Are you ready for something a little lighter after the week of festivities? I’m diving into crisp, refreshing Vinho Verde as Denver continues to break records for warm weather in November.
The Thanksgiving meal was heavy, rich, and intense and my body is craving this exact style of wine now: slightly effervescent, citrusy and mineral-laden, lower ABV, and perfect for pairing with lighter fare.
Most of us have seen Vinho Verde on a label and assume it’s the style of the wine, as in “green wine” -- which to me, translates as young, fresh, and ready to drink. However, I recently learned Vinho Verde is actually the name of the region! The wines are made from an array of indigenous grape varieties grown in several different types of soils on vineyard sites with different microclimates all over the region, in Northern Portugal.
We’ve also mostly seen the light, bright spritzy wines I’m tasting today, but the area also produces some interesting richer style whites, full-blown sparklers, and even some reds! If anyone has tried any of these styles from this area I’d love to hear about your experience.
For food pairing, I chose New Style Sashimi with ponzu, strawberry, and serrano and Green Lipped Mussels topped with crab, a little mayo, sweet soy, and green onion. In just two dishes we have quite a few flavors going on! Here’s what’s cool though: the wines are the mediators. They bring these two dishes together to create harmony and make transitioning back and forth from one dish to a wine and then to the other dish and then the other wine and so on a total joy. The wines are perfect with the seafood flavors, but also work beautifully with the berries and the spice of the serrano
Fun Fact: I was an exchange student in Brazil for a year in high school and I speak Portuguese fluently. When I visited Portugal in 2015, everyone thought I was Brazilian because of my accent! Portugal remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
Learn more about the region and wines on Instagram at @vinhoverdewines and if you get the chance to visit, don’t hesitate! Until then, travel by tasting! These are wines of place that are truly unique.
How are you getting back into balance following the big holiday?!
The Turkey Day table delivers a serious spread of flavor, texture, and tradition. Every family has their own way of creating the holiday experience and best of all, we can spend it together this year!!!
When it comes to wine, we believe most tables ought to have a variety to enjoy with the feast. There are so many things happening on that table! Savory, salty, sweet, veggie, creamy dishes, and more. Finding just one wine that pairs with all of it is next to impossible. Instead, we suggest an array of excellent wines to explore with every bite.
We’ve carefully selected the wines in this year’s lineup based on quality, style, and versatility to help take some of the guesswork out of your Thanksgiving wine shopping. Mix and match throughout the meal and see what magic you can create.
Look for these bottles in your local retail shop or order online by clicking the Shop Now link next to each wine to add it to your Wine.com cart. They’ll do the heavy lifting for you if you order this weekend and double check you’re set for on-time delivery. Use code Turkey150 for 10% off your order of $150 or more today or tomorrow.
Cheers to you and yours and Happy Thanksgiving! – Montana & The Wine Ship Cru
PS: Scroll to the bottom for a few fun Thanksgiving wine tips (Yes, it is ok to NOT break out your very best bottles on Turkey Day).
Every good party starts with bubbles! Keep in mind that they are more than just an aperitif. Sparkling wines are fantastic with the rich flavors of the meal itself. The bubbles and bright acidity will refresh your palate and settle your stomach so you can go back from another helping.
Mercat Cava Brut Rosé NV
Penedes, Spain | Here’s a bottle you can’t go wrong with. The price is outstanding, the quality sky high, and the fact that it is a rosé means the flavors are going to be more interesting with the meal. It is made in the same method as Champagne but with a price tag under $20.00. It's pale pink with lots of citrus, strawberry, and a light herbal note to complement the classic rosemary, thyme, and other garden flavors of the food.
Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2020
Piedmont, Italy | If you’re rolling your eyes at the idea of Moscato, we get it. But this producer makes wines a world apart from most others in this category. This is just lightly sparkling with lovely, aromatic flavors of peach, honeysuckle, orange, and lemon zest. Think of the desserts that are classics with Thanksgiving. These are the flavors!! Try this with the main course or have it with cheeses. If you have any doubts, just save it for dessert.
Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige Extra Brut NV
Lombardy, Italy | If you have never heard of Franciacorta, don’t worry about it. Try something new that will knock your socks off. This is considered one of the finest sparkling producers in the world and every time we pour it at a tasting it blows people away. It’s super fresh with flavors of winter fruit like apples and pear with a touch of brioche and honey. Plus, the package looks gorgeous on the table and it’s on sale for almost $10.00 off right now!
Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé NV
Champagne, France | We have recommended wines from this producer before, and we will continue to. If you’re ready to pony up a little more dough for a great bottle, this is a no-brainer. It’s one of the great wines of the world. The texture of the bubbles is fine and frothy, and the color is pale with a touch of gold. The fruit is delicate yet pronounced with the type of acid needed to balance and enhance every morsel lucky enough to share your mouth with it. We love it so much; we also linked the 1.5 liter Magnum option, because there are few things better in this world than large format wines shared with our favorite people.
Thanksgiving and aromatic white wines are made for each other. If you’re preparing turkey, pork, or other poultry, a few different whites are a must for the holiday. While you can’t please everyone, the wines we’ve selected should come pretty darn close.
Maysara Arsheen Pinot Gris 2019
Willamette Valley, Oregon | Few American producers do justice to the potential of Pinot Gris. Although it’s the same grape variety as the fruity, nutty, Italian Pinot Grigio we like in summertime, this is a different wine altogether. Produced by Certified Biodynamic winery, Maysara, at the south end of Willamette, this is an aromatic, layered, textured wine. The acid is bright and palate cleansing with the slightest trace of sweetness that revs up the flavors on your fork.
Hexamer Quarzit Riesling 2019
Nahe, Germany | It’s not Thanksgiving without Riesling and Germany is the classic choice. A dance of fruit, acid, and sweetness jump out of the glass. This wine is produced on a small family estate in the Nahe region and is very expressive of that place (terroir). It’s pure, mineral-driven, round, and lush. The wine sits between medium dry and medium sweet with an alcohol level of 11%. An absolute pleasure to pair with the festivities.
De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2020
Robertson, South Africa | A great Chardonnay has its place on the table. However, we suggest trying something other than the heavily oaked California styles we like with seafood or risotto. Instead, try something different with this unoaked version from the Western Cape of South Africa. It’s fresh and zippy with notes of citrus, green apple, a little saline, and limestone minerality to play up the savory and vegetable-based dishes.
We can’t talk about Thanksgiving without talking about rosé. Yes, we’ve already shown you two sparkling rosés, and for good reason. We believe rosé to be the most versatile category of wine when it comes to pairing food. But what about the still versions?!
Chateau Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé 2020
Tavel, Rhone, France | If you’re never tried a rosé from Tavel, we hope that changes this Thanksgiving. This isn’t the poolside sipper Provence-style rosé we love in the warmer months. This is serious wine in a bolder approach. The color is deeper and the nose is of raspberry and strawberry with a depth that can handle the intense spices of the stuffing, turkey, gravy, and the rest.
Thanksgiving is the time for the non-red wines of the world to shine but we’ve listed a few key players that deserve a spot on the table. You’ll notice that we haven’t included any Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Nebbiolo, or Tempranillo. If those are the wines you prefer to enjoy, then, drink what makes you happy. However, for this meal, the tannic structure and typical styles of those wines will overwhelm the food. You don’t want to mask the flavors you and your family worked so hard to assemble. Don’t worry though, Christmas is coming, and we’ve got red meat and bold reds on the horizon!
Georges Duboeuf Fleurie Beaujolais 2019
Fleurie, Beaujolais, France | We’ve got a thing for Beaujolais year-round, but with the traditional Thanksgiving spread, this is an absolute must. To be clear, we are NOT talking about Beaujolais Nouveau here. Those wines, while they are the best known from the region, are not the expression of the Gamay grape or the excellence of producers like this one that we want you to try. Fleurie is one of the ten Crus of Beaujolais, and our preference for the holiday as they wines tend to be a bit lighter and fruiter than other areas. This bottle is light in body and drinks similar to Pinot Noir, but there’s a levity, a fruitiness, and a freshness that belongs to only this variety. If you’re only selecting one red, this is our top suggestion for Thanksgiving.
Antiquum Farm 'Juel' Pinot Noir 2019
Willamette Valley, Oregon | Pinot is known as the “chef’s wine” because it is incredibly versatile. Our first Pinot comes from a producer that is worth a Google search on their own. This is unlike any Pinot Noir we have ever tasted yet manages to stay true to the characteristics that make the grape what it is. It’s a living wine with an incredibly complex profile. We recommend decanting it -- and picking up two bottles because you’ll wish you had another one when it’s gone.
The Hilt Estate Pinot Noir 2017
Sta. Rita Hills, California | This is what we love about wine. The same grape grown in a different area can produce a completely different style and flavor profile. For something really interesting, open a bottle of the Antiquum Farm Pinot next to this one and taste them side-by-side. Both represent a combination of the highest quality vineyards, winemaking, and fruit, but they are completely different. The Hilt is produced in an area north of Santa Barbara from vineyards grown on steep slopes of ancient marine sedimentary soils. The wine is savory, dark, and perfumed with notes of cherry, blood orange, fresh herbs, and earth.
Frank Family Zinfandel 2018
Napa Valley, California | Our final wine may have you questioning our previous statement about staying away from bold reds, but this isn’t your average Zinfandel. Plush, fragrant, earthy flavors dance with notes of black plum and mocha. It is the most elegant, complex Zin we have ever tasted. The tannins are soft and supple and won’t obliterate the meal. This is a wine that might change your mind about the grape if all you’ve had were over the top, jammy booze bombs. Pour it into a decanter and trust us on this one.
A few fun Turkey Day wine tips:
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
The weather is getting colder, and we’ve got holidays on the brain, well, almost. Before we dive into our 2021 Thanksgiving Wine List next week, let’s focus on the present. It’s Tuesday, and that means tacos are on tonight’s menu.
You may not think of wine when it comes to Mexican fare, but each of the bottles below makes a winning combo with the flavors you'll be enjoying. Plus, it's a great excuse to enjoy some lighter options in the Fall. We've even linked some outstanding recipe pairings for each from Colorado food blogger Yvette at Muy Bueno Cookbook!
Look for these wines at your local wine shop or click the links to order from Wine.Com. They’ll be at your door by the time Taco Tuesday rolls around next week.
Cheers to one of the best days of the week!
Becker Family Pinot Gris + Everything Crab Rangoon at Bao Brewhouse in Denver = quite the flavor combination! This wine is an awesome orange expression from Pfalz, Germany on the French/German border. If Alsatian Pinot Gris is a Fall staple for you like it is for me, this is a fun offshoot. Fresh and slightly floral with just 12.5% ABV, this is food wine!
As for the bite: a twist on the classic Chinese Crab Rangoon: jumbo lump crab, charred green onion infused cream cheese, fried everything wonton, spicy mango mustard. The combo of salt, seasoning, and creamy crab is in beautiful balance with the acid in the wine.
Have you tried a little East Meets West combo like this? Ramen and Riesling perhaps? Tell us your favorite combos in the comments!
Click to view this wine on Wine.com
Have you tasted Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Australia?
This example drank super light with tons of red cherry and a little hint of spice. Lovely for a summer night on the patio with a stuffed zucchini from the garden.
Produced by Nikkal Wines, this is a blend of fruit from three vineyards in the valley, which is located east of Melbourne, Victoria.
This is a complicated region with many different microclimates. You’ll find some pretty outstanding Cab coming from here, plus Chard, Pinot, and some cool stuff like Riesling and Nebbiolo. If you’re new to tasting the area, I do recommend starting with Pinot Noir. Many different styles exist and this uber light example is the exception rather than the rule.
Have some fun and grab a couple bottles from different producers in Yarra Valley! We get some good ones in the US. Or cast a wider net and pick up a Pinot from here, one from New Zealand’s Central Otago, one from Burgundy, one from Oregon, and one from California. Where am I forgetting?!
Click to shop the wine on Wine.com
I have long been fascinated with Spain. Not just the wines but the country and the culture. I am fortunate now to embark on a journey through La Rioja and beyond with the incomparable Jorge Ordonez Selections and you're invited!
Jorge Ordonez is truly a pioneer of the Spanish wine industry. In 2007 he said, "When nobody cared about Spanish wines, I was there." It's the truth.
So here's where we start. Three remarkable wines and a board of meat and cheese that served as Friday night dinner. Over the weeks to come we will go deeper... this is just a tease. Will you come with me?
Three price points, three styles, three stories. Separate posts on each coming this week!
Sierra Cantabria Unica 2016 | Vinedos Sierra Cantabria - D.O.Ca. Rioja
Codice 2018 | Dominio De Eguren - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
El Puntido Gran Reserva 2007 | Vinedos de Paganos - D.O.Ca. Rioja
A gorgeous piece from one of my favorite food and beverage companies: Mixologist World. It is the perfect size and even has a drawer with four very sharp utensils. The entire piece is well-made and attractive. Use this link to order yours on Amazon for $40.
THE CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE:
From Frank's Bodega, a small, premium grocery store that opened in my neighborhood when the owner's original business of catering for performers visiting Red Rocks Amphiteater was decimated by COVID-related show cancelations. I love their selection of premium deliciousness!
Stay tuned for more! Until we can travel again, let's continue to discover the world through wine!
The best days are spent with happy people, drinking wine, and smiling even when the year has been a tough one. Sean and Nicole Minor GET IT!!!
How-To Prepare Arrosticini Abruzzesi, Plus the Perfect Pairing with Zaccagnini Rosé and Montepulciano d'Abbruzo
Join me for a new experience in food and wine pairing! I'm making arrosticini abruzzesi, a traditional Italian street food, for the first time. I'm pairing this delicious nosh with the beautiful Rosé and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from Zaccagnini Wines
Memorial Day weekend is always one of my favorite times of year! It's the kick-off to everything fun, and keeping our social distance doesn't mean we don't enjoy. For the weekend, I selected Broadbent Vinho Verde from Portugal and Secateurs Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Take a peek at the live video tasting I did with the amazing Jo Barrett of Broadbent, the importer that brings us these lovely wines. Read on for recipe pairings and tasting notes!
Fine dining at home is now a thing! Once a foodie, always a foodie, right?
The team at Restaurant Olivia took the at-home wine dinner experience to the next level with their amazing Master Sommelier Smackdown last week. Three courses, six wines, a cocktail and an amuse bouche. Best of all, the proceeds went to Feeding Colorado Heroes and Food Bank of The Rockies. Doing good while eating good, how gangster is that?