Food steals the show on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean the wine should be a complete afterthought. It is, after all, easier to reconcile family feuds with a glass in hand. This pairing advice comes straight from the pros in town who know just what wines will get along with Aunt Edna and her cranberry Jell-O salad.
Wine Made Simple
(2214 Ivy Rd., 296-WINE)
Albemarle CiderWorks Cider, four varieties. $17
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy sparkling apple cider made from locally grown heritage apples. It’s low in alcohol and great as an aperitif or along with dinner.
Laurent Miquel Vérité 2008. $19.99
This wine from Languedoc, France, is a pure expression of the viognier grape. It has aromas of white peaches, apricot and honeysuckle and the palate is balanced with well-integrated oak.
Domaine de la Colline Chinon 2010. $14.99
This 100 percent cabernet franc is aged in stainless steel to preserve all of its pure cherry fruit character. Chilling it slightly enhances its fruit and at 12.5 percent alcohol, it won’t put your guests to sleep after such a big meal.
Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet
(1908 Rio Hill Center, 295-VINO)
Adami Prosecco Garbel NV. $13.59
The nose of this sparkler releases crisp-edged, complex notes of fruit and the palate is full-flavored with a crisp acidity and a clean finish. Delicious, forward and easy, with slightly sweet almond, peach and tangerine notes.
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2010. $12.74
The No. 1 torrontes imported from Argentina has the perfumed aromas of peach nectar and flowers reminiscent of viognier. It has a bright framing acidity and finishes juicy and long without being heavy.
Chime Sonoma Pinot Noir 2009. $18.69
This small production pinot is an amazing deal. The nose is packed with cherry kirsch, a hint of tilled earth and subtle vanilla wood aromas. The mouth is loaded with plump, savory fruits and finishes with an expansive luscious mouth feel. The tannins are tame enough for the varied Thanksgiving menu.
(1804 Hydraulic Rd., 296-1727)
Mullineux White 2010. $26.99
A unique chenin blanc-based blend from South Africa that’s aged in neutral oak barrels giving it the body and intense dried fruit flavors of a top flight white from Rhône Valley.
Georges Vernay Côtes du Rhône ‘Sainte-Agathe’ 2009. $29.99
Made with 100 percent Syrah from the Northern Rhône in France, this wine displays the silky, meaty and polished side of the grape without so much tannin or oak to overpower the variety of Thanksgiving foods.
r ‘springbok’ 2005. $19.99
A wine from Lovingston Winery’s winemaker Riaan Rossouw’s personal label, this 100 percent chambourcin made from 25-year-old vines has generous fruit, silky tannins and just enough earth and gaminess to go with the turkey’s dark meat and all its fixings.
Tastings of Charlottesville
(502 E. Market St., 293-3663)
Eric Rodez Rosé Champagne NV. $44.95
This pinot noir-based Champagne has rosy fruit and such well-integrated carbonation that it evaporates instead of explodes. It would pair beautifully with turkey, duck, or goose and everything in between.
Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett 2006. $24.95
The bright fruit and razor sharp acidity of this German riesling is perfect with turkey and its sides.
Arch Terrace Merlot 2006. $23.95
This Washington State wine has powerful strawberry fruit with good depth and length that’ll remind you of your turkey’s red currant jelly.
In Vino Veritas
(3015 Louisa Rd., Keswick, 977-6366)
Virginia “Fizz” NV. $21.95
This sparkler made by local winemaker Claude Thibaut is very easy and smooth and a perfect way to begin the meal, or to even drink throughout as a palate refresher.
Anton Bauer ‘Gmörk’ 2011. $11.95
Made with the grüner veltliner grape from Austria, this wine is a wonderful blend of fruit and acid with no oak. It’s bright and refreshing and would easily hold up to a Thanksgiving meal.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2008. $16.95
From Oregon, this pinot possesses great layers of fruit and a rich, velvety texture that would match up beautifully with your bird on Turkey Day.
Will donate for wine
During the rest of November, Jefferson Vineyards is waiving its tasting fee for anyone who brings in three canned goods for donation. In December, bring a new toy for donation and taste for free.