Somm in the city

Published on November 5th, 2018

The best wine for Thanksgiving: Chenin Blanc

Everyone has their opinion on the ‘best’ wine for Thanksgiving, but just like everything else, it is totally subjective. First, everyone has different tastes and preferences. Second, it is a complicated meal to pair with, because of the vast array of foods and flavors.

 

When thinking about one, just one, ‘perfect’ wine, I always come back to the grape Chenin Blanc. [a native to France, this grape was once the most widely planted white grape in California before Chardonnay]. I love this grape for a multitude of reasons. Mostly because it provides the perfect balance between sweet and savory. That’s right, Chenin Blanc is usually an off-dry wine. People who hear ‘sweet’ and immediately say ‘No, Way!’, hear me out!  Many of the side dishes presented at the Thanksgiving table are sweet (sweet potatoes with marshmallows, candied yams, maple glazes, cranberry sauce, cornbread, etc) and one of the most important rules in wine pairing is that the wine has to be sweeter than the food, otherwise everything is out of whack. Also, consider your crowd. You probably have a range of ages who will be enjoying the wine, and an off-dry style will appeal to a much broader palate than a dry, tannic wine will.

 

Ultimately, you want the food to be the showcase and the wine to take a complimentary backseat. Chenin Blanc does that, providing just enough acidity and fruit without going overboard.

 

Try one of our selections, and be the the wine hero this Thanksgiving!

JiJiJi Chenin Blanc, Argentina $13.99

Hand harvested, unfined and unfiltered. This wine is a bit funky and unique, good for those looking for something interesting.

MAN Chenin Blanc, South Africa, $8.99

South Africa’s top white grape is Chenin Blanc, and this value is a crowd pleaser every year.

Secateurs Chenin Blanc, South Africa $13.99  TOP PICK

Gorgeous!! South African Chenin at its best, a lovely balance of white pears and tart acidity.

Graziano Chenin Blanc, Mendocino $13.99  TOP PICK

Greg Graziano owns very special, ancient Chenin Blanc vineyards in Mendocino, and takes the utmost care in creating this wine, his favorite from all he produces. Juicy and rich, with subtle peach flavors.

Lieu-Dit Chenin Blanc, Santa Ynez $27.99

Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, Dry Creek, $9.99

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier, Clarksburg $10.99

Top-Seller every year, this is blended with Viognier, and is quite dry.

Marcel du Bois Vouvray, $10.99  VALUE!

Crazy price from France.

Champalou Vouvray $18.99  TOP PICK

Vouvray is the birthplace of Chenin Blanc in the Loire, and this wine from importer Kermit Lynch is an exceptional example of what the grape is capable of. Bright acidity, an herbal twinge, and high-powered fruit.

Clos du Meslerie Vouvray $35.99

For the real wine enthusiast, this is a wine to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed.

Alternative Selection, same style:

Hunky Dory The Tangle, New Zealand  $13.99  TOP PICK

The blend is 10% Riesling, 55% Pinot Gris and 35% GewurztraminerOn the nose honeysuckle, jasmine, quince, lime and lemon abound

 

Meyer Fonne Edelzwicker, Alsace $15.99 (1L)

A holiday classic, and in many parts of the world, the traditional wine drank at Christmas. A blend of 60% Pinot Blanc, 15% Muscat, 15% Chasselas, 10% Riesling

 

Hugel Gentil, Alsace $12.99

 

 

 

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