Wine Finds: Pinot noir for Thanksgiving

Wine Finds: Pinot noir for Thanksgiving

Pence Ranch 2017 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California

Pence Ranch 2017 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California

 

If you’re planning to spend a few dollars more for a special wine to serve at Thanksgiving, an excellent choice would be a better-quality pinot noir. With enticing red berry flavors, intriguing earthiness and silky tannins, pinot noir will complement turkey without overpowering it and will also go well with a variety of side dishes served at this holiday feast. Although French pinot noir from its native Burgundy starts at about $40 per bottle from prestigious appellations and producers, there are some delicious domestic options for far less.

For example, consider some of the outstanding pinot noir wines from Sta. Rita Hills, an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California’s Santa Barbara County. Although the AVA was originally called Santa Rita Hills when it was created in 2001, the name was abbreviated in 2006 due to objections from Viña Santa Rita, a large Chilean wine company.

One of the nation’s most respected cool-climate wine-growing areas, Sta. Rita Hills is known for its distinctive, concentrated pinot noir. The wine featured below comes from Pence Vineyards & Winery, a 200-acre working ranch and farm that makes small-production wines from organically grown estate fruit.

Pence Ranch 2017 Pinot Noir,

Sta. Rita Hills, CaliforniaBought • Starrs, 1135 South Big Bend, in November for $21.99

Description • This lovely red wine is a great example of why it’s worth spending a little more for a better-quality pinot noir. Smooth and elegant, this medium-bodied red has a fragrant, inviting nose that makes you want to take a sip. It tastes of fresh cherries and raspberries with a touch of spice and earthiness. A rich wine with lots of finesse, it has focused tannins and ends with a very long silky finish.

Follow Gail on Twitter @GailAppleson.

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France’s Loire Valley is famous for its dry white wines, particularly those from the prestigious appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. However, the region also has a few appellations known for their delicious reds made from cabernet franc, which produces wines that are tamer and less tannic than its offspring grape varietal cabernet sauvignon. One of those red wine appellations is Chinon, which is located in Loire’s Touraine area. The 2018 year was a very good one in Chinon, and the following are two examples from that vintage.

France’s Loire Valley is famous for its dry white wines, particularly those from the prestigious appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. However, the region also has a few appellations known for their delicious reds made from cabernet franc, which produces wines that are tamer and less tannic than its offspring grape varietal cabernet sauvignon. One of those red wine appellations is Chinon, which is located in Loire’s Touraine area. The 2018 year was a very good one in Chinon, and the following are two examples from that vintage.

If you’re looking for a great combination to take the chill off a cold January night, try a hearty winter stew with a big, spicy red wine from France’s Rhône wine region. This large and very important wine region is divided into two distinct north and south areas. In the north, syrah is the main player in reds while those from the south are usually grenache-dominated blends that include syrah, mourvèdre and other grapes. The following are two robust reds that will definitely help warm you up.

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