Giving Thanks for Wine: Ten Bottles to Kick Off Your Holiday Entertaining

Time to gather ‘round the table and kick off the holiday entertaining season! First things first – that Thanksgiving feast (and Friendsgiving warmups). All those dishes can pair with a large variety of wines, so we turned to our beverage director (‘sup Dylan) for his top picks and pairings – after all, you should be spending your time with friends and fam eating ALL the food, not stuck in the wine aisle. Check ‘em out below, and when in doubt, always order up a couple extra bottles!

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Gruet, Rosé Brut

I love to start every meal with a toast of bubbles to awake the palate! A good dry sparkling rosé like this one reminds me of tart cranberry sauce and toasty stuffing. Not to mention, bubbles always make for a great party starter.

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Brea, Chardonnay & Rough Day Chardonnay

These unaged or lightly oaked Chardonnays are a perfect match for Thanksgiving foods. They have just enough richness, but typically retain enough acidity to cut through some of the fattier dishes.

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August Kesseler, Riesling R

We simply don’t deserve this pairing. Produced by one of the most prolific winemakers in Germany, this versatile Riesling pairs well with fatty dark meat as well as a nice dry cranberry sauce.

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Margerum Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc

A definite crowd pleaser. Look to pair this one with some apps and your lighter dishes.

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Gönc, Pinot Grigio Rosato

During the heart of the meal, you’ll usually dive into your whites and reds, but we’d suggest giving this rosato (think rosé) pinot grigio a try. With just enough richness and acidity to go with nearly any Thanksgiving dish, it tops the list as one of my personal favorites!

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GC Cellars Pinot Noir Commuter & Lulumi Pinot Noir

Med-light bodied Pinot Noir is a go-to for Thanksgiving. Turkey is considered a mild poultry, but usually has enough herbs and richness that red wines like Pinot Noir can match perfectly (whether you go white or dark meat). August Kesseler’s The Daily August Pinot Noir is another great pick, and you can purchase all three together in a bundle!

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Domain Saint Cyr, Beaujolais la Galoche Gamay

Earthy and light with flavors of bright red fruits; Gamay paired with turkey covered in cranberry sauce really gets those salivary glands going!

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We know what you’re thinking. “Wait, this Thanksgiving pairing suggestion doesn’t include Beaujolais Nouveau!!”

Beaujolais Nouveau, though a French tradition, has morphed into the standard pairing for Thanksgiving dinner – and for very good reason. It exemplifies the light bodied, fruity, acidic red wine that’s perfect for your Thanksgiving spread. By law, these wines aren’t released until mid-November, but don’t you worry – we’ve got all your Nouveau cravings met. Stay tuned.

Wine About It: Sparkling Wines

This month’s wine feature is all about the bubbles, and we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite bottles of the effervescent stuff for all your holiday occasions – from the office party to Winemas to NYE, we’ve got you covered. No ‘pagne, no gain. 💪🏼

For a Holiday Party or Winemas

A staple in our sparkling wine lineup, plus a crazy good value on a high quality, DOCG classified magnum bottle. (This refers to where the grapes were sourced – DOC is the most common for Prosecco and includes a widespread area of Italy’s Veneto region. Our Sorelle Bonca Brut is a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, so its grapes are produced in a smaller area known for some of the most concentrated Prosecco wines. Boom.)

The lesson here: no one will be mad if you show up with one of these to a holiday soiree.

For Gifting

Pair these bottles with a set of flutes, candle, or another bottle of wine (heyo!) for an easy but thoughtful gift. Even better? There are no rules that you can’t treat yourself to one, too.

We’re big fans of the Domaine des Baumard’s blend of Chenin Blanc and Cab Franc for something a little different from a typical Prosecco or Champagne, and if you’re looking for something to be enjoyed with a meal, the Besserat (with its slightly less intense fizz than other Champagnes) is actually made specifically to pair with food.

For Pulling Out All the Stops

Go big or go home. Perfect for celebrations big and small, impressing guests, or ringing in the New Year in style, this bottle from the longstanding house of Laurent-Perrier is classic, quintessential Champagne. Cheers!

Wine About It: Beaujolais Nouveau

We know, we know. We’re a little tardy on our November feature, but for good reason – 1. we’re law abiding citizens and 2. knew this one would be worth the wait.

If you’re not familiar with the hype, the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau is no joke – by law, a drop of it can’t be sold until the third Thursday of November, and it was even stricter back in the day…the wine couldn’t even leave Beaujolais until the day of, so there was a frantic rush after midnight to get everyone their wine in time for breakfast. Serious business. 

But don’t take our word for it – our friend and knower-of-all-things wine from Heritage Wine Cellars, Ethan Brown, lays it out short and sweet:

Each year, Beaujolais Nouveau is released to eager fans who appreciate its lively, slightly tart taste with grilled or roasted meats.

Perfect for your Thanksgiving feast, it provides a preview of the year’s harvest from France’s Beaujolais region.

With soft tannins and youthful, fruity aromas, Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be enjoyed right away, with great food and company.

Join the celebration and snag your bottle(s) here for your Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or just a Monday night in. Cheers!

Wine About It: LIOCO Wine Company

It’s that time again – we’re back to Wine About It, featuring LIOCO Wine Company! This month we’ve got a special guest, Sommelier Christopher Harris, on deck to share his take on a few of this month’s four(!) featured bottles.

Chardonnay is one of the stars of this winery, but we’re also highlighting a red and rosé made from the Carignan grape – historically thought of as a ‘low-end’ grape for adding to blends, LIOCO has taken this distinctive red and delivered a wine full of personality and vibrant flavor – a must try if you’re a fan of Beaujolais, Zinfandel or Côtes du Rhône blends. And we know it’s only October, but Carignan is considered one of the perfect Thanksgiving wines because of how well it complements rich, meaty dishes – pick up a bottle now, and you (and your family) can thank us later.

Without further ado, let’s throw it over to Christopher! With over 10 years of experience working in amazing restaurants around the city (including Graham Elliot and Grace), he currently heads up all things wine at Michelin-starred Smyth and The Loyalist, and was also a 2015 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient – a.k.a. he knows his grapes:

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Wine About It: Alfredo Maestro

Looking for The Beer Drop? Don’t worry – Sean and his henleys will be back in full force next week. Starting today, we’re debuting a new series – Wine About It – where we’ll spotlight a notable or unique wine (or wines…the more the merrier, right?) the first Wednesday of every month. Similar to The Beer Drop, we’ll have a limited number of bottles in stock, so once they’re sold out, they’re out – but we’ll be back the first week of every month with another great bottle.

Let’s pop those corks! We’re excited to kick things off and get to know two bottles from organic Spanish winemaker Alfredo Maestro, including our first orange wine (yep, you read that correctly):

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