At a Thanksgiving dinner, the most important question is usually white or dark. At my Thanksgiving dinner, it is white or red. Choosing the perfect wine for Thanksgiving does not have to be intimidating. There are a number of wines that pair quite nicely with the classic menu of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato or pumpkin pie, green beans and cranberry sauce. Unlike Passover, where our wine drinking is often measured by quantity, on Thanksgiving we can focus on quality and sharing our favorites with friends and loved ones.
With this spirit in mind, I wanted to share a few kosher wine recommendations for Thanksgiving to fit any taste, and any budget:
2009 Dalton Fumé Blanc (Galilee); $15. Don’t be fooled by the strange name (coined by marketing genius Robert Mondavi as a way to change the negative perception of Sauvignon Blanc), this Fumé Blanc is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and is light with soft acidity combining the fruity aromas of citrus and guava together with a subtle toasty oak character from the 3-4 months in French barrels. Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine that plays well with salads, appetizers and stuffing.
2007 Tzuba Chardonnay (Judean Hills); $22. This wine is made of 100% Chardonnay grapes and was aged in French Oak barrels for 4 months. The wine has rich aromas of lemon peel, vanilla and butter. It is a full-bodied classic Chardonnay, creamy and fresh, with a long impressive ending.
2009 Segal’s Fusion Chardonnay Colombard (Israel); $11. This easy drinking and recession-friendly white is a blend of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Colombard grapes. It goes with almost any dish and has just the right mix of fruit and acidity.
2009 Goose Bay Pinot Noir (New Zealand); $20. This Pinot is produced using grapes harvested in New Zealand's South Island. The long, cool growing season and rich clay soils contribute to the vibrant black cherry and strawberry notes. Pinot Noir has gentle tannins and is a food-friendly wine that is terrific with turkey.
2009 Dalton Shiraz (Galilee); $28. This Shiraz is dark as ink, with black fruit, licorice, and pepper flavors. It is a perfect choice for a Thanksgiving meal with its silky smooth tannins and a long finish. Although the winemaker suggests this wine has aging potential, I predict this one will last for about 15 minutes at my table.
2004 Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz (Israel); $30. In recent years, Carmel has responded to increasing demand from the upscale kosher market with premium wines that are worthy of inclusion at your holiday table. The Shiraz grapes in this wine were sourced from the Kayoumi vineyard in the foothills of Mount Meron in the Upper Galilee. The wine was matured in French oak barrels for 15 months. This Shiraz is deep purple in color, with rich aromas of blackcurrants, freshly ground black pepper and roasted coffee.
2006 Herzog Special Reserve Zinfandel (Lodi); $30. For those who may have fallen for the “pink stuff”, discover the pleasure of California red Zinfandel. Featuring strong red berry and spice notes with a long finish, it is a well-crafted wine, a perfect complement to savory holiday fare.