With the excitement of the holiday season around the corner we thought that it would be fun to see what wines the GOTN group serve for Thanksgiving. This was the first time the door was opened allowing everyone to bring wines they would normally drink rather than searching for a particular varietal that had been selected. Most of the wines that were brought I expected to see but there were a few that did not make a showing at this tasting.
Those missing were the Gewurztraminer and certain styles of Rieslings of which both pair fantastic with turkey. Another wine, though not my personal favorite, was Beaujolais Nouveau made from the Gamay grape. This wine is fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November just a week before Thanksgiving.
However, what was more interesting were the reasons for everyone’s selections. Some of the group brought examples they poured prior to dinner, such as sparkling wines. Others brought wines that they serve with dinner and we even had one example of a pink port wine to go with dessert. Personally I was surprised as I thought just about everyone would bring wines to serve with dinner.
One fallacy is that you must pour a white wine to go with the traditional turkey dinner. From the wine lineup we had one can see the group already recognizes that is not the case. It was also found the group is into progressive wine drinking for the holiday, in other words pairing, they have an opening wine (sparkling or white), dinner wine (white to light reds) and end with a dessert wine (port, Madeira, ice wine, etc).
Here is the lineup we had for the evening:
· Segura Viudas Aria Brut (Sparkling Wine)
Aroma – None
Taste – Apple with a lemon spritz finish. The
· Four Brix Baubles (Sparkling Wine)
This wine is made with Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%) from the Russian River
Aroma – Biscuit, cheese and toast
Taste – lemon with honey on the finish. The chardonnay grape was very pronounced in this wine.
· 2011 Edward Sellars Viognier Paso Robles
Aroma – Green Apples
Taste – Apple and lemon grass
· 2010 Les Deux Chats Ripken Vineyard Viognier Lodi
Aroma – lemon grass
Taste – Tart green Apple
· 2009 Chateau de Chaimrey Mercurey Rouge (Burgundy) France
Aroma – Perfume at the start then softenes to cracked pepper
Taste – Taste – Grape skins at the finish, cherries in the background and layered with soft tannins
· 2008 Opolo Vineyards Pinot Noir Central Coast Calif.
Aroma – Cherry and spice
Taste – Cherry and vanilla
· 2009 Valde Loire Domaine la Charmoise Touraine Gamay France
Aroma – Cherry licorice and maraschino cherry liqueur
Taste – Black tea
· 2011 Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere Chile
Aroma – Mocha coffee
Taste – Mocha Coffee
· Croft Pink Porto
Aroma – High alcohol, light port flavor profile
Taste – Light port, light brown sugar
As we ventured through the various wines from different regions and countries for this tasting, I asked a question to challenge the group. What is the difference between “Old World and New World Wines”?
We have had many examples of wine varietals from various regions over the past year at GOTN. This question was to see if those that have been attending have developed a sense of knowledge from GOTN about the very distinct differences between the two styles. One person, who does not attend regularly, thought this was too broad of a question to ask. Regulars dialed right in explaining the differences that one would expect from the subtle layering and flavor of old world wines verses the big bold in your face fruit forward styles that are typical of new world wines. Some even got into the intricacies including the various nuances of the different regions and their effects on the wine. For all of us I think this is proof that these types of gatherings are definitely helping people to reach beyond their typical wines. So for Thanksgiving we can think outside the box and select wines that will awe our guests and put smiles on their faces therefore reaching our goal.
Another addition to GOTN is for us to learn proper pronunciation of words used in wine circles that most of us struggle with. My friend, Chuck Wiedeman, volunteered his services to provide a couple of new terms at each meeting allowing us to pronunciate the words correctly and not embarrass ourselves too much. Here are the WINE WORDS for November GOTN. Read it phonetically, emphasis on the bold terms, then “French it up, like the cartoon character Pepe Lé Phew”
· Ugni Blanc pronounced OO nee Blonk
· Appellation d’origine Contrôlé pronounced Ah pell ah see ON Dee oh ree GEE nay Cohn troll LAY
· Chateauneuf du pape pronounced Shot toe NOOF dew pop
I want to thank all that attended our Thanksgiving tasting. We had a few new people putting our group at about 18 for the evening which was a great turnout. Thank you, as always, to Guy and Geno for providing our group with such a great place as Valencia Wine Company and the fantastic service that Geno gives us every time we are there. You will always be number one in my eyes. Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone and please, be safe and drink responsibly.