Since moving to the Bay Area, old wine has become much more accessible. When Brandon and I venture into San Francisco, we try to swing by wine shops that have a nice selection of old wines (especially ones that aren’t too much of a burden on the wallet). One of the latest old wines we have fallen in love with is Moulin Touchais.
Moulin Touchais was founded in 1787 and is known for producing a late harvest Chenin Blanc that is aged for a minimum of 10 years. The 1981 vintage has aged beautifully over the last 35 years. The enamoring, copper-colored wine offers up aromas of citrus, honey, and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with tastes of grapefruit, honey, citrus rind, and caramel. It still has a solid backbone of acid and is a pleasure to drink! I can’t wait to explore more vintages!
I love Chenin Blanc and you can pretty much guarantee I will buy any geeky bottle I find on the shelf. The minute I came across 2014 Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin”, a Pét-Nat made from 100% Chenin Blanc, I knew it would be coming home with me! The wine hails from the Loire Valley in France and is made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process.
Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin” offers up floral and citrus aromas. The wine has light, refreshing bubbles that easily awakened my tastebuds. At first sip, tastes of grapefruit are dominant. After the wine opens up a bit, tastes of minerals, wildflowers, and stone fruit begin to emerge. This wine is notably dry for a Pét-Nat, vibrant, and incredibly delicious. Grab a bottle if you can find it! ($23)
It seems like so many people I know serve the same wines with Thanksgiving every year. When I dine with friends or see pictures from Thanksgiving tables, Chardonnay seems to be the overwhelming white wine choice. While I do enjoy a well-made Chardonnay, most people opt for a bottle that overwhelms the meal with oak, butter, and alcohol. I recently tasted through almost a dozen white wines (tough job, I know) and came up with a few favorites for your Thanksgiving meal!
Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines and is a great pairing with many Thanksgiving dishes. I recently tasted 2013 Famille Hugel Riesling and discovered it’s not only delicious, but it’s also a killer value at $12. This dry Riesling from the Alsace region of France is filled with tastes of lemon and orange blossom along with naturally bright acidity and hints of minerality. Pair with everything from yams to mashed potatoes to turkey & stuffing! ($12)
One tradition we keep at our Thanksgiving table is making sure there is a place for seafood. Oysters and Dungeness Crab always seem to work their way into our meal. Dry Chenin Blanc is one of my favorite pairings with shellfish. Chenin Blanc is made in many styles so look for a bottle that has nice acid and texture. One bottle that recently grabbed my attention is 2014 Lo-Fi Chenin Blanc from the Jurassic Park vineyard in Santa Barbara County. With bright citrus, stone fruit, and a rich mouthfeel, this wine is a great match for shellfish! ($26)
White Rhone Blends
If you come to our house for Thanksgiving, you will always find a White Rhone Blend poured with your meal. One of my favorite domestic bottles is 2013 Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc, a blend of 50% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne, 13% Viognier, 6% Grenache Blanc, and 6% Grenache Gris from the Russian River Valley. The wine is beautifully balanced and bright with incredible texture. It will really brighten up heavy dishes and is a staple at our Thanksgiving table. ($30)