Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Cool Whip Time, Baby!

It's time for the obligatory blog post about wine to pair with your Thanksgiving feast. But alas it is Thanksgiving eve, the short week has slipped away, you've probably bought your wine already and the real Savvy Sommelier has gone out with the girls.

So now that this lowly spouse has grabbed the reigns of this blog, what could I possibly add to the conversation?  Check out "What to drink for Thanksgiving dinner" and "Can't-fail guide to Thanksgiving wines" for a more traditional set of Thanksgiving wine recommendations.

One of the joys of being married to a Sommelier is that I never have to sweat what wine to bring to a party, order at a restaurant or to pair with holiday meals. (Plus I get to drink all sorts of half opened bottles on a daily basis). Let's take a sneak peak at the dozen wines that Jennifer brought home from the Savvy Cellar for our Thanksgiving celebration.

Knowing how the Savvy Sommelier thinks, my guess is we'll start the festivities with a little bubbly - Cremant Brut Reserve from Blason de Bourgogne. (Secret: this one is from Trader Joe's and is cheap! I'm guessing under $10/bottle). Should be crisp, fruity, acidic and refreshing - just what I need to imbibe as the in-laws walk through the door!

Next up will be some white - nothing buttery or oakey in our house. She has some intriguing possibilities:
  • Handley Gewurtraminer (2005) from the Anderson Valley. Crisp, dry with aromas of rose petals and grapefruit. I would pair with Asian food myself but I'm not in charge.
  • Crios de Susan Balbo Torrontes (2008). This is one of our favorite whites of late. Torrontes is an aromatic grape from Argentina. It shows floral, citrus similar to Viognier and the dry crisp taste of Sauvigon Blanc. A solid possibility but my guess is she's saving that bottle for just the two of us.
  • Morande Terrarum Sauvignon Blanc Reserva (2007) from the Casablanca Valley of Chile. I'm betting this is what she'll lay on us as an aperitif as we move from appetizers to the main feast. Orange blossom and magnolia with grapefruit and tropical fruit, topped with a clean and refreshing finish. (Plus there are 2 bottles of this!)
  • Wildcards: There is a Kerner from Abbazia di Novacella (2007), Alto Adige, Italy. I have no idea . . . .  Also from Italy, she also has a Falanghina Sannio from Feudi di San Gregoria (2007). I could be in for an Italian surprise.
The whites, while pleasing to my mother-in-law, are strictly the undercard in our house on this day. Onto the main event . . . the reds.
  • A reasonable guess for the red we'll be enjoying is the Alma Rosa Pinot Noir (2006) from the Santa Rita Hills. This has been a crowd favorite at Savvy Cellar. Light, fruity, acidic with enough structure and interest to fare well with our bird. Would go over very well at most dinner tables on this day but my guess is the Savvy Sommelier will go bolder (or at least less conventional).
  • There are a couple of Chiantis in the house. Actually there were a couple . . . I cracked open the Cantinino from Castello Sonnino (2001) to go with my bbq chicken pizza and Sharks game. (Ok, wine geeks this is technically not a Chianti but made from Sangiovese). The other is a killer Chianti Classico from Brancaia (2002 vintage) - I have no idea why this bottle sat on the shelves at Savvy Cellar and ended up in the sale bin. I won't question the lack of judgement others showed in overlooking this . . . rather I will be very thankful it may end up on my dinner table.
  • Monteagrelo Bressia Malbec (2005) from Mendoza Argentina is in the mix. Haven't tasted this yet but have enjoyed many Malbecs from Argentina - though I think beef and bbq not bird when I think malbec.
  • Hogue Merlot Reserve (2002) from Columbia Valley in Washington. My bet is on this bottle. Also found in the sale bin at Savvy Cellar . . . perplexing . . . what is wrong with people?  This may be the best Merlot I've ever tasted. Rich and supple with texture and flavor reminiscent of a cab-based blend - yet without the intense tannins. I pulled this one on a "Cab Snob" one time when working the bar - said he hated Merlot. Tasted it blind and loved it!
  • Domaine Chanson Beaune-Bastion Premier Cru from Burgundy (2005). On way out the door Jen said this is a "special" bottle and she'd have my head if drank it. I let it be - hope it comes around tomorrow on the table.
Enough wine drivel, I have to watch ice hockey now and polish off some more Castello Sonnino Sangiovese.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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