acidity in this bottle, so even though there is a strong presence of oak aging, the wine still finishes with nice acidity.
2013 Redstone Cabernet – Vintages 415885 – $20.20 – **** –
This is a solid bargain for a red wine that could find a home in your cellar. It’s drinking fantastically right now. Soft red fruit—raspberry, red cherry, and strawberry—that almost tastes jammy is what you’ll find in your mouth. The tannin is medium firm but very approachable right after opening. This is one of those red wines that I plan on enjoying young and with some hearty red meats throughout the fall and into the winter.