What To Drink Now: Thanksgiving Wines Featured Today on KXAS/NBC DFW

Happy Thanksgiving week! I am so excited for the season as I am the first to admit, the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is truly my favorite time of year. Today I am back in Dallas toasting the perfect pairings for your Turkey Day on KXAS/NBC DFW at 11am . If you are in Dallas, please tune in. Follow the link to the segment here. #cheers 🍷🦃🌴

I always have a few key tips for pairing with a holiday like Thanksgiving: keep it fresh, light, low alcohol, and balanced. Though I always want a knock-out wine, the star of the show on Thanksgiving is turkey, and of course, all the fixings. Our wines today deliver wanted pizzaz, with elegance and balance. For more on the wines, follow the jump below.

You can never go wrong with Pinot Noir for the red wine and Chardonnay for the white wine on Thanksgiving. Check, easy, done. You want them to be of good quality though, and for this Thanksgiving, I’ll start by celebrating the incredible Pinot Noir wines of Willamette Valley, Oregon. I have had a long love affair with these wines. My Portland native hubby, Gary, and I have been visiting the region together for years, enjoying the evolution of the industry in the cool-climate region.
Pinot Noir

Tony and his wife, Michelle Soter are dedicated to allowing the terroir of Willamette Valley to shine, farming with respect of the land, dedicated to being conscious stewards nurturing the land, creating elevated, elegant wine that captures the essence of the region. Their Soter Mineral Springs Pinot Noir ($75) is one of the most classic interpretations of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir in the world. Texans Adam and Dianna Novy Lee started their Siduri Winery in Sonoma over 25 years ago dedicated to producing Pinot Noir from all over the west coasts. A few years ago the couple sold the winery to Jackson Family, allowing their already incredible wine to be taken to the next level thanks to the resources the family offers, including premium vineyards.

Siduri Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($30) blends fruit from Yamhill-Carlton, Eola-Amity, and the Chehalem Mountain sub-AVAs delivering red berry, ripe plum, and black tea with bright acidity and a lively palate. Duck Pond Cellars began in the mid-1980s when owners Doug and Jo Ann Fries planted a small 13-acre vineyard in the Dundee Hills sub-AVA. Today, the winery has grown to produce wine from over 300-acres of vines, all from the Dundee Hills, an area of Willamette filled with red, volcanic Jory soils, delivering forest-floor notes to the red-fruit filled wine. Duck Willamette Valley Pond Pinot Noir ($32) leaps from the glass with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry, truffle, and spice. Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($27) shines with fresh cranberry and pomegranate. Great Oregon Wine Company’s Rascal Pinot Noir ($14) is bright, zesty, and fresh with loads of red cherry, tart cranberry, and each year the winery makes an annual donation to the Humane Society of the United States from the sales from the Rascal Wines.

For Chardonnay this year, I am raising a glass with California Chardonnay. As some of my previous posts have noted, the state is in a constant rebuild due to recent fires throughout, so buying wine from the state helps all. From Santa Lucia Highlands, Hahn SLH Chardonnay ($25) captures the cooling influence of the Pacific, creating a crisp, yet luscious wine with green apple, ripe pear, hazelnut, and spice. From vineyards sitting high in the clouds at 1600-1800 feet above sea level in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, Legacy Chardonnay ($75) reveals the essence of the place in every sip, with every aspect of the wine crafted by hand with low intervention winemaking. The resulting wine is rich while maintaining freshness thanks to the cool evenings the elevation brings, capturing acidity, layering lemon custard, golden apple, and toasted almond. From the southern Sta. Rita Hills AVA, The Hilt Chardonnay ($45) reveals appealing notes of honeydew, peach, and apricot, with a silky finish that begs for another sip.

Though you can’t go wrong with Chardonnay and Pinot, I also like to switch it up a bit, bringing in some “unconventional” options. For white wines, consider a German or Rhone varietal, like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, or Rolle (also known as Vermentino in Italy.) Sonoma Valley’s Gundlach-Bunschu Gewurztraminer ($25) brings a surprisingly refreshing, vibrancy to the classically floral wine, adding zippy citrus and crushed stone notes to classic tea rose notes for a balanced wine that is perfect with anything from sushi to turkey. From the Russian River Valley, Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Viognier($35) brings both ripe fruit richness as well as bright, punchy acidity thanks to the unique terraced block of the vineyard the grapes are grown on. The resulting wine is aromatic and juicy, with orange blossom, apricot, honey, and toasted spice. From Vivio Vineyard in Bennet Valley, Sosie Roussanne ($38) is structured and vibrant, melding concentrated flavors of white peach, ripe pear, and honeysuckle. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier ($15) captures the best of both of the aromatic varieties, highlighting white flowers, stone fruit, zesty citrus, and a touch of marzipan. The perfect combination of minerality with wildflowers, citrus, and sweet spice, Sidebar Cellars Kerner ($22) is a perfect pairing for everything on your holiday table. From the Texas Hill Country, Duchman Vermentino ($22) is a consistent favorite with white grapefruit, orange blossom, ripe apple, and soft herbs.

For Rose fans, declare yes, you can drink Rose all day and all year. A Rose of Pinot Noir is perfect with Thanksgiving, but don’t stop there. Consider a truly gastronomic Rose with texture and delicious pair-ability. A favorite is Cenyth Rose of Cabernet Franc ($30) with lilac and soft herb aromas, and a palate filled with berry, red pear, and pink lady apples. From Sangiovese vines planted in Alexander Valley in 1968, Capture Sangiovese Rose ($30) brings rose petal and wild strawberry notes to a Bing cherry-filled palate. Brand new from Napa’s Grgich Hills Winery, Grgich Hills Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) brings subtle tropical mango and papaya notes to a strawberry-filled palate.

90+ year old Seacastilla Garnacha

For other red wine options, keep the tannin well integrated, alcohol low, and palate lighter in body, opting for a Gamay Noir (the wine of Beaujolais), Schiava, Grenache, Pinotage, Barbera, or Cinsaut in mind. From Willamette’s Yamhill-Carlton, WillaKenzie Gamay Noir ($40) is an easy wine best enjoyed shortly after bottling, delivering bright red fruit, woody herbs, and an earthiness similar to Pinot Noir. Spectral Cellars Willamette Valley Gamay Noir ($26) highlights the terroir of Willamette, revealing soft tannin structure, with a bright freshness revealing red and blackberry, a hint of spice, and subtle herbaceous character. From the high altitude vineyards of Italy’s Alto Adige, Alois Lageder Vernatsch-Schiava ($16) is similar to Gamay, with a fruit-forward palate, a hint of white pepper and soft herbs, wrapped beautifully in a light-bodied red wine. Slightly more powerful, Vinas del Vero Seacastilla Garnacha ($32) from the Sonomtono region of Spain melds cherry, plum, earthy minerality, and leather notes. Beronia Crianza Rioja ($15) is fresh and bright, with red cherry and Herbs de Provence notes, making it ideal with a rosemary and thyme roasted turkey.


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