Virginia Wines for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Selecting a great Thanksgiving wine doesn’t have to be a source of stress and it doesn’t have to break the bank.  There are a lot of
different flavors and textures on your Thanksgiving plate, so you really want a “bridge” wine that will harmoniously blend and stand up to the cornucopia of goodness on your holiday table.  Your wine selection should be a vinous highlighter working in concert with every dish, not competing for top billing!  Consider starting your festivities with a sparkling wine as an aperitif and then opt for a white and a red selection for your main course and let your guests decide what pairing they enjoy the most.

 

White Wines: In general, when it comes to selecting versatile Thanksgiving wines, look for a white wine with mouthwatering acidity like an off-dry Riesling from Germany, an Alsatian Gewürztraminer or an unoaked Chardonnay to cut right through the gravy and cream sauces. If you typically prefer a heavier, oaky and buttery Chardonnay, it will overpower your meal.  A moderately oaked Chardonnay with vibrant acidity will be the better option wituntitled-design-5h this meal. A floral and aromatic Viognier or dry to off-dry Petit Manseng can also work wonders with your Thanksgiving Feast.

Red Wines: When it comes to red, opt for a fruit-forward wine like a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais with vibrant acidity and moderate tannins.  Keep in mind, turkey is a blank canvas and is pretty lean, so something too tannic will compete against the food.  A Cabernet Franc can be a nice option too, with its typical notes of raspberry, violet and sage. This can work wonders with a sausage, sage & cranberry stuffing. Cabernet Franc is considered the Pinot Noir of Bordeaux and Virginia is producing some exceptional bottles of this varietal.  A dry rosé or off-dry rosé is also another excellent option, it’s approachable and versatile with good acidity and it tends to please both white and red wine drinkers at your table.

Virginia Wines 

Since Thanksgiving is an all American holiday, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite finds from Virginia that would make an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving table.

To say that Thomas Jefferson was passionate about the fruit of the vine would be an understatement. In fact, he tried relentlessly for three decades to make wine at his Charlottesville estate and never produced a single drop. America’s first wine connoisseur saw tremendous promise in this fertile land and Jefferson’s lifelong dream of making Virginia a world class wine destination is finally being realized two centuries later.

“By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt.” ~Thomas Jefferson

So, why not pay tribute to the grandfather of American wine this Thanksgiving by toasting with a fabulous glass of Virginia wine. Go support your local wine merchant and Virginia farmers this holiday season with these great selections.

Sparkling

Whites 

Reds

Dessert

 

Episode 10: Stephen Barnard, Keswick Vineyards

Stephen Barnard, Keswick VineyardsMy guest this week is Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards.  A native of South Africa, Stephen developed a love for the fruit of the vine while working as a tour guide at the oldest winery in South Africa. Stephen dropped by the WCHV studios to talk about the 2016 vintage, the winemaking philosophy at Keswick, his award-winning wine portfolio and the quality revolution of the Virginia wine industry. We are also sipping and discussing his yet-to-be released 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  As Stephen says, “a conversation without wine is just gossip!” In addition to this stunning example of Cabernet Sauvignon, Keswick was awarded top billing in this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup for Barnard’s 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve.

You can catch a brand new show every Saturday morning on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV. Enjoy the show. Cheers!