Make us your home page

Wines of the week: Thanksgiving picks

For Thanksgiving, we've selected a half dozen wines reviewed in this space over the past year that we are thankful for and that will grace a festive table, traditional or otherwise.

For either an aperitif to fluff up the palate for all the goodies to come or as a dessert wine, we recommend Dominio de la Peseta Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain with plenty of bubbles and lots of pop (about $11). A toasty, citrusy nose sets up a palate of big lemon flavor with side notes of vanilla and pear. It finishes crisp and clean.

This being Florida in stone crab season, many of us serve those succulent claws as a starter. You could go with a New Zealand sauv blanc or an Austrian Gruner Veltliner, but why not consider pairing the seasonal delicacy with La Piuma (the Feather), a delightfully dry Italian white made from the pecorino grape (about $11). It's the delicately flirty flavor of Meyer lemon that makes this wine so perfect with shellfish of all kinds.

For the main course we've chosen three reds and a big chard that will complement either the classic turkey-centered feast or a range of less traditional menus.

Our No. 1 pick is the slightly quirky 2011 Picket Fence Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from California (about $14), a medium-bodied red with all the depth and character you'd expect in a good pinot but with an unusually full, round and velvety mouthfeel, too. Blackberry and spice are the top notes on the tongue.

Also from California comes the 2009 Charles Krug Napa Valley Merlot (about $19), a red blend of 80 percent merlot and six helper grapes that yields more edge (that's a good thing) than many wines of its kind. A rich melange of black plum, black currant and raisin with a kick of minerality, all with that lush merlot mouthfeel, make this a standout.

If impressing your guests with the sophistication of your palate is part of your game plan, the 2010 Domaine de Bila-Haut "Occultum Lapidem" (about $25) is the red wine for you. This near miraculous French blend of syrah, grenache and carignan grapes is gorgeous, complex, mysterious and silky all the way through. Dark fruits dominate in a wine of admirably dense body. Definitely needs time to breathe before serving.

If you prefer a big white, you won't go wrong with the 2009 Bouchard Pere & Fils Réserve Bourgogne (about $20), a nicely nuanced, mineral-edged, mellow chardonnay from France. The nose displays lemon, which we expected, and a whiff of pink grapefruit, which we didn't. Nectarine dominates on the tongue, but there's room for light lemon and the merest smidge of vanilla.

Wines of the week: Thanksgiving picks 11/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe has been taking precautions in light of the Seminole Heights killings: keeping the lights on all night and having employees walk to their cars in groups.
  2. Josbite goes all out, gets results with annual musical, 'The Threepenny Opera'


    TAMPA — As the house lights dimmed for the second act, burglars and pickpockets, prostitutes and scam artists weaved between the little tables of the Jaeb Theater, warning customers they'd best wind down their talking and silence their phones. This was done with a wink but the point was made. This is elitism …

    Miscreants in Jobsite Theater's The Threepenny Opera, which runs through Nov. 12, include (from left) Amy E. Gray, Jonathan Harrison, Giselle Muise, Chris Jackson, Fo'i Meleah, and Derrick Phillips. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 24


    On Your Feet: The Broadway musical follows the true story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan's journey as Cuban immigrants coming to America to becoming pop-crossover sensation Miami Sound Machine. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45 and up. (813) …

    Alma Cuervo (far left), an Academy of the Holy Names graduate, stars in the upcoming production of "On Your Feet" at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday (Oct. 24). Also pictured, Claudia Yanez (as Rebecca), Christie Prades (as Gloria) and Nancy Ticotin (as Gloria Fajardo). Photo by Matthew Murphy
  4. Hip-hop artist looks to deliver music, monologues with one-woman show


    Tampa hip-hop artist and actress Dynasty takes her career into a new direction Saturday at Stageworks Theatre with her first one-woman show: A Star in Life's Clothing : Life. Love. Language. Lyrics.

    Hip-hop artist and actress Dynasty will present a one-woman show Saturday (Oct. 28) at Stageworks Theatre. Photo courtesy of @JoeyClayStudio.
  5. With volunteers as its heartbeat, annual Hillsborough County Fair grows larger


    DOVER — There's nothing else in the Tampa Bay community quite like the Hillsborough County Fair.

    Retired Tampa police officer Larry Henderson of Seffner sharpens a hewing ax used for squaring wood in the Hometown Hillsborough historical area of the fair. Beside him is a small sampling of the more than 7,000 tools he’s collected over the years.