Thinking about Thanksgiving?

It’s time that the harvest is coming in. I keep hearing tweets from various wineries that the grape harvest is well underway.

This coming Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada. And of course, I am thinking of what bottle of wine to serve with my roast turkey. For many people, turkey or chicken means to open up a bottle of chardonnay, likely oaked, to make it a bit fuller bodied to balance out the heaviness of the bird with gravy. You can’t argue with that, but there are also some red wines too. Before getting into a few reds you might want to serve, here are a few white wine suggestions:

Therapy Vineyards Chardonnay (Okanagan) (the ’07 vintage was pale lemon. Vanilla, apple, and butterscotch aromas. Butterscotch, lees, citrus, and orange peel flavours. Round mouthfeel.)
Vina Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay (Chile) (the ’07 vintage is 100% barrel fermented in French oak for 9-10 months. 1/3 of wine goes through malolactic fermentation to add some extra body and butteriness. Uses native yeasts so it is always a gamble. Full lemony colour. Lots of vanilla, caramel and tropical fruit on the nose. Very aromatic. Medium-full body, with tropical fruit and vanilla flavour. Has some acidity and slight spiciness to balance the creaminess. An excellent wine.)
Matua Judd Estate Chardonnay (New Zealand) (This is a top tier chardonnay from Matua. This ’04 vintage had melon, pear, sweet spices, butter, oak and vanilla aromas. It had a round mouthfeel, with some spice, oak and apple flavours, and a long finish.)
Meyer Family Vineyards Tribute Series Chardonnay 2008, Old Main Road Vineyard (Okanagan) (This vintage is medium lemony gold in colour. Medium intensity nose with citrus, tropical and dried fruit, butter, yeast, vanilla and butter aromas. It is dry with medium acidity and medium plus body. Flavours are citrus, dried fruit, pear, yeast, oak, vanilla and butter. It has a medium length with a green apple finish. Quite elegant.)

Other chardonnays you might want to consider would be from California.  They tend to be more full bodied due to the warmer climate.

Maybe you are curious about trying some red wine with your Thanksgiving turkey. There are a few options. I personally like a slightly chilled pinot noir. Pinot noir has good acidity to cut through the fat in the gravy, but is not so strong with oaky tannins, or too full bodied with fruit flavours that it completely overpowers your turkey dinner. Pinot noir can have aromas and flavours of raspberries, strawberries, violets and some spice. There are many more descriptors possible, but these ones are quite common. I think the summery fruit flavours would be a nice complement to the turkey. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m wondering if a Sangiovese which has similar characteristics could also work. Something for me to try. Here are a few pinot noir options for you:
Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir (New Zealand)(The ’05 vintage was medium ruby in appearance, and had smoky and strawberry aromas. On the palate one enjoyed strawberry and black cherry flavours with some spiciness.)
Greata Ranch Reserve Pinot Noir (Okanagan) (Single vineyard. Medium cherry in the glass. Nice colour. Raspberry and vanilla aromas. Raspberry, vanilla and cherry flavours. Full of flavour. Sweet flavour from ripe fruit yet dry.)
Voss Estate Pinot Noir (New Zealand) (The ’02 vintage had a wonderful bouquet with hints of violets, cherry and candy. On the palate there was nice acidity and smooth tannins. Cherry and strawberry flavours.)

Also to finish off this blog, maybe you are thinking bubbles? In Australia, they swear that a sparkling shiraz nicely chilled is good with roast turkey. I’ve tried it before and it did work. The sparkling shiraz took on a bit of sweetness with being chilled down before being served.

Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!