Sunday, May 27, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Drink of the week: American red, white and bubbly wines for Thanksgiving

Red, white or bubbly with Thanksgiving dinner? Any one can work, so for this most American of holidays, here are three delicious American wines.

For many years, my go-to Thanksgiving dinner wine has been pinot noir. Its bright berry flavors and earthy finish marry well with the many tastes on the table, and its lighter body keeps it from overwhelming the food, as heavier reds like cabernet sauvignon can do.

One fine choice is the 2013 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir, from Oregon's A to Z Wineworks. It invites you to sip with aromas of cherry, blackberry and raspberry and hints of white pepper. All of that fruit arrives on the tongue, along with some strawberry and blueberry notes — this pinot noir is a berry bomb — that will echo your tart cranberry sauce and contrast nicely with the rich flavors of turkey and gravy. On the finish, this wine brings some earthiness and a bit more pepper and spice, which will complement all those vegetable side dishes. At about $17 at big-box wine stores, this wine is food-friendly enough to work with the A to Z of your menu.

If you prefer a white wine with turkey and trimmings, forget about the summer lightweights like pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, which just won't stand up to all those savory sauces, and go for a more substantial chardonnay.

One of my current faves is the 2013 Bread & Butter Chardonnay from Bread & Butter winery in California's Napa Valley. With aromas of pear and apple, it smells like autumn. Those tree fruits open up in the mouth, accented with lemon and ginger. There's just enough oak to provide structure, a hint of melon on the finish and lots of buttery mouthfeel to make it perfect to wash down a forkful of dressing, turkey and gravy. Find it at big-box stores and wine shops for around $15.

Does Champagne go with turkey? My dears, Champagne goes with everything. Of course, if it's made in the United States it's not technically Champagne, but Jacqueline Leonne NV Brut Sparkling Wine is made in the traditional methode champenoise — even though it's produced in New Mexico. That's no surprise: One of the best American sparklers is Gruet, made in Albuquerque, where this wine also hails from. You can find Jacqueline Leonne at Total Wine stores for about $15.

This sparkler is pale gold in color and bursting with bubbles. Its nose is lemony, a bit mineral. Flavors of tart apple and citrus dominate this light, bright wine. There's a smidge of vanilla, and it's a tad on the sweet side for a brut. It would be a fine aperitif before the bird is carved, then pour it at meal's end with the pumpkin pie.

Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer

 
Comments
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR — Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."It’s got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. That’s not bad." Indeed, there’s a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Published: 05/25/18
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Published: 05/24/18
Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Lakeland’s a little out of the way, but I’m always eager to check out the bar scene there when passing through or attending an event. Every place I’ve visited just seems so pleasant.I regret missing the boat on the city’s first brewery, Lakeland Brew...
Published: 05/24/18
tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

The saga of Barley Mow Brewing Company and its eventual offshoot/successor Sea Drift Ales & Lagers is a complicated one. The most interesting part is how the latter came to be as a result of brewery-distributor tensions, in which Barley Mow pulled an...
Published: 05/24/18
Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s, the restaurant that paid homage to the community icon who rose to fame as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and grew to become a popular civic leader, will shutter the doors of its original location on Tampa’s Boy Scout Boulevard in June.Employ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’S Feel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more...
Published: 05/23/18
Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

ORLANDO — The popular breakfast and brunch chain First Watch will be opening a new restaurant in Orlando that will add cocktails, beer and wine to the menu. The new concept restaurant, set to open on Memorial Day at 1448 N Alafaya Trail, will be 1,00...
Published: 05/23/18
Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Once upon a time, way back in the annals of home cooking, there was an era before sheet-pan suppers.In that dark age, even well-equipped kitchens did not have so much as a single professional sheet pan, let alone the two or three deemed indispensable...
Published: 05/23/18
Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

You could head to your neighborhood juice shop and order a $7 or $8 smoothie. Blending your own, however, is not only easier on your wallet, but you can customize to your heart’s content and make several batches at a time.Whether you’re making a nutr...
Published: 05/23/18