Thanksgiving will be different this year. But we still need to celebrate with those we love (in person or online) and remember all the things we are thankful for. In our house, we are no longer taking anything for granted. And while a turkey dinner may not be essential, (some are saying chicken is the new turkey!) a nice glass of wine can make this year’s meal special. This list of reasonably priced, but carefully curated wines will help create the festive vibe we all need right now.
A sparkling choice
Many kids are coming home from college for a few weeks and younger kids have the day off. Why not celebrate with some bubbly? An unusual sparkling wine from Portugal, Rebouca Alvarinho Espumante 2016 is fresh, clean, and totally unique. This sparkling wine boasts a bright acidity and a lighter body which makes it an ideal partner for appetizers, pre-meal snacks or a quick Zoom call to toast absent friends and family. ($20).
A first course Sauvignon Blanc
La Crema’s very first release of Sauvignon Blanc (2019) is sourced from distinct vineyards spread across some of Sonoma County’s warmer sub-regions, where the climate and soil are perfect for producing world-class white Bordeaux varietals. This balanced wine is full of exotic tropical flavors like guava and honeydew, and is ideal for a starter cheese board, roasted butternut squash soup, a shrimp cocktail, or even an old school classic, like pigs in a blanket. ($25)
A main course red
Turkey may be on the menu, but our family always enjoys red wine with our Thanksgiving dinner. Trapiche Medalla Malbec 2017 hails from Argentina’s Mendoza Uco Valley and boasts intense red fruit aromas, a subtle richness and notes of smoky wood. Highly rated by the wine pros and also by the drinking public, this Malbec goes well with the turkey, the cranberry relish and the mashed potatoes. ($20)
A main course white
White wine lovers will be thrilled to serve Poema (Quinta do Louridal) 2017 Novellis Alvarinho. Flinty, juicy, and mineral-driven, this Alvarinho from Vinho Verde’s premier sub-region of Monçao e Melgaço presents a more interesting wine choice. Layers of citrus and tropical fruit give way to a rounder, richer body than is usually expected in this classic Iberian grape, and results in a wine that’s nuanced, terroir-transparent, and tastes as good as its pricey competitors. ($20)
A perfect dessert wine
Pumpkin, apple and pecan pie deserve their own wine pairing. Ramos Pinto 10 Year Tawny Port is the perfect way to end the meal. This port comes from the Douro’s Quinta de Ervamoira, and is sourced from the winery’s experimental vineyard. It also pairs well with cheese, nuts, puddings and chocolate. It is best enjoyed slightly chilled. ($40)
A splurge bottle
With a smaller gathering, this might be the year to indulge in JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery 2017 Isosceles. For more than 25 vintages, Isosceles has been the flagship and quality benchmark for this style of wine from the Central Coast of California. A classic blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon supported by Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the 2017 Isosceles is a polished splurge for discerning wine lovers who appreciate both the glory of Bordeaux and the deep, fruit-driven richness of a California Cabernet. Enjoy it with the main course or savor it with a taste of high-quality dark chocolate. ($75)
Something to drink with the leftovers
Did you cook too much of everything? Hopefully, the answer is “yes!” Why not enjoy those turkey sandwiches, potato croquettes and whatever else you choose to whip with a cold glass of Post & Beam Napa Valley Chardonnay 2019. This wine has an alluring perfume of mango and fresh gardenia, with whispers of candied citrus rind and spices. Bright acidity provides structure and a mouthwatering juiciness, and the finish has a captivating briny minerality that work well with Thanksgiving leftovers. ($35)