Pinot-Poultry Pairing Perfect for Thanksgiving
Food-Friendly Pinot Noir Wines
Food-Friendly Pinot Noir Wines
It is often said that one of the best wines for a traditional Thanksgiving meal is a serious pinot noir. This is because pinot noir wines are typically food-friendly, with bright fruit notes, soft tannins, and lively acidity to help cut through rich dishes. Pinot noir also typically presents herbal notes that complement the use of ingredients like sage, thyme, or fennel, and often also exhibit a certain earthiness that can really highlight elements of mushroom gravy, stuffing, and turkey meat.
While there are some enjoyable domestic kosher pinot noir options, there is currently available a great and not too expensive kosher burgundy that really ought not to be missed while supplies last: the kosher edition of Domaine Gachot-Monot, Bourgogne, 2010 imported by Rashbi Wines of Brooklyn.
Burgundy, or Bourgogne (the region’s French name), is easily the wine producing region most closely associated with pinot noir. Indeed, many look to Burgundy pinot noir (note that the grape variety is rarely ever mentioned on the label in traditional French wine) as the apogee of pinot noir’s complexity, luscious fruitiness, earthiness, and stimulating acidity. Burgundy seemingly underperforms as often as it meets, much less surpasses such expectations, but when it’s good, it is really good.
For those familiar with Burgundy, the regular non-kosher wines of Damian Gachot are imported by Kermit Lynch, the Berkeley, California based importer, author, and winemaker.
The Gachot-Monot wines have developed a reputation for quality at the value end of the burgundy spectrum—no small feat. A fifth- generation vigneron, Damien and his wife, Lise, farm twelve hectares (just under 5 acres) in the village of Corgoloin, between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune. According to Lynch, Gachot consistently manages to make a wine “taste better than the pedigree of its soil would allow” and purportedly produced “a Côtes de Nuits Villages that tastes more like Nuits-St-Georges than village Burgundy”—which is substantially rather more than merely a neat trick. This kosher edition is just lowly appellation Bourgogne, but it is great.
Domaine Gachot-Monot, Bourgogne, 2010 ($35; imported by Rashbi Wines): this lovely Bourgogne rouge is vibrant, fresh, fruity, and really lovely; a great working man’s Burgundy, with proper Bourgogne rouge characteristics of pungent farmyard on the nose, leading to a surprisingly rich mouthful of typical cherry and raspberry fruit. The slightly grippy tannins help drive the long finish home, while preparing the appetite for another bite. Finally, a really decent, properly representative, and relatively affordable kosher Burgundy. More please.
For a rather stark stylistic contrast, consider:
O’Dwyers Creek, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2014 (mevushal; $30): This single-estate-grown pinot is fabulous. It is beautifully fresh and refreshing, almost beguilingly breezy, with clean, robust, bright, and cherry, sour cherry, raspberry, and strawberry aromas and flavors, lean floral notes, hints of oak, and traces of mocha. It is wonderfully balanced, lightly tannic with nice acidity, all seamlessly integrated, making this a real pleasure to drink or quaff. Excellent now, but should continue to develop a little over the next 3 years or so. Served slightly chilled.
For those not enthralled with pinot noir, another great traditional all-around Thanksgiving feast-appropriate crowd-pleaser is:
Louis Blanc, Côte de Brouilly, Domaine La Ferrage, 2012 ($27): This lovely, medium-bodied 100 percent Gamay wine with soft tannins and medium acidity. It offers aromas of ripe raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and dark plums with some lovely earthy notes and a slight whiff of smoke, followed on the palate by the same with additional notes of currants and some graphite, with stronger plum and blackberry notes. The medium length but satisfying finish offers a touch of mocha, and a bit more earthiness. Really lovely. Drink now through 2018.