A Place for Rhone Wine at the Thanksgiving Table

We all tend to sip the same types of wines at our Thanksgiving dinners. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Champagne seem to be abundant this time of year and a lot of people never really think about introducing a few new bottles to the table. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to stray from the traditional pairings and open up your meal to new varietals. There are many interesting Rhone wines that will really elevate the flavors in your holiday dishes. Here are the Rhones that will definitely be accompanying our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Old-World Style Grenache 

I love an elegant Grenache with so many Thanksgiving dishes. It pairs very well with turkey, cranberries, and stuffing. Look for a bottle with low alcohol, healthy acidity, and ripe berries. A Tribute to Grace Grenache is an excellent choice with beautiful flavors that are both balanced and vibrant.  (http://gracewinecompany.com,  $44)

A Tribute to Grace Grenache...a wonderful Thanksgiving wine!
A Tribute to Grace Grenache…a wonderful Thanksgiving wine!

White Rhone Blends

When many people think of pairing wine with dishes such as buttery mashed potatoes and turkey, they often reach for a rich, buttery Chardonnay. Sometimes, an equally rich wine really overpowers both your palate and the food. I usually pair a White Rhone Blend instead. Make sure the wine has plenty of acid to cut through the richness of the food yet enough texture to complement the rich flavors. I really enjoy Pastoral Blanc from Two Shepherds. The blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc will really bring to life (and not weigh down) heavier dishes.  (http://twoshepherdsvineyards.com, $28)

Rosé of Syrah

Rosé of Syrah can be an excellent, food-friendly Thanksgiving wine. It pairs well with ham, turkey, and cranberries and also makes an excellent aperitif. I prefer a Rosé aged in stainless steel to oak as I find they tend to have cleaner flavors. Ampelos Cellars has a great Rosé of Syrah you can pick up for well under $20. Full of red berries, watermelon, and a refreshing finish makes it a nice Thanksgiving pick! (http://www.ampeloscellars.com, $15)

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1 Comment

  1. Bella, thanks for the kind words on the Pastoral Blanc, the 2011 was a special wine, the most challenging harvest in 30 years, we dropped half the fruit to barely ripen. In addition this wine is dear to my heart, as the Marsanne and Roussanne from Saralee’s Vineyard is the only planting in the entire Russian River Valley.

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