Archive for Thanksgiving wines


Posted in Nouveau Beaujolais with tags , , , on November 20, 2011 by ballymote

 If you should happen to visit your local wine shop during the coming week, you will notice a number of signs similar to this one proclaiming the arrival of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s that time of year and in the next couple of weeks some 65 million bottles of this inexpensive wine made from the Gamay grape will be consumed worldwide.

Although it is NOT great wine it is, indeed, a great marketing strategy perfected by the folks at Georges Duboeuf. On the third Thursday in November, the wine, which is only about 6 weeks old, is shipped from Paris to markets all over the globe amidst a great deal of fanfare.

The brightly colored bottles of Georges Duboeuf’s 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau will occupy the prime spots in most wine stores and millions will choose this hyped vino as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.

The gamay grapes are harvested by hand, go thru a speedy fermentation process, are quickly bottled and the wine is soon headed to dinner tables all over the globe.

The Beaujolais appellation in France is located in the southern part of Burgundy not far from the city of Lyon. The gamay grape from which the wine is made is much lighter than cabernet or even pinot noir and you can expect a fruity taste. The wines are made to be drank almost immediately as few of the “new” Beaujolais will retain its flavor much longer than six or eight months .

Wine geeks, such as myself, have a tendency to downplay this varietal but Charlie Beatty, Wine Manager at Canal’s Bottle Stop in Marlton (my absolute favorite wine shop in the entire Delaware Valley) actually recommended a Nouveau Beaujolais that I will be trying with Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday.

 I will be back here next week to let you know my thoughts on the 2011           L’Ancien, Beaujolais.


Posted in Info on Wine, Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by ballymote

thanksgivingIt’s less than three weeks now until families all across South Jersey will be sitting down at dining room tables to give thanks for all their blessings and partake in a feast of holiday foods. In a lot of homes there will be turkeys and hams or both, with all of the trimmings. It’s a time when wine goes perfectly with dinner;when even those who seldom have a glass of wine will be drinking to celebrate the occasion. It’s not too soon to start thinking about what wines go best with the foods that will grace your table. I tend to think about wine on Thanksgiving as two different sessions.

First, I want a wine that is just fun to sip while watching the early football games. Something that drinks well by itself or with a few pre-dinner appetizers passed around the room.IMG_3650 To fill this scenario I would go with a nice Australian shiraz or one of the now popular Argentinian malbecs. Both of these wines offer tons of flavor and don’t need foods. In fact, these wines would perhaps overpower the main course and are not suggested for the dinner table. Here are four possible choices that most people would totally enjoy while munching on cheese or veggies and a nice dip with one eye on the football game. Left to right they are the 2008 Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz ($19.99), the 2008 Mollydooker “The Boxer” Shiraz ($24.99), the 2007 Patagonia Malbec Barrel Selection Fabre Montmayou  ($12.99) and the 2008 Kaiken “Ultra” Malbec ($14.99). None of these wines will put a heavy strain on your budget and all of them are drinking nicely right now. Once it’s time for the dinner feast, it’s time to put down these heavier wines and switch toward something a little lighter that will compliment the vast array of culinary treats spread across the dining room tableIMG_3652. Finding the right wines for turkey and ham is not always an easy task. Some feel that only white wines can work with these two meats. For white wine lovers I would suggest something similar to what we have here. On the left is the 2008 Monchoff “Robert Eymael” Riesling ($13.99), slightly sweet without being overpowering with bright citrus fruits and a hint of minerality. If you don’t care for red wine this will serve nicely throughout the meal. Another white choice is the second wine shown, the 2007 St. Urbans-Hof, Ockfener Bockstein, Riesling Spatlese($17.99) just a tad sweeter than the Monchoff with many of the same apple and peach notes that give the wine its unique taste. Although, I will have some of the whites, I still prefer finding a red that isn’t too strong that will go perfectly with the meal. For myself, a nice Oregon Pinot Noir serves the bill extremely well and the two pictured here are both tasty and affordable. As I have mentioned in previous posts on this blog, good Pinot Noir often costs somewhere north of $30.00 and often far north. Both the 2007 Owen Roe ($18.00) and the 2007 A to Z are ($18.99) available for under $20.00 and both are great with fish or fowl.

thanksgiving 2Regardless of your wine choices, Thanksgiving is an awesome time to get together with family and share a few bottles of something and give thanks that we can all be together to enjoy each others company while remembering family members who are no longer with us.  May each of you find peace and love on this special day.