Canadian Thanksgiving – Have You Picked Your Wine?

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of BenFranske

It’s very easy to get busy with work and family this time of the year.  And Thanksgiving comes knocking on the door early October for us Canadians.  While the BC and ON winemakers are busy harvesting their grapes and making new and exciting wines for our Thanksgiving 2012, let’s look at a few red and white wines that you may want to have with your roast turkey or ham this year.

Wine Pairings for Roast Turkey

Roast turkey can be quite rich in flavour, plus gravy adding extra flavour.  You need a wine that can stand up on it’s own and complement the roasted flavours. A lightly oaked Chardonnay is one choice, an aromatic Viognier, or if you prefer red, a juicy Merlot or a Pinot Noir. A few that I’ve tasted over the past year:

  • Spierhead Chardonnay

    Spierhead Winery Chardonnay 2010 (Canada). Here is another of BC’s newest wineries. Spierhead is located in South East Kelowna, near Tantalus. Their chardonnay is creamy with lots of vanilla and tropical fruit aromas and flavours.  Enjoy juicy fruit flavours in your mouth with medium acidity to keep it refreshing.

  • Mount Baker Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate 2009 (US$24). Light cherry colour in the glass. Violets, light spice and strawberry aromas.  Light body with raspberry, strawberry, and a hint of cedar and vanilla.  Low tannins and smooth on the palate. Nice.
  • M. Chapoutier Invitare, Condrieu, 2009 (France). Invitare is made from 100% Viognier. The Condrieu appellation where the grapes are from only produces wine from Viognier.  No red wines in Condrieu. 30% of this wine is aged in oak barrels.  The wine also goes through a malolactic fermentation (MLF) to give it more roundness.  Deep golden in the glass with a very fruity nose of oranges and honey. Round, medium body with cinnamon and orange flavours.  Medium minus acidity.  Round in the mouth, thanks to the MLF. A bit of spice on the finish.  An excellent wine, but drink it young, no longer than 3 years of aging potential.
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (BC). This is 100% Chardonnay from a blend of 3 Chardonnay clones: 2 Dijon and 1 Loire. A portion of the wine is fermented in French oak and left sur lies for 10 months. Pale lemon with a green tint in the glass.  Flower and lemon on the nose. Medium body with vanilla, pineapple flavours.  Medium acidity. A very well balanced wine.  This is a chardonnay that everyone should try.
  • La Stella Allegretto 2008 (BC). This is 100% Merlot grown from their Stag vineyard in Osoyoos.  Deep purple in the glass.  Lots of raspberry, cherry and vanilla on the nose.  Full body with mocha, cherry and vanilla flavour, and a hint of raspberry.  Medium tannins with a long finish.

Wine Pairings for Roast Ham

Roast ham is also quite full flavoured.  It has some sweetness to it, and can have other flavours such as some smokiness, depending on how it’s prepared. Riesling is a nice pairing with ham; think Alsatian food.  I think a Pinot Noir would also be nice with ham.

  • Schloss Reinhartshausen Prinz VVN Preussen Rielsing Off-Dry 2009 (Germany). I really enjoyed this wine.  Light lemon colour in the glass. Light flowery nose.  Good acidity with lime flavour and streak of minerality.
  • Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The-Rise-and-Shine” Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007 (New Zealand) ($34.99). Central Otago, is inland in the South Island.  The cooler climate allows these grapes have a long hang time and smaller berries, which gives a higher skin to pulp ratio, and more intense, riper, fruit flavours.  Medium purple in the glass with ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Ripe fruit, cassis, plums and vanilla on the palate.  Medium body and medium length.  Very nice.
  • Kalala Organic Estate Winery Riesling 2008 (BC). Medium lemon colour in the glass. Nice petrol and apple aromas. Dry with apple, lemon, petrol flavours and a bit of spice on the finish.
  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile). Santa Rita is a premium producer from Chile.  I really enjoy their wines, and spent time visiting them in Chile. Their Medalla Real Pinot Noir is coloured light purple in the glass.  Ripe cassis aromas. Round mouth feel, light boded with an abundance of cassis flavour.  Low tannins.

I hope some of these suggestions help you make your Thanksgiving memorable. Cheers!

Upcoming Food and Wine Event – Thai Food & German Wines

Maenam Restaurant Thai curry

Do you ever wonder about how to pair spicy Asian dishes with wine?  Here is your chance to try a pairing of Thai food from Maenam with the German wines of Schloss Reinhartshausen. Here is the announcement and menu.  Get tickets soon before they quickly sell out.

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The best Thai food is a perfect balance of 4 taste sensations: hot, sour, sweet, and salty: perfect for Schloss Reinhartshausen’s balanced and finessed wines. Taste how these mouth-watering, luxurious wines compliment Maenam’s aromatic and spicy cuisine.

The pairings.

  • Scallop Ceviche
    Live jumbo scallops from Sawmill bay, nahm jim sauce, ikura, lemongrass and coriander
    2009 Schloss Reinhartshausen Dry Riesling
  • Pork Satay with Pineapple Peanut Sauce
    Slopping Hills pork, satay marinade, cucumber relish
    2007 Schloss Reinhartshausen Spatlese
  • Hot and Sour Soup of Holy basil
    Clean flavours of holy basil and fresh seafood, typical soup of Thailand seaside
    2009 Schloss Reinhartshausen The Prinz von Preussen
  • Panaeng Curry of Grilled beef Chuck
    Rich and smoky flavours of the beef braised into the panaeng curry, one of our favourite variation of this popular classic
    2003 Schloss Reinhartshausen AUSLESE HATTENHEIMER WISSELBRUNNEN
  • Chanterelle and Baby Corn Stir Fry with Wood Ear mushrooms and young ginger
    Fresh BC Chanterelles with fresh Baby corn and wood ear mushroom. Earthy and aromatic
    2006 Schloss Reinhartshausen Pinot Noir

Where, When, and How to Get Tickets

Maenam, 1938 West 4th Avenue.
September 27, 2011 6:30 P.M.
One seating only, space is very limited.
$75 per person.
For the complete menu and to buy tickets, click here.