Choosing a Great Wine to Accompany Your Thanksgiving Meal

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Planning your Thanksgiving recipes, and wondering what wine might beautifully accompany your feast? My friend Denny Jiosa, wine guru and world class guitarist,  is guest posting for me today, and has some exciting and affordable wine choices to grace your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy!
Fall in Tennessee brings beautiful colors, shorter days, cooler temps, and Thanksgiving! 
Ah yes, Turkey Day. A time for families to gather and give thanks for all the blessings we have in our life and in this great country. As we know, traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and of course, turkey! Oh my….TURKEY!! What wine do I serve with the BIRD?
Let me suggest a few grape varietals that are sure to please even the most discriminating palate. We will start with what is traditionally served, Riesling. It is a German varietal that is typically on the sweeter side, however, there are “dry” Riesling’s as well. 
Riesling is a great wine with turkey. Try Hogue Cellars Johannesburg Riesling  from Washington state.($12.00) Flavors of orange blossom,apricot, cinnamon, and clove on the palate will delight you. It has a nice acidity and slight sweetness which will provide a refreshing finish.
 For a wonderful “dry” style, try Von Schleinitz  Kabinett Weissenberg . This wine shows a unique minerality with delicate peach and apple notes and a pleasant slight sweetness. Beautiful long finish! This will for sure please your palate regardless of what is served for your special Thanksgiving dinner! 
For another white varietal, try a white Burgundy (which is Chardonnay). It is crisp and clean and has a bit fuller body.
For all of you red wine drinkers, the traditional varietal of choice is Pinot Noir. The light body and earthiness of this wine is a beautiful match with Thanksgiving dinner. You will want to find a balanced Pinot with gentle tannins and nice acidity. 
I would suggest the PALI Riviera. It is layered with black cherry,blackberry,spice and cranberry! Cranberry? What could be better? You can find it for around $18.00
I love Shiraz (Syrah) and if I get a chance to recommend it, I will. Generally bursting with blackberry and blueberry flavors, peppery spice, and sweet vanilla from the oak aging, this is a great match for grilled meat and game. Styles differ depending where they come from. In Australia, (Shiraz) or California (Syrah) they are different,  due to climate and terroir. Barossa Valley in Australia is more jammy and has a bigger fruit taste than the McLaren Vale area. California Syrahs are a bit lighter and less jammy, but still very delicious!
From California you might try Figge. With blackberry and black cherry flavors and a nice long finish, this wine  is an exceptional example of California Syrah. ($35.00)
Thomas Goss from the McClaren Vale regions  shows a full bodied cleaner style, less jam but still nicely balanced fruit. ($15.00)

The Boxer

My favorite, The Boxer from Mollydooker vineyards, is a 91 point wine. From McLaren Vale in Australia, it is a knockout (pun intended) and is an exception to what I have found for the McLaren Vale area in regard to the “jamminess”! Loaded with blackberry jam that explodes with flavor the second it hits your palate. Loooooong finish! YUMMY!! ($26.00)
If you are feeling a bit adventurous, I recently tasted two GREAT but unusual grapes from Austria called Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. The wines come from Hopler Vineyards. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Hopler a few weeks ago. He is a well spoken, distinguished man and highly regarded in the wine industry. Hopler produces beautiful, unique, well balanced wines suitable for many occasions.

Hopler Blaufränkisch

My favorite was the Blaufränkisch . It has delicate fruit, blackberry and black pepper spice, and is light in body It would be perfect for a heavy meal like Thanksgiving. Delightful! ($20.00)

The Zweigelt is also light in body with character, much like a Pinot Noir. Again, I detected a light berry flavor with a touch of minerality. ($20.00)

Georges Duboeuf Julienas

One last red: a French Beaujolais Nouveau is a great choice for Thanksgiving. It is made from the Gamay grape and to me, this is a wine that tastes like…uh…grapes! Imagine that! Light, fun, and delightful. Try Georges Duboeuf JULIENAS ! It has plenty of red berry fruit,floral hints, and cinnamon spice. Put a slight chill on it and enjoy! ($20.00)

Remember, you need great music to complete your wine experience, please visit http://jiosa.com/albums/  and get your copies today! With the Holiday’s approaching, music makes a perfect gift too! 
If you are in the Nashville area, all of the wines are available at RED Spirits and Wines in Bellevue, TN. Check out this awesome store!

Yum
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