Wines for the Feast
The Thanksgiving table can be tough on wine. There are so many flavors to contend with, no single bottle will marry beautifully with all of them. Lets check out four wines that actually have a shot at going well with everything, wines that were chosen for their freshness and versatility. There are many other wines we will recommend for Thanksgiving, and we will be very happy to discuss your options (never count Champagne out!).
Jean Becker Alsace Riesling 2016
In Massachusetts, in the year 2019, excellent Riesling from Alsace is rarely under $20. The Becker family has been making wine in Alsace for over 400 years, and was one of the first in the region to farm organically, but they fly under the radar, way under the radar. If they were better known, this Riesling would disappear with alarming alacrity. Take advantage! Their 2016 is stunning wine for the price, and it will be a great option at a crowded table. Fruity upfront, but crisp and dry on the finish, this is a Riesling to serve from appetizers through the main course.
Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara "Sant'Agata"
Sparkling red wine should always be considered for Thanksgiving, and a fine Lambrusco di Sorbara is one of the best ways to go. Paltrinieri's Sant'Agata is a dry style of Lambrusco that is so well suited to savory courses; it is great as an everyday dinner wine, not just for special occasions. Fresh red berry, blood orange and floral nuances are delightful on the nose, while the palate is tangy and fizzy, dry but soft and inviting. If you don't believe us about sparkling red for Thanksgiving, google "lambrusco thanksgiving" and see who agrees. Sparkling red for your feast may just become a yearly tradition.
Birichino Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault 2018
From Lodi's Bechtold Vineyard, home to the world's oldest Cinsault vines, planted in 1886, this wine is a delicate treasure for $29. It's always one of America's most intriguing wines made from a Rhone grape, but the 2018 vintage yielded something spectacularly aromatic and balanced. At 12.5% ABV, Birichino's 2018 Bechthold Cinsault delivers a pure and lifted bouquet of rose hips, fennel, cranberry, raspberry and perfect little strawberries. On the palate, it is fresh and lively, quite light and very mineral, a refreshing style that one might compare to Pinot, but then you might be dismissing this wine's unique personality which we must chalk up to the rare appearance of Cinsault as a solo performer.
Jean-Marc Burgaud Beaujolais Villages Les Vignes de Lantignie 2018
Beaujolais is a classic option for Thanksgiving, but the most serious wines of the region are not always the most versatile with food. Something like this fabulous Beaujolais Villages, an un-oaked fruit forward style, is perfect. Rather rich and thick for this bottling, 2018 was a hot vintage, it is enormously intense and complex for the price. Red and black fruits are the focus, but hints of flowers, herbs and cacao lend significant intrigue. Aside from Thanksgiving considerations, you might just want a case of this to drink over the next year or two; it's a young wine, and it will evolve positively for at least a few years.