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Wines to Usher in the Holiday Season

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

It’s probably safe to say that traditional Thanksgiving gatherings this year will certainly not resemble those of the past. Our collective and individual universes seem to have shrunk to the size of our apartments and houses forcing all of us to get a little creative with our Thanksgiving festivities this year. But the challenges of 2020 will hopefully not prevent any of us from celebrating with our friends, families and loved ones, whether we be masked and six feet away, at opposite ends of a long dining room table, or crammed into a small video box in a Zoom room.

Speaking of challenges. What to do about all of those competing textures and flavors on your overflowing plate at Thanksgiving? Tart and sweet; creamy and crunchy; salty; cheesy; buttery; smoky; marshmallowy. Yikes. First, let me say that while I do believe it is wise to follow some basic food and wine pairing guidelines – light dishes with lighter bodied wines; spicy dishes balanced with lightly sweet wines; Chablis and briny oysters for example - I am not at all dogmatic in my approach to this subject. In fact, at Thanksgiving, I tend to throw caution to the wind by pulling multiple corks and scattering bottles about the table letting everyone pick and choose and experiment. This multi-bottle approach lends and extra layer of conviviality, which is what this particular dinner should be all about, right? Cru Beaujolais; Sonoma Coast pinot noir; Etna Rosso; white Burgundy; dry Alsatian, German and Austrian riesling; bubbles – lots of bubbles – they all have a place at my table. But it’s not always these familiar wines. To put a thematic twist on things, I might serve wines made from indigenous grape varieties like Catawba or Norton.

I should mention that these wines need not be limited to the Thanksgiving table; all lend themselves to the flavors and ingredients of the holiday season – or just a cozy night on the sofa. Below are a few suggestions.

A toast to you all for good health.

Cru Beaujolais:

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2019

Jean Foillard Morgon “Côte de Py” 2018

Château Thivin Côtes de Brouilly 2018 [$28 @ Vine Society (Pre Order Only)]

Pinot Noir:

Littorai Sonoma Coast 2019 [$56 @ Vine Society (Pre Order Only) 2018 Vintage]


Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2019

Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru “Schlossberg” 2016 [$49 @ Vine Society (Pre Order Only) Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Furstentum 2017 Vintage]


Chepika Finger Lakes Catawba Rosé Pétillant Naturel 2019

Duché de Longueville “Douces Amère” Dry Apple Cider

Champagne Savart “L-Ouverture” Brut NV [$62 @ Vine Society (Pre Order Only)]

A few cool things…

Noboleis Vineyards “Owner’s Reserve” Norton Augusta, Missouri 2018

Domaine du Pelican Arbois “Trois Cepages” 2018 [$55 @ Vine Society (Pre Order Only)]

Tenuta della Terre Nera Etna Rosso 2018

These specific wines may or may not be in your area, but please contact Mariano and he will help you source them!

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Mariano J Doble
Mariano J Doble
Nov 03, 2020

Scott, thanks for another awesome and very timely blog. This topic has been (by far) the most popular amongst our members attending our classes recently. After reading your blog we may have to schedule an extra Tasting/Class to unpack this very subject in more depth before the end of the year. Fellow Vine Society members, tell us how you feel and who knows what may happen. We exist to support your preferred wine educational needs!

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