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Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Here's What I'm Drinking for Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, that picture is actually from my Thanksgiving last year. I hope we all have as fun and wacky a Thanksgiving this time around! Here's a quick list of some suggestions.

Thank You All So Much!

Cellario La Grinozza (liter)

Approximately $19

You can find this at Smalls, Folk, Portland Food Co-op, Meridians, Bath Natural, Bow St, Monte's Fine Foods, RSVP, Cheese Shop of Portland, Liquor Locker, and Broad Arrow Farm

Fizzy red Grignolino? How can you not love this!? Fausto Cellario makes this from Grignolino grapes that he harvests on the early side. He lets the juice ferment fully dry naturally but then at the end of the season he bottles it with the addition of some passito late harvest juice to kick off the refermentation in the bottles. 

Aroma: strawberry, passion fruit, fruit punchy fun and fresh smelling! It's deliciously juicy and fruity smelling with just a little bit of a touch of something herbal like mint or sage in the background.

Taste: Pink lemonade, strawberry fruit punch up front but the mid palate has some tannin and more depth than you expect. The bubbles are super fine and just in the background and prickly. This is really interesting aromatic perfumey tropical sort of fruit that lingers. It has that perfect classic Grignolino juxtaposition of lighter berry fruit with darker tannin and structure; with the bubbles it's perfect for Thanksgiving

Francois Gay, Savigny Les Beaune
Approximately $59

Available at Bath Natural, Now You're Cooking, Bangor Wine and Cheese, and Grippy Tannins

This lovely Savigny-les-Beaune is made by Pascal Gay. Pascal took over running his family's 8 hectare estate from his father (Francois) about a decade ago and is the 8th generation to work these lands based from the village of Chorey les Beaune. Chorey les Beaune is sort of an oddity: it's located just to the north of Beaune and surrounded by some of the most sought after Burgundy AOCs, but Chorey les Beaune itself is sort of over looked. He also has holdings in the Corton Grand Cru, Savigny-les-Beaune, and Beaune 1er cru. Maybe being based in the less pricey Chorey les Beaune has contributed to him keeping his prices down...I don't know how else to explain why this Savigny-les-Beaune is such a great value! The winery makes about 3400 cases total production per year, so quite small, and most of that is sold directly to restaurants in France. 

The vines are about 40 years old and the grapes are manually harvested. Before pressing, the grapes were mostly destemmed and then fermented and aged in French oak - 30% new. Pascal learned to make wine working alongside Francoise (who is still involved) so the wine is quite traditional. They farm sustainably and ferment with native yeast.

Aroma: fresh juicy blackberries, a little bit of pomegranate, a hint of red currant.... it's a clean fruit driven aroma but it has a warm comforting sort of feeling to it. There's a little bit of allspice and coriander and cinnamon lurking in the background that subconsciously adds an implication of holiday flavors!

Taste: Serious ripe cherry, blackberry, and black raspberry right up front! It has acidity that makes it bright but this is a ripe approachable fruit driven Burgundy. The tannins are relatively gentle but not weak and they start to sneak in on the mid palate giving the wine a more serious feel and dry cocoa powder dimension underneath the fruit. Then some tasty supporting salt comes in...this has that beautiful red burgundy effortlessly ripe, deep, and polished character but this is a little bit more on the forceful and grippy end of the spectrum. The tannin and touch of spice in the finish are perfect to carry the wine alongside turkey and gravy.

CarboEtrusco 2021
Approximately $27

Available at Vessel & Vine and Solo Cucina 

I know I just wrote about this in the Danilo visit email, but it's just the perfect weight and profile for Thanksgiving! It's juicy and fruity and has a lot of presence, but it's refreshing and low alcohol as well: perfect to savor a large and long meal!

100% Sangiovese made with a unique method of carbonic maceration that dates back to the Etruscan times. The Ancient Etruscans were known to cover the fermentation tanks (often clay pots or palmenti) with a wet, clay based paste. This rudimentary covering on the fermentation allowed the CO2 during primary fermentation to protect the must and preserving fruit. Danilo experimented with the idea and in the end created this. Aged in fiberglass tanks. No filtering or fining.

Aroma: juicy fresh blackberry, blueberry, a little bit of black currant. It's very juicy and very fresh smelling. Somehow it also smells a little dry, like it's going to feel a little dusty or dry out your mid palate it smells a bit like aromatic herbs: tarragon and lavender and tomato leaf. It's really nice: the fruit is so juicy and exuberant that the touch of herbs are a nice compliment.

Taste: wow! It's so vivid! It's so juicy! Cherry, black raspberry, a little bit of blueberry. It's bright and exuberant and bouncing all over the place but it has this little crunchy shell and structure of tannins on the mid palette that focuses the wine. It's also not heavy at all it's very energetic but it's also almost weightless. The fruit is just so fresh and pretty! It's a tightly wound black raspberry and then the tannins give the Finish some stabilizing firmness. There's a supporting background delicious salt component in the mid palate

Joannes Protner Riesling
Approximately $23

Cheese Iron, Bootlegger's in Topsham, Tess's, Helm, Bangor Wine and Cheese, and Graze and Vine

Run by Boštjan Protner and his wife, Mojca, they are now heavily assisted by their children Martin and Ana (Ana was recently awarded the title of Slovenian Wine Queen in 2021!). The family has been devoted to viticulture for over three decades and now have a total of 13 hectares of vineyards. The vines are about 45 years old and planted on steep 30-45 degree slopes. All viticulture on their small family farm is practicing organic and all fermentations are done with native yeasts, with only small amounts of sulfur additions done at bottling. The Protner family pretty just grows Riesling; the cold winters and hot summers in this continental part of Slovenia is a perfect environment.

Aroma: Well, this smells great! It's tropical, a bit spicy, and aromatic. It comes across really like a peach tartlet, or like a croissant filled with cooked Peach jam. The toasty cooked savory dimension is so cozy and just feels like Autumn... It takes on more of a beautiful honey aroma as it opens up; it's a really lovely aromatic dimension above the fruit smell. It's definitely super expressive and attention grabbing as I expect Riesling to be!

Taste: on the palate it's bright and focused. It's not as tropical as the aroma smells. It has nice acidity that makes it uplifted and energizing. The fruit is a mix of lemon citrus, white peach on the mid palate and then a fresh orange on the finish. There's a little bit of minerality and salt on the mid palate: sort of a focused crunchy expression and then it's also got a little bit of a pithy bitterness like from an apricot skin.

Chevalerie Bourgueil Cuvee 2015 Peu Muleau
Approximately $29

Available at Maine & Loire, Rayr, and Primo

Chevalerie is was founded by the Caslot family in the late 1600s. The winery is now fun by Emmnuel: the 15th generation. I visited the winery back in 2012 and it was an amazing to see how happy they were and sort of effortlessly serious. The Caslot family is in it's 16th generation here. The winery is built above an underground limestone quarry so they have nearly 2 acres of underground storage space to hold wines until they're ready to drink.

The Peu Muleau vineyard has the youngest vines of the Chevalerie vineyards and is always ready to drink sooner than the others. That's because the soil of this vineyard has more sand and the tuffeau llimestone subsoil is more broken up. The sand absorbs more heat and the broken tuffeau is easier for the vines roots to burrow through. The vineyard is up above the Domaine de la Chevalerie vineyard and just below the forest of chestnut, acacia, oak, pine and birch. The vines are around 35 years old, and farmed biodynamically. Pue Muleau gets a shorter maceration of less than 20 days. Aging is done in a mix of tank and large used barrels with less and less oak. 

Aroma: wow! Baking chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, cooked cranberries. There's a little bit of wintergreen in the aroma too. It's a lovely aroma that's very integrated and complex; it reminds you what a difference time in the bottle makes!

Taste: smooth and supple: the texture is so fine and's hard to describe how fine it is! There's a lot of black raspberry and there's acidity that gives the wine a fresh almost tart but not quite sort of character. It's smooth and linear with tannins that dries your palate in a fine gentle sort of way. It's very refreshing and lively... but the mid palate has this dark fruit and those fine tannins... the flavors are deep and earthy and along with baking chocolate it reminds me of dry autumn woods. This is such a gorgeous effortlessly beautiful wine!

Oyster River Morphos Rose 2021
Approximately $25

Available at Rosemont Market, Vessel & Vine, Folk, Whole Foods, Bow St Beverage, Riverside Butcher, Solo Cucina, Morning Glory, Maine and Vine, Rising Tide Co-op, Portland Food Co-op, Sheepscot, Now You're Cooking, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Terracotta Pasta in SoPo, Blue Hill Co-op, Cheese Shop of Portland, Maine & Loire, and Sawyer's Specialties

The 2021 is far and away the best Morphos Rose vintage Brian has made yet! We sol through our allocation earlier in the year, but now that Oyster River's tasing room is closed for the season Brian decided he could release some of what he had left. And I am so glad because this is perfect for Thanksgiving! This is 100% Merlot from a single vineyard that Brian has a long term relationship with down on Long Island. So Brain has input on the farming and has moved the farmer to work in a more sustainable way, stop using herbicides, and leave grass in the vineyards. Brian drives down and picks up the grapes in his box truck so that he can do a natural yeast fermentation in his winery in Warren with it. This vintage is a little more expensive because a valve on one of Brian's tanks broke over night and he lost a large portion of the juice, so he had to raise the price somewhat to still cover his costs, but it is such a delicious wine that has just gotten better over the summer.

Aroma: Wow, this is a lovely and rich aroma! Ripe cherry's, raspberries! It's a fresh juicy fruity very RED smelling fizzy rosé. It totally smells like cooked cranberries and Autumn holiday fruits! Sugar plums anyone? I'm so impressed by this vintage. It's so clean and well balanced!

Taste: wow the fruit is nice and juicy and round. The bubbles are very small but quite prickly and frothy! They carry the wine all the way through from start to finish... there's so much cherry and then some raspberry backing it up. The cherry is sort of a hard cherry candy flavor... the bubbles do a fantastic job of balancing it out. The fruit is deep and mouth filling, and the bubbles give the wine a dryness without having an edge. It's the perfect deep and ripe flavor to pair with Thanksgiving and then the bubbles will help clean your palate and refresh you.

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