Surviving Thanksgiving: Borderstan’s Guide to Your Perfect Wine Pairings

by November 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,552 0


Some of the wine options for Thanksgiving. (Melanie Hudson)

From Melanie Hudson. Email her at melanie[AT] 

Thanksgiving seems to have come a little early this year. Suddenly we shifted into high gear, running all over Borderstan buying cinnamon scented pine cone decorations, counting how many place settings we actually have and asking strangers on the street how big of a turkey to buy for eight people (12 to 14 pounds). What is likely still on most of our to-do lists, however, is shopping for wine for the big meal. Whether you are the host or the guest, don’t show up empty handed and leave the wine choices to your neighbor’s friend’s boyfriend’s cousin. This year, get it right.

We asked Borderstan wine guy Bobby Kim, owner of Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor (1529 Connecticut Avenue NW) for his recommendations on the perfect Thanksgiving pairings. Situated on the north side of the Dupont Circle metro stop, the convenience factor and his extensive selection of affordable wines (and craft beers) make it unnecessary to look any further than local. Plus, he is open late.

Here are seven perfectly-paired bottles of wine for Thanksgiving that will ensure thanks from your guests and accolades from your hosts. Happy Thanksgiving, Borderstan!

  • 2012 Las Perdices Viognier (Mendoza, Argentina) $13.99Viognier is a must. Unlike French Viogniers, American and South American varieties are not overly dry. This wine is full of character and fruit and complements a traditional Thanksgiving menu – and probably even a tofurkey one, too. Plus, the price is right.
  • 2011 Domaine Pichot Coteau de la Biche Vouvray Sec (Loire Valley, France) $17.99. This wine is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Vouvray is traditionally creamy, but Vouvray Sec is dryer and great with food. This is an option for those tempted to buy Sauvignon Blanc, which does not pair well with a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.
  • 2011 Frog’s Leap La Grenouille Rouganté Rosé (Napa Valley, California) $21.99. Just because summer is over does not mean you need to put away the rosé. In fact, this wine, described as gravelly with a crisp acidity, goes particularly well with heartier food. Made from Zinfindel and Valdiguie (aka Napa Gamay), it is a more complex wine and your palette will be rewarded.
  • 2009 Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir (Coteaux du Verdon, France) $14.99. The well-known French Burgundy producer Louis Latour makes this Pinot Noir in southwestern France but in the mold of new-world style Sonoma and Russian River Valley Pinots – meaning, fuller-bodied, lush and fruit forward compared to the traditional lighter French Pinots. This Pinot is a good choice for Thanksgiving as it pairs well with the food but is not heavy, and it is imminently drinkable.
  • 2010 Domaine de Chateaumar Cuvée Bastien Cotes du Rhone (Southern Rhone Valley, France) $19.99. This wine is a clean, full-bodied red that is the opposite of Pinot Noir. It is 100% Grenache, which is unique, and opens up as it breathes. This wine pairs well with rich flavors and will provide a good complement to the heaviness of the mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • 2010 Sass Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) $23.99. For many, Oregon Pinot Noir is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but this particular choice is elegant, not as fruity, and slightly dry – a complete balance. Sass is a boutique winery with smaller productions, which means you will get a little more character than name recognition, and at a slightly higher price.  But, with its earthy and silky qualities, this versatile wine may be the all-around perfect match for Thanksgiving.

Tell us your picks for Thanksgiving wines in the comments below!

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