Turkey Time: Three Alternatives to Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving

Oh yes, now is the time for you to buy the most important part of Thanksgiving dinner – the wine, of course! Why not start there and build your meal around what’s in your glass? Pinot Noir is a classic pairing with turkey. Here’s a little bit beyond the obvious.

Darting Pinot Meunier, Trocken Durkheimer Fuerberg, Pfalz, 2013 ($25) A varietal usually reserved as an after-thought of Champagne (in the triad of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), this 100% Pinot Meunier excels at exhibiting a light and fruitier alternative to Pinot Noir. The aromas are bright notes of red cherry and ripe cranberry, with flavors that match. Reflecting their German roots, these fruits are restrained by a dry toasty finish. At 13.5% alcohol and low tannins, it is an ideal wine to carry you through a six-hour feast. And, it’s German and not a Riesling. How fun is that?!

Domaine Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, Beaujolais Cru, 2014 ($35) Ah, Beaujolais has done an amazing job establishing itself as a key fall wine. Unfortunately it outlived the heyday of the 1980s.  Beyond Beaujolais Nouveau, the Gamay grape is a beautiful and elegant varietal, particularly in the more complex and superior Beaujolais Villages and Crus, from the granite hills in the northern part of the region. The Morgan Cru has strong aromas of violet with notes of strawberry, plum and mineral flavor. This wine is my new go to for any. time. at. all.

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Fort Ross Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2013 ($25) (cover photo; and yes, I know technically a Pinot Noir…) With a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean, Fort Ross Vineyards creates balanced Pinot Noir and Chardonnays that exhibit the sea-kissed wind and soil of Fort Ross-Sea View AVA in Sonoma. Not all Rosés are created equal, and this particular bottle, derived from Pinot Noir instead of the usual Grenache, is layers of watermelon, peach, and raspberry with subtle hints of herb and marine minerality that will pair very well with your turkey and cranberry relish.  A perfect Rosé that transitions easily from summer to fall and beyond. And oh yeah, I ordered a case to carry me through until next spring. duh.

Martha Pearls

#TBT Me Having a Martha Moment….

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