For the first year ever, we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, which means I have to worry about more than just the wine. Luckily, the Nino’s team and I have diligently tasted all sorts of new wines in preparation for the big day! I’ll have Riesling for Grandma, Merlot for Dad, Pinot Noir for me and maybe a little bubbly to start! So if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner too, the wine will be as quick and easy as deciding which parade to watch!
Jam Cellars Toast Brut Sparkling, California NV
I have been waiting a full year for this! Already a huge fan and one of the best sellers of Jam Cellars Butter Chardonnay and Jam Red Blend, I was let in on a little secret that this sparkling wine was in the works. In line with their other wines, Toast Sparkling is big and sumptuous, with creamy bubbles, light caramelized tropical fruit nuances, and of course, toasty notes. No need for orange juice with this one; just chill and serve!
Shady Lane Riesling Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
If there’s something Michigan does right, it’s Riesling. There are many to choose from but Shady Lane’s Semi Dry is my favorite. Not bracingly dry nor cloyingly sweet, the Shady Lane hits the proverbial sweet spot with its balance of ripe peach and melon and its tangy, mouth-watering finish.
Carmel Road Pinot Noir Monterey, California 2012
Fresh and fruity, this gem of a Cali Pinot is perfect for large crowds. It’s bright and has low tannins. And quite frankly, it puts a smile on your face when you taste it. Red fruits like strawberry, pomegranate and cranberry lead with raspberry and light oak on the finish.
Flora Springs Merlot Napa Valley, California 2012
When I had the opportunity to taste the Flora Springs wines, they were opened in front of me. When they opened the merlot, the room filled with the scents of ripe raspberry, blackberry and toasty oak, and the flavors did not disappoint. This is a stellar merlot that is fresh and juicy enough not to walk all over the nuances of the food.
All of these wines have bright, vibrant flavors that will complement all aspects of your Thanksgiving Day meal! I must make a note that I was quite impressed by Mackinaw Trail’s Cranberry Wine. It may be more for those with a bit of a sweet tooth, but it’s a fun addition to any table-scape.