As the nights draw ever closer and the month of November rolls steadily on, a deep sense of agitation and restlessness grows swiftly across the nation. Turkey flocks huddle closer, in an attempt to quell the fear and palpable tension mounting day by day, gleaming edges of steel upon steel spark and grind with all the solemn certainty of a tolling bell, as a stout chef prepares his knives in readiness for the days ahead.
Decorations will be hung, linens finely pressed and great steaming bowls of sweetened yams, string beans and rich gravy prepared. But what of the wine to accompany such a feast? Any host in good standing will need to ensure that the guests’ glass never runs empty and that the fine wine in question compliments perfectly each and every dish.
An inspired host will want to be unique and original in their choosing to pique the interest and imagination of those present, begin by offering a fine fluted glass of Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvee Brut ($39.99) from northern Italy, composed chiefly of chardonnay with a hint of Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the mousse is soft and creamy with a delicate perfume comprised of peach fruit and vanilla bean echoed sublimely onto the palate.
A bird as fine as a plump juicy turkey will be complimented by red and white wines in equal measure, however, be cautious in your selection of richly flavored heavy red wine as this may overpower the subtle flavors and fine textures of the meat. With the potential selections being so great, how does one choose a suitable wine? The proprietor of your local merchant may overwhelm you with options, obvious and uninteresting choices no doubt. Here I propose to you four unique wines, two of white and two of red, all providing their own individual charm.
Our first white hails from the Vetroz region of western Switzerland, the Romain Papilloud Cave du Vieux Moulin 2009 ($32.99) made from the Petite Arvine grape famous for its bracing acidity and subtle grapefruit aromas. This is a wine of full texture and generous extract from its thick skinned berries, a little sweetness is also present, perfect for highlighting those sweetened yams and thick slices of moist white meat. For something with a more robust authority, a white Chateau Neuf Du Pape from the southern Rhone valley may be in order, a luscious blend including Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne offers up a refreshing minerality and creamy texture combined harmoniously with orchard fruit and citrus pith for a subtle lift on the palate.
If you wish to offer the option of a red wine, the following suggestions will provide further enhancement to the celebrations as the feast gets under way. The Costaripa Marzemino 2010 ($19.99), grown within reach of lake Garda in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region is a wine in similar standing to that of Pinot Noir having a light body with a slightly floral character and fresh, tart red berry fruit.
Our final choice hails from the renowned Medoc region of Bordeaux, carrying more weight and heady aromas of black fruit and cigar box smokiness is the Clos Manou 2009 ($29.99). This will most certainly appeal to those guests with a penchant for something more intense and demanding on the palate.
If dessert is requested, or indeed, required, a sweet wine may be in order. A fine example of this is the Domaine l’Ancienne 2009 ($21.99) from the Monbazillac region in southwestern France. Comprised of Semillon and Muscadelle, this wine is rich and luscious with a distinct marmalade character enhanced with hints of roasted almond and a pleasing lengthy finish.
After such a feast, retiring to the sitting room with a soothing snifter of fine brandy might be just the thing to cap off the evening. The Dartigalongue XO Bas Armagnac ($43.89) with its smooth texture and intoxicating nutty aroma might be just the thing to see off those chilly November nights and keep the conversation flowing until dawn breaks and the necessity of a new day steals us away to begin again.
Christian B., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant