With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s not too early to start thinking about what dishes you’re going to prepare and which wines you’re going to share with friends and family. I’m personally guilty every year of eating too much before the turkey comes out, so please remember to pace yourself! Whether or not I’m as stuffed on stuffing, theres always room for delicious wines.
When picking wines for Thanksgiving, it’s good to keep in mind that there is usually a medley of food, so pick wines that go with a lot of options. I like to keep my whites somewhat round, and choose reds that aren’t too bold to overpower the white meat of the turkey. This Thanksgiving, I’d recommend some wines from Alpha Estate.
Usually I’d want to suggest Greek varietals for the newsletter, but it’s always exciting to see classic producers from Greece working with popular international varieties. Alpha Estate’s Chardonnay has everything you’d expect from this variety with an old-world accent. Seven months in the oak give it a delicious roundness and body that you typically hope to find in high end chardonnay. The colder, high elevation terroir of northern Greece where the grapes are grown help create a balanced and nuanced wine.
For a red wine, I’d definitely recommend opening the Old Vines Xinomavro from Alpha Estate. Voted best wine of the year in 2020 by Vinepair, this is one of the most unique xinomavro you can find. Grapes are grown on 100+ year old vines, leading to tremendous nuance and flavor in the wine. 24 months in the barrel leaves this bottle smooth, round, and just the right amount of body you’d crave with all your thanksgiving dishes. Pop this bottle a few hours before you want to drink and watch it open up beautifully.
As we are approaching some cooler weather ahead, it’s not just all about Pumkin Spice Lattes and flannels. One of my favorite things is moving away from the summertime wines and bringing in the perfect autumn wines from Greece. We are talking about wines with a touch more body, wines that have a touch of spice notes, and wines that pair with the delicious seasonal dishes I’m sure you’re all dying to cook in the kitchen.
Mylonas “Naked Truth” Savatiano Just because summer is over means you need to stop drinking white wine. In fact, there are so many textured and nuanced whites that are perfect for the season.
I love the Naked Truth Savatiano from Mylonas winery as it packs so much flavor into one bottle. They leave the wine on the skins for 20 days, which adds a bit of tannins and depth to the wine. The ancient Savatiano variety has been planted in Greece for over 3000 years and is versatile enough to go with everything.
Try drinking this with butternut squash soup, or roasted chicken!
Sigalas MM While I’ll say this is a wine to have all year long, I think right now may be the perfect time. One of the few rare reds to be made on Santorini, the Sigalas Mm is a blend of two grapes: Mavrotragano and Mandilaria. Once nearly extinct, the Mavrotragano variety is now famous for producing reds with acidity, complexity, and depth of flavor. Try this with braised meats, roasted artichokes, or duck breast.
Johnny Livanos, Sales Manager for Diamond Wine Importers, is a 3rd Generation Greek American and expert on all things Greek. Coming from a multi-generational New York restaurant family, Johnny joined the Diamond Wine Importer team after having years in the restaurant business selling Greek wine. Running Greek restaurants, such as Molyvos and Ousia in NYC, as well as Zaytinya in Washington, DC, Johnny gained a tremendous knowledge and passion for sharing the joys of Greek wine with the world. This led Johnny to also launch his own gin brand, called Stray Dog Wild Gin, which is distilled in Northern Greece with a medley of wild Greek botanicals.
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