I hosted a small pre-Thanksgiving dinner for six close friends. Taking my own advice, my mission was to serve four different, easy-to-find, under $20 wines that play well with turkey, roasted vegetables, yams with apples, traditional stuffing, chorizo corn bread stuffing, and cranberry/bing cherry sauce.
2009 DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir A strikingly nice balance of bold fruit and acidity, this wine has substance, and flavors that are distinct and memorable without overwhelming the food. It’s popular with people who like a stylish Pinot Noir with medium to full body. ($19.99 Safeway)
2010 Cline Cellars Cashmere A long time favorite to share with others, Cashmere is a blend of Mourvédre, Syrah and Grenache. It’s body is lighter than the DeLoach but the fruit is still quite distinct. It’s a fun, easy wine to introduce to people interested in discovery and the fact that Cline gives a percentage of sales of every bottle to breast cancer research is a bonus. ($15.99 Paradise Foods. Cline is widely distributed at grocery stores and wine shops.)
2009 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir The lightest of the red wines in the group, it is a well-made nice representative of California’s southern coast. Light and fruity, it’s the perfect red alternative for white wine lovers. ($19.99 Safeway)
Rare White, Lot 297 Napa County White Table Wine. Ok, this one is not easy to find, it’s made by a negociant who buys leftover grapes or already blended wines from quality producers, puts a new label on it and sells it for a much lower price. I chose this one because the blend is lovely for Thanksgiving: Chardonnay (76.32), Semillion (5.26), Marsanne (7.89) & Viogner (10.53). One of my friends is a big fan of Chardonnay, and she loved this wine. If you can find it super, otherwise, look for other interesting whites. ($7.99 Paradise Foods)
Lastly, another friend brought our group a 2006 Kunde Sonoma Valley Zinfandel. It was a wonderful choice because unlike many Zinfandels that pop in your mouth with unbalanced acidity and fruit, it was well-rounded with soft tannins and properly restrained fruit. The back label reads, “…experts say it’s varietally correct.” I agree. (Around $16 and it heads the line up as the wine with the most body.)
Now, you’re ready to run to the store at the last minute! Happy Sipping!