Thanksgiving wines to try
★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Here are wines that will match well with the White House Thanksgiving menu featured in today’s Food section or your traditional turkey and stuffings. Most are American wines, though there is nothing wrong with celebrating our foreign heritage on Thanksgiving.
Chehalem Three Vineyards Pinot Gris 2011
Willamette Valley, Oregon, $24
Oregon pinot gris may not be as sexy as the state’s pinot noir, but it is often fantastic. This is the same grape found in the weighty, sometimes-sweet pinot gris in Alsace and the light pinot grigio of Italy. While Oregon’s version resembles that of Alsace (appropriate for the heft of the Thanksgiving meal), it strikes a uniquely American pose. Chehalem’s pinot gris combines intensity and dexterity with orchard and tropical-fruit flavors and a long finish. Your food might get cold while you wait for those flavors to fade.
Bacchus in the District and Maryland: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Safeway in Georgetown, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at Adour, Charlie Palmer Steak, CityZen, Rasika Penn Quarter, the Source, Tabard Inn, Vidalia. Available in Maryland at Mt. Washington Wine Co. in Baltimore and Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville. Country Vintner in Virginia: Available at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Oakton Wine Shop; Planet Wine & Gourmet, Society Fair and Unwined in Alexandria; Wine House in Fairfax.
Ravines Dry Riesling 2011
Finger Lakes, New York, $17
The wine industry east of the West Coast is exploding, and New York’s Finger Lakes have established a distinct character and style for Riesling. This lovely example caresses the palate with a limpid, mineral texture and flavors of apricot and peach, with a refreshing edge of talc and lime.
Winebow: Available in the District at Continental Wine & Liquor, Cowgirl Creamery, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at District Commons, the Heights, Proof, PS 7’s, Slate Wine Bar & Bistro, Ted’s Bulletin.
Andrew Rich Prelude Pinot Noir 2010
★★1 / 2
Willamette Valley, Oregon, $25
The silky texture of this wine almost masks the lovely blackberry fruit with woodsy flavors that hint of autumn. Almost, but not quite.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s in Bethesda, Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits, Olney Beer & Fine Wine, Wine Harvest in Gaithersburg and Potomac. Available in Virginia at Wine House in Fairfax.
E. Guigal Tavel 2011
★★1 / 2
Rhone Valley, France, $22
With the weather turning cold, we tend to put rosé in the closet with our summer whites. But rosé is a delightful partner with many foods, and the acidity of Tavel is deliciously refreshing. It may not wow you with its power, but it is likely to leave your palate ready for the next bite or sip.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Central Liquors, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Jason’s Wine & Spirits and Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton. Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Crystal City Wine Shop, Leesburg Vintner, the Vineyard in McLean, Unwined in Alexandria.
Quivira Zinfandel 2010
★★1 / 2
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California, $25
Zinfandel is a common recommendation for Thanksgiving if only because it tends to taste of cranberries. Quivira adds earthiness and richness, making it a good choice with stuffing and rich sweet potato dishes.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe, Whole Foods Market (P Street) Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint). Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Whole Foods Market in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Grape + Bean and Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Wegmans (Dulles, Fairfax, Lake Manassas).
Daedelus Cellars Jezebel Blanc 2011
Willamette Valley, Oregon, $17
This wild and unusual blend of pinot gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, pinot blanc and muscat is exotic and flowery. It won’t appeal to everyone, but if you like a touch of sweetness in an extremely aromatic white, this wine’s for you.
Nice Legs: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, De Vinos, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Rasika West End, Russia House. Available in Maryland at Frederick Wine House and Hillcrest Beer Wine & Spirits in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Arrowine, Grand Cru and Grateful Red Wine & Gift Shop in Arlington; Butcher’s Block, Le Tastevin Fine Wines and Rick’s Wine and Gourmet in Alexandria; Kybecca in Fredericksburg; Leesburg Vintner; Wine House in Fairfax; Wine Styles in Montclair. On the list at Da Dominico in McLean, Jackson 20 in Alexandria, Parallel Wine Bistro in Ashburn, Rail Stop in the Plains, Vino Volo at Dulles International Airport.