Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Wine Gems Sampled at J. Patrick’s Tasting

Toledo Wines and Vines uncorked a fabulous wine tasting at J. Patrick’s Tuesday night. The theme for the evening at the popular Perrysburg restaurant, located in the Holiday Inn French Quarter, was Thanksgiving wine.

We enjoyed a “sensational seven” of wines provided by Heidelberg Distributing, each a possible match for your Thanksgiving dinner. Chef Jeremy provided a creative food pairing for each wine.

Thanksgiving is a food-centered holiday and it also sends wine novices scrambling for just the right bottle for the big feast. The good news is there is a wide spectrum of wines that are spot-on accompaniments with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and the like.

Working with Kevin Boehm of Heidelberg, we selected the following lineup of wines. Later in this article we’ll reveal the group’s favorite wine.
  • NV Poema Cava Brut Sparkling – Spain
  • 2010 Firelands Gewürztraminer, Isle St. George – Ohio
  • 2012 Saint “M” Riesling – Germany
  • 2009 Louis Jadot Pinot Noir – France
  • 2011 Joel Gott “815” Cabernet – California
  • 2011 Amado Sur Malbec – Argentina
  • Reserve – 2011 Shatter, 100% Grenache from France
The crowd was smiling from the very start – sparkling wine has a way of doing that! The Poema Cava is a great choice to put your guests in a festive mood. This Spanish wine is made in the traditional method just like bubby from Champagne. It was paired wonderfully with salmon in a puff pastry. You don’t need a special occasion to open a sparkling wine.

Our sweetest wine came next, the 2010 Firelands Gerwurztraminer. I like my Gerwurz a little drier, but it paired wonderfully with the mini-crab cake and the spicy red pepper aioli.

Riesling is a “go to” Thanksgiving wine and I was introduced to a new favorite. The 2012 Saint M Riesling is a product of the same partnership (Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen) that produces the famous Eroica Riesling. This has a dash of sweetness, but is balanced with some nice acidity. At only $15, this is a steal! We enjoyed this with a mini quiche with roasted shallots and braised spinach.

On the red side of the aisle, Pinot Noir is considered a top pick for turkey. We sampled the 2009 Louis Jadot Pinot from France. I’m a big Pinot Noir fan, but on this night, the wine missed the mark with me. However, we had an interesting beet salad to eat with it.

The 2011 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon was second favorite among our tasting party. This gives you a full Cabernet experience without denting your wallet. Although Cabernet is an atypical Turkey Day choice, this is a solid selection at only $17. It is silky with dark berry flavor and a lingering finish.

A nice learning point here from Kevin: Some people couldn’t care less about wine pairing lore – they just want their Cabernet!

Amado Sur 2011 Malbec is a robust Argentinian wine that has lush black cherry and blueberry flavors. You can’t go wrong with Malbec – it’s a wine that can be appreciated by aficionados as well as wine newbies.

If you haven’t yet guessed it, our top pick from the J. Patrick’s crowd was our reserve wine, the 2011 Shatter – a beautiful 100% French Grenache from the partnership of Joel Gott and Dave Phinney. This wine had it all: beautiful shimmering violet color in the glass, light body with bright raspberry flavor notes and a vibrant finish. This is a $30 bottle, but drinks like $50.

What an outstanding night! A Happy Thanksgiving toast to all our guests. Thank you for coming. Many thanks to Liana, Kevin, Dana, Jeremy and Chef Jeremy for making the evening an enjoyable success.
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