Here Are The Five Wines To Bring To Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Holiday season is finally upon us and you know what that means? All of the eats and dranks your heart has been waiting for all year long.

   Shonuff, Cory Baxter.

Shonuff, Cory Baxter.

Next to my birthday (which is less than two months away, might I add), I love celebrating Thanksgiving because it’s an opportunity to challenge my palate with pairing some of my favorite comfort foods with delectable wines. From my Aunt P’s yummy Macaroni & Cheese to my Cousin T’s deep fried turkey, to my Aunt J’s rich chocolate cake, it’s always fascinating puzzle to wander around the wine store and select just the right wines for our annual Thanksgiving feast.

So as you prepare to pile your plate and stuff your face, here are five of my favorite wines for the holiday, and what dishes they will pair with exquisitely.

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1. 2016 Strehn Blaufrankisch Rose. I know what you’re thinking - rosé is meant to only be enjoyed in the summertime. And to that I say, NOPE! Rosé is actually the type of wine that can be enjoyed all year round, and especially on Thanksgiving Day, If you’re a fan of the sweet Honey Baked Ham, then you absolutely want to pull up to the dinner table with a bottle of this Austrian goodness. With notes of peach and stone fruit, this rose has a clean and dry finish that will cut through the saltiness of the ham.

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2. Quattro Mani Lambrusco. I first took a sip of this a few months in writing a review for Black Girls Wine and I was surprised to learn that Lambrusco also pairs well with Macaroni & Cheese! If you’re a mac n’ cheese lover like me, then you only accept that oven-baked, golden cheesy crust that has the creamiest cheese pull…WHEW! Okay, I’m back. Anyway, this fizzy, dry, semi-sweet wine hails from Northern Italy and has notes of cherry and blackberry with hint of spice on the finish. It’ll be a answer contrast with the ooey gooey cheesy deliciousness.

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3. 2016 Clean Slate Riesling. If you know me, then you know I live for the driest of white wines. This one has grown to be a personal favorite - and from what I’ve found, it goes well with Green Bean Casserole. If this side is staple in your household, you want to make sure you grab about two bottles. What I love most about this Riesling in particular is that it’s got a lemony freshness with has just enough tart that won’t cause too much of a mouth pucker (hey, acidity!) The good (and bad) think about a lot of Thanksgiving dishes that are green (think: collard greens, green beans, cabbage, you get the gist) are sometimes laden with a lot of salt. So to combat killing your taste buds entirely, you want a wine that has just the right amount of acidity to cut though that.

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4. 2016 Folk Tree Pinot Noir. This red wine is the people’s champ that can go with absolutely with anything. But for the sake of Thanksgiving, I would highly suggest bringing this to the table for the Head Bird In Charge - the Turkey! With notes of ripe cherry and plum on the palate, this wine gives me a rustic feel that would go perfectly with the main meat attraction.

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5. 2016 Ferreira Porto. Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without dessert, right? After you’ve devoured the main course, it’s time to seal the deal with a sweet treat. A Tawny Port alone could be the thing you sip on, but if you’re feeling fancy and want to “have your cake and eat it too”, pair this with a warm slice of Pecan Pie or Sweet Potato Pie. You know how they say chicken soul is good for the soul? They lied. This Portuguese sweet red is aged for 10 years and has a nutty spiciness with a long finish that will compliment the sweet crustiness of a pie or a cobbler. It will undoubtedly hug your entire soul.

And that’s all she wrote! I hope that you and your family have a healthy, happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you SO MUCH for reading!

Until next time, cheers!

#WineWednesday: 2017 Cinsault Syrah Rose

Happy Wine Wednesday, loves. 

It's been a little over a month since my last #WineWithChas installment, so I thought it would be fitting to get back into the swing of things with a summertime favorite - ROSE. 

This 2017 Cinsault Syrah Rose by Laurent Miquel is simple, fruit forward and flavorful. Typically, I shy away from super sweet rose wines in the summer for two reasons: one, because (depending on the brand) it's too damn hot for all of that sugar; and two, it makes it difficult to truly appreciate the grape varietals from which they are derived. Fun fact: the darker the color of the rose, the longer the skins have been in tact before they are removed from the juice. The lighter the rose, typically the more lighter and crisp it is on palate. 

So pour me up a nice, dry, pale pink rose with a round finish and we are in business, okay? 

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Hailing from the southern most part of Rhone, France, the Cinsault grape is savory and satisfying. It's a popular varietal that is used in a number of Chateauneuf du Pape (another one of my favorite French reds.) With notes of cherry and pepper on the tongue and nose, its moderate acidity shocks the taste buds at first. But the 20 percent of Syrah provides the necessary roundness and balance - bringing forth red fruit flavors like plum and boysenberry. 

With summer winding down, this delightful rose blend would be a great addition at any cookout - pairing well with a fresh citrus salad, grilled chicken or shrimp kabobs. 

Expect to spend between $10-$12 on this bottle. 

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Cheers!