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What are you pouring on Thanksgiving?

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What are you all set to open this year and why did you choose what you did?

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  1. I'm going with a dbl-magnum of Cline Old Vines Zin. Do not know what the host will start with, but that is the main wine.


    1. Well, while looking for something else in our so-called cellar recently, we stumbled upon a bottle of 1991 Eyrie Oregon Chardonnay. We normally do not think of Chardonnay when we think of wines that benefit from long cellaring. So the first order of business will be to satisfy curiosity as to what 18 years on its side does to a bottle of Oregon Chardonnay.

      Our safety valve -- and main wine -- for our Thanksgiving repast will be Naia Verdejo 2007. We have enjoyed earlier vintages of Naia, and found it to be the best pairing with roast turkey of many wines that we have opened for this occasion over the years. With the Naia, we know we have one winner, even if the doddering old chardonnay turns up bust.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Politeness

        Well, how did the older Chard do?

        I had similar some years back, but not that duration. I was blown away by a Ferrari-Carano Reserve Chard, that had become lost. It was the last of a case. It was about 10-12 years old, and had been cellared by me, from delivery. What a wonderful surprise. In about 4 weeks, I was at the winery, trying to buy some of their "library" wines, especially this one. Unfortunately, they had an employee sale of these very wines. All were gone at great discounts. Heck, I'd have paid list + 100% for that '93, as it was that good.

        Surprise like that are wonderful. Hope that your's was.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Bill Hunt, the 1991 Eyrie Oregon Chardonnay was simply wonderful. I was dubious, and had a bottle of Naia chilled as back up in case we were opening a bottle of wine vinegar. But the Chardonnay, which had notes that I compare to lightly buttered toast made from artisan bread, was a huge surprise to everyone, not only me. We had the Chardonnay with the main course, but saved the Naia for another day, and went with a light Albariño to pair with the dessert.

          One of our guests was the founder of two restaurant chains, and has bought and sold more bottles of wine than you or I have even seen on our lifetimes, and has an extensive personal wine cellar. He was simply blown away by how good the 18-year-old Chardonnay was.

          We ran into John Hansen the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving. John is the buyer and "retail sommolier" for the store (Strohecker's here in Portland, Oregon, not far from where the Eyrie grapes are grown) where we purchase almost all of our wine. John knows us as almost exclusively red wine drinkers, and we have this little running joke going when I come into the store in mid-November where he asks me if I am ready for his recommendation for our annual bottle -- singular -- of white wine. Saturday, John was in his car, probably (because this was during his business hours) he was on his way to pick up a shipment of special-order wines; we were walking our dog. John pulled his car over to ask (with a grin), "Well, how was your WHITE wine?" I told him our story of the discovery of the forgotten bottle of Eyrie Oregon Chardonnay and how good it had turned out to be. His response: "Well, of course." It seems that he has had some experience with cellaring that wine, and he has had uniformly excellent results.

        2. re: Politeness

          Nice find! I recently found a '99 Sanford Chard in our cellar, and I am curious to see if it help up. Not likely, but you never know! -mJ

        3. Eating dinner with a friend who loves Oregon wine, so I'm bringing a 2006 Belle Pente pinot gris reserve (a mistake wine originally intended to be sweet dessert and then fermented dry) and a 2002 Medici east block pinot noir.
          Pinot gris is food friendly and the pinot noir will go well with turkey.

          1. we had the following: N.V. Pierre Peters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve; 2007 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Rosé; 2008 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais. The Dupeuble was one of the most succesful Thanksgivng wines that I can recall having.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ibstatguy

              Was the Dupeuble Noveau or just regular Beaujolais? It's the first noveau I had that I liked.

              1. re: SteveTimko

                not Noveau; I'm not a fan of Noveau but now having read your comment on the Dupeuble Noveau, I may have to try some.

              2. re: ibstatguy

                Aaron: we had the champagne as we love having bubbly and the Peters is a huge favorite. went with the Dehlinger rose as we have had it with a couple of previous Thanksgiving meals and it went well. it is a bit more of a full bodied rose yet with that crisp acidity of a rose that makes it a good food wine. I'd thought in years past about pairing a Beaujolais with Thanksgiving as the somewhat fruit forward nature of those wines (Gamay) suggested to me that it would go well with the different foods we serve.

              3. 2007 Sattler St. Laurent from Burgenland, Austria. I chose it mainly because Sattler is the family name of the dinner hosts (a friend's sister and her husband), and I was curious about the St. Laurent grape. They thought it was fun to get a "personalized" bottle of wine, although they are borderline teetotalers. And it was actually an excellent wine. St. Laurent is thought to be related to pinot noir, although it's fuller bodied and deeply colored. Nice minerality to it, which I thought went well with turkey.

                1. Well, this is what I *did* open . . .

                  Casual wines to start with -- while cooking, and at the beginning of hors d'oeuvres: Weingut Hofer 2008 Grüner Veltliner (1.0L); Weingut Hofer 2008 Zweigelt (1.0L)

                  Whites with hors d'oeuvres: 2007 Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc

                  White wines with dinner (served as a pair): 2007 Storrs Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, and 2006 Handley Chardonnay, Anderson Valley AVA.

                  Red wines with dinner (served as a pair): 2007 Edmond St. John "Bone-Jolly" Gamay Noir, Witters Vineyard, El Dorado County; 2007 Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes, Pierre-Marie Chermette. This was followed by a second pair of wines: 2006 Harrington Pinot Noir, Brosseau Vineyards, Chalone AVA; 2006 Harrington Pinot Noir, Wild Horse Valley AVA.

                  Wine served with dessert: 2007 Honig Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley AVA


                  1. I brought an 2007 Paraiso Pinot Noir (opened a couple of hours ahead) to our gathering and it was the unanimous hit vying for top honors with the 2007 Sextant Zin. Also brought the latest Gazella Vino Verde that was relished even by the red afficianados, less successful (to my taste and mostly not even tried by the others was the Now and Zen blend, wished I'd gone with my first instincts and brought a Gruner Veltliner instead.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PolarBear

                      I wanted the 2007 Paraiso PN but, they were sold out. Went with a 2008 Paraiso PN and wasn't nearly as pleased as you were with the 2007.

                    2. We had an apples and mustard theme for our dinner (don't ask), so we had 4 different Rieslings and a Pinot, then a secret special. The very large and popular wine shop that suggested all 4 Rieslings was specifically asked for wines that were rather dry, but blew that request on two of the four. A third was so "petrol-y" (from Australia actually) that we tossed it. Whether it was dry or not was not worth finding out. Only the Alsatian was what we had been looking for to complement this meal.

                      Our daughter is in the industry and knows her stuff, but isn't too familiar with European wines. The guy at the store didn't do their reputation any favors with his picks or with the rather obvious decision he'd made that we had no clue.

                      The Pinot was a 2005 Tantara from the Dierburg VIneyard, in Santa Maria (also Tantara's home). It was full of wonderful fruit aromas and great texture + loads of great fruit on the palate. Tantara rarely disappoints.

                      The 'special' was a 1981 Robert Mondavi Cabernet that had turned up during a wine fridge inventory recently. When a wine is that old and it's storage only known for the last 10 years or so, you take a chance. This wine didn't blow our socks off but it still had great color, very mild fruit left and just a hint of oxidation. I always enjoy trying an old wine like that.