Thanksgiving Wine (& Spirits!) Picks from the MPW Team

As we gather together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, one way to give thanks to nature's bounty is by supporting a healthier planet and choosing organic food and wine. Here's what the MPW team will be bringing to the table:

Vanessa Wich, Portfolio & Purchasing Manager: Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without Pinot Noir. This versatile grape pairs with just about everything on the holiday table with its lighter body, lower alcohol & earthy flavors. This year I will be pouring a new release from Keeler Estate, “Heart” Pinot Noir. This Biodynamic vineyard in the Willamette Valley produces a refreshing take on classic Pinot Noir, full of juicy raspberry, forest floor, & mushroom notes. Recently recognized by the Slow Wine Guide, this seems like the perfect wine to enjoy with roasted brussel sprouts & radishes with tahini sauce or a petit smoked ham over a leisurely organic feast. Our chef (my husband) is getting creative this year & opting for a bourbon-glazed Turkey using Old Town Distilling’s Old Standard Bourbon from Colorado. We are all looking forward to this sweet + smoky combo & will be enjoying a nice classic organic cocktail (Manhattans anyone?) while the bird roasts.

Phillip Anderson, Vice President of Sales: My two picks for Thanksgiving are the Granza Tinta de Toro by Bodega Matarromera & Eugene’s Meyer’s Gewürztraminer. In the Toro region the Tempranillo grape grows smaller than in other areas & develops a skin that is twice as thick. It is so different from other Tempranillo, that it gets a new name, Tinta de Toro. It tends to have a darker color & more tannic structure than grapes made with traditional Tempranillo. This Tinta de Toro has that classic structure & color as well as aromas of raspberry, plum, & perfume. The wine is bold enough to stand up to savory dishes like stuffing, or rib roast, but won’t overpower your turkey. It received 93 points from James Suckling & deserved it. For those who prefer white wine I will have a Gewürztraminer from Eugene Meyer. To me this is a classic example of Alsace Gewürztraminer. In some growing regions Gewürztraminer can be simple & sweet. In Alsace it is much more robust. This wine has aromas of lychee & rose petals. On the palate it has delicate spice & a slight honey note from botrytis. The acid is high & makes it a great wine to pair with turkey or any of the diverse side dishes from a Thanksgiving meal.

Michael Michel, CFO: The Michel family will be boycotting Turkey this year and roasting a boneless leg of lamb for Thanksgiving. We will be serving Frey Syrah with the main course, an excellent choice to pair with roasted meats—especially lamb. The wine shows black fruit characteristics with a hint of earthiness, and medium tannins and acid.

Laura Fung, President: One thing I can be certain of is that I am thankful for all of the good things that life has to offer, and there is no better time of year to acknowledge this than on Thanksgiving. Instead of the traditional turkey, Pinot and pumpkin pie this year (which are all good things, don’t get me wrong), I will be making two of my favorite foods - seared ahi and wasabi mashed potatoes - which I will serve with a chilled bottle of Kikusui organic sake, and I am sure I will say, ‘Dang, this is a good pairing.’ For dessert, I will pour a glass of Chacewater Merlot which has soft round vanilla and cherry notes that will pair well with a rich dark chocolate mousse, and I will sit back and say, ‘Dang, this is a good wine.’ Then, I will pour a well-deserved after-dinner drink for me and my husband to sip – three fingers of Topo Reserve Straight Wheat Whiskey – and we will walk out to the deck, look out over tree-line toward the Sierras, and say to each other, ‘Dang, this is the good life.’

Ani Kington, Marketing Specialist: My thanksgiving is going to be pretty low-key this year, but that doesn’t mean the wine has to be. I’m looking forward to popping a bottle of Perlage Canah to celebrate the rain that will (hopefully, finally) be coming down as I get cozy with a few friends. This is a deliciously complex Prosecco, with layers of stone fruit, citrus and flowers, making it a perfect match to a cheese board and appetizers. With our meal I’m excited to share a dry Riesling from BattenfeldSpanier, our new German producer making vibrant wines in the Wonnegau region of the Rheinhessen. The Hohen-Sülzen Riesling has beautiful ripe aromas of peaches & apricots, followed by earthy notes of licorice & herbs on the mineral-driven palate, which I think will complement our mostly vegetarian meal nicely.

Amanda Simpson, Inside Sales: I’m getting weird for Thanksgiving this year! I want to share wines with my friends and family that they likely have never tried before. Enter…a Spanish Bobal and Bulgarian Rosé! First up is “Azul de Bobal” a red wine made exclusively from the Bobal grape and produced by the fine folks at Bodegas Iranzo. Located in Utiel Requena, Bodegas Iranzo is the oldest estate bottled winery in Spain dating back to the 1300s! Bobal is the signature grape of this region though you rarely see it as a single varietal. It’s a dense, jammy wine with notes of blackberry, cedar, licorice and clove, and despite the rich flavors, you’d never expect that this wine is virtually sugar-free. It clocks in at just .61 grams per liter! On a day when the calories add up fast, it’s nice to know that at least your wine is a minor contributor.

My second choice is Edoardo Miroglio’s “Bio” Rosé which hails from the Thracian Valley and is a blend of Bouquet and Mavrud, two grapes of Bulgarian origin. The wine is fresh, vibrant, with hints of summer berries and tart cherry – a flexible choice for a wide array of foods. Imported by Kristova Partners, an endearing mother-daughter team also of Bulgarian descent, their love for family and respect for their roots is a message I’m proud to promote at my Thanksgiving table. So, what do you think, should I subject my family to a blind tasting this year and make them guess the wines?

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