Monday, November 21, 2011
Three Versatile Pinot Noirs For Your Thanksgiving Feast
For many hosts choosing wines for the Thanksgiving meal can present a challenge. You need a wine that compliments the many different tastes and textures of this holiday feast. One of your best choices is a Pinot Noir, a wine that flashes elegance and a light taste that doesn’t bring an uninvited heavy flavor to the table.
We recently sampled three Pinots to see how they will pair with your Turkey Day food. Kudos to Green Dragon, who prepared a delicious herb-seasoned turkey tenderloin accompanied by a butternut squash risotto.
We opened with the 2009 The Crossings Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Marlborough is known for knockout Sauvignon Blanc, but in a recent worldwide tasting event, New Zealand was the top choice for Pinot Noirs. This wine has a smoky cherry nose and tasted a bit aggressive on the front end. Once the turkey was being gobbled it started to blend nicely and offered up spicy raspberry flavor notes. Price is about $19.
Our second tasting was the Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills Pinot Noir 2008. This is a beautiful Pinot that you can be proud to serve on any occasion. It has a smooth glide of dark black cherry and raspberry that warms the palate and accentuates the turkey flavor. The finish is medium in duration with moist cherry. The fruit is prominent without being jammy. Price is about $40.
We circled back and made an unconventional Pinot the final selection. Llia Llia 2010 Pinot Noir is from Chile and is still a young wine. It is a brilliant red color with ripe and intense fruit. This is a simpler, more earthy wine than the rest yet paired well with our pumpkin roll dessert. Although this wouldn’t be our first pick for Thanksgiving, it isn’t a bad choice and is certainly a great value. Price is about $13.
Full Disclosure: We received these wines as samples.