Some wine collectors like to pour their biggest, boldest, most alcohol-laden cabernet sauvignon, syrah, or Meritage wines on Thanksgiving. I always think that’s overkill for turkey, stuffing and the traditional side dishes.
Better to have more delicate wines, especially when there is an array of palates at the table, and I have two suggestions that will not overwhelm the food and have moderate alcohol content.
The 2010 Wilson Daniels Pinot Noir from California’s Central Coast appellation is an ideal red wine for your Thanksgiving Day table.
Wilson Daniels is a prestigious wine importer and distributor founded in 1978 by Jack Daniels and the late Win Wilson. During the last 18 months, a new management team has put in place a series of changes, one of which is marketing its own wine under the Wilson Daniels label.
The wine bears a Central Coast appellation, which runs from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and is made from Santa Maria Valley vineyard grapes.
The winemaking is a straightforward process of fermentation and aging for five months in used barrels. It yields a 13.3 percent alcohol wine with a translucent cherry hue and a cherry-cola scent. Its medium body carries a slightly tart cherry-cranberry flavor with a mild tannin and acidic finish that is perfect for a Thanksgiving menu of many flavors.
The 2010 Wilson Daniels Pinot Noir. It retails for approximately $19.
Sauvignon Blanc comes in many styles, from the aggressive citrusy New Zealand to oak-infused wanna-be chardonnay of California, Australia, and Chile. Between these two bookends are Bordeaux dry white wines, Sancerre and wines from a new kid on the block, Twomey.
David and Tim Duncan picked up where their father Raymond left off at Silver Oak Cellars. They expanded the family wineries from two to four, and followed their father’s formula of having one in Sonoma County and the other in Napa Valley, both named Twomey Cellars.
Winemaker Daniel Baron oversees both the Silver Oak and Twomey wines while Australian Ben Cane is the hands-on winemaker at Twomey.
This team placed the 2010 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc, made from a single Napa vineyard, on a middle course of winemaking by fermenting the wine in a mix of vessels- small and large French oak barrels and stainless steel drums and tanks. They wanted to give the wine some oak influence while preserving the natural fruit flavors in the stainless steel. And they didn’t subject the wine to malolatic fermentation, which would cancel sauvignon blanc’s natural citrus-like acidity and inject a buttery scent, taste and texture.
All this alchemy resulted in a delicious 2010 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc.
The oak barrels gave the wine a pronounced guava and white flower aroma. With more body than New Zealand sauvignon blanc and much better acidity than many California sauvignon blancs, the 2010 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor and balance will pair perfectly with your turkey. And at 13.4 percent alcohol it will let everyone enjoy a second glass.
The 2010 Twomey sauvignon blanc retails for about $23.