Edible Monterey Bay

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Wines to Be Thankful For

November 17, 2020 – Thanksgiving will be a bit different this year, so why not add some zip to your thankful feasting with some fantastic local wines? Here are some of our favorites.

Albatross Ridge tempts you with their 2018 Cuvée Beton concrete-aged Chardonnay, which just got 93 points from Wine Enthusiast, along with Editor’s Choice. Tense, yet generous, this wine has loads of Meyer lemon, perfect with crab cakes topped with Hollandaise. Albatrossridge

Alfaro Family Vineyards is known for their Chards and Pinots, but their 2017 Bates Ranch Cabernet is just what you want if you are making prime rib or lasagna, or you just like something with a bit more heft to go with that dark meat, not to mention cornbread, chorizo and chile stuffing. Alfarowine

Beauregard Vineyards has released a special Pinot Noir in 6-packs just in time for the holidays. Not at all weighed down by new oak, this wine presents with the elegance and finesse of a fine Burgundy. Six bottle packs are going for $150.00, which is $25.00/bottle.  Only 112 six packs available. Gobble gobble! Beauregardvineyards

Bradley Brown of Big Basin Vineyards is now open at the winery on Memory Lane in Boulder Creek, beginning this weekend, Nov 21 & 22. They have large format bottles at 10% off (25% for Club Members), including library vintages, wines believed to be sold-out (and then miraculously found!) and even some Double Magnums. These bottles are rarely discounted and will not be available for online purchase. Come visit the winery and pick up some 2018 Howard Family Chardonnay, and 2017 Ferrari Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, both from Corralitos., too. BBVWines

Calera now has a 2018 Santa Ynez Chenin Blanc, in addition to its solid and well-priced 2018 Central Coast Chardonnay, which at $25, is a stone bargain. Want a serious wine that’s like a liquid version of War & Peace? The 2017 Mt. Harlan Reed Vineyard Pinot Noir (95 points, Wine & Spirits), should be your selection. CaleraWine

Caraccioli Cellars just released their 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir in 500 ml bottles, perfect for two people to share with an appetizer course or while cooking dinner. It has the palest dawn pink hue but surprises with intense flavor, and also comes in magnums. The new 2014 sparklings are both divine food wines and are available in magnums for maximum bubbleliciousness. The nod with turkey or other fowl might be the Sparkling Rosé for its buoyant burst of strawberry and raspberry, but you’ll need a bottle of Brut for that pumpkin cheesecake. CaraccioliWine

Eden Rift has magnums a-plenty, with a Zinfandel joining the big bottle lineup for the first time, along with Estate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rosé. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to buy in bulk. Receive 15% off all large format bottles with code HOLIDAY at checkout.  Order by Wednesday, November 18th to ensure delivery by Thanksgiving.  Shipping is included on all 3+ bottle orders. Edenrift

Fogarty Winery has been making gorgeous Rieslings from the Wirz Vineyard in San Benito, since 2011, when the erascible Randall Grahm sold his Pacific Rim Riesling brand. He had been taking the whole vineyard for his production, but suddenly, the fruit needed a new home. Michael Martella and Nate Kandler were happy to oblige. They have two Rieslings available, both 6 for $100: the fresh 2018 and the amazingly golden girl sassy 2012, laden with orange peel, marzipan, coriander and wonderful acid. Their 2016 Walker’s Nebbiolo is a thing of ethereal autumnalness. On sale, three for $149.  FogartyWines

Integrity has a 7-bottle pack for Thanksgiving, that runs the gamut from Sauv Blanc to Zin, with Cab, Chard, Rosé and Pinot in between. Just $156: a screaming deal.  Integrity7-Pack

J Lohr is offering $10 ground shipping on orders of four or more bottles. The 2018 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay and the 2019 F&G Pinot Blanc are great choices. Lovers of big reds should head for the 2016 Cuvée POM, a fab spin on Merlot, and the 2017 Tower Road Petite Sirah. JLohrFaves

Winegrower, Marty Mathis is known for his big SCM reds, including the 2015 Serious Merlot, but did you know he’s making Gruner Veltliner from the Alfaro Vineyard now? He’s also been making sparkling in honor of his late Mom, Kathryn Kennedy, for decades, and his white wine pack for the holidays includes sparkling, 2017 Sauv Blanc and his new 2019 Gruner. He’s hosting a Zoom this Friday to chat about what’s new. Text him at 408 230 0392 or email cabernet@kathrynkennedy.com to order wine.

Morgan has you covered if you’re craving a zesty and grapefruit-driven Sauvignon Blanc to cut the dust. Few producers can consistently turn out Pinot Noir the way proprietor Dan Morgan Lee and winemaker, Sam Smith, craft the Double L Pinot. It’s always just big enough, ripe enough and delicious. The Double L Syrah delivers meaty, savory, bacony, fennel-studded goodness to pair with a bacon wrapped turkey, duck or pheasant breast, if you’re thinking of skipping the whole bird.  Love the new 2018 Highland Chardonnay, with its core of lemon vanilla custard. MorganWines

Nicole Walsh of Ser Wines has a delightful 2017 Wirz Riesling and a 2016 sparkling Riesling (Wirz), all set to commence the festivities. Her vivacious 2019 Vermentino is an utterly delightful departure from the truculence of Chardonnay, and the pure white snuff of the 2017 Cab Pfeffer from Wirz Vineyard will clear your sinuses once and for all.  Ser Wines is offering 20% on case purchases. Serwines

Scheid just released a new 2019 Dry Riesling for the hoIidays.  It’s pleasingly dry,  with a nice whiff of petrol and apricot, followed by flavors of apple tart and citrus zest. If you prefer something really fruity and lush, try their new 2019 Grenache Blanc, with a touch of skin contact, giving it a delightfully raw silk texture reminiscent of eating a fresh peach. Also of note, their 2019 Grüner Veltliner. A great pairing with a cider brined, sausage-stuffed smoked turkey would be the 2016 Dolcetto, explosive with cherry and plum, framed by plentiful tannins. ScheidWines

Talbott Vineyards should be on any Chardonnay lovers table, with the 2015 Diamond T for those who love the brisk meets creaminess of Montrachet, while those who salivate over warmer buttery styles will go for the 2017 Sleepy Hollow, a perfect partner for Parker House rolls on the Thanksgiving table. Of all the many Pinots to choose from in this portfolio, our standout favorite is the 2018 Block 48 South, but don’t pass up the 2017 Sleepy Hollow, for its warmth and generosity. TalbottWines

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

About the author

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Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.