Amy Waller is a Certified Sommelier, and the wine director at The Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis.
Thanksgiving is upon us and it can be a stressful time, what with the travel, the meal planning, and the customary family tensions.
So I'm here to give you one fewer thing to stress about: choosing the perfect Thanksgiving wine.
Picking wine can be a daunting proposition, and there can be pressure to find the right bottle.
Your intentions are good. You go the shop with a plan. You think you know what you’re in for but then, you’re overwhelmed. How does anyone navigate through the thousands of bottles on display?
It doesn’t have to be this way. Take a breath. I’m here for you with a few bottles to get you through.
Sparkling: Bourdy Crémant du Jura Brut
First up, BUBBLES! Sparkling wine is not only great as a precursor to the main event, it’s great throughout the meal. My Thanksgiving bubble pick is the Bourdy Crémant du Jura Brut.
This wine is rich and round with beautiful orchard fruit and intense, bright bubbles. Made from Chardonnay in the Jura region of France by the most French Frenchman that I’ve ever met. Oui, oui! This wine goes with everything on your plate.
You can find the Jean Bourdy Crémant du Jura Brut at North Loop Wine and Spirits for $28.99. Ask for Maddy.
Value: Brand Dry Riesling
My value pick for the holiday is the 2018 Brand dry Riesling from the Pflaz in Germany. Yes, it’s Riesling. Get over it. Everyone should be drinking Riesling (more on that in a future post).
It’s refreshingly crisp and fruity and oh, so easy to drink. Good thing it comes in a liter bottle because everyone will want more, and you’ll look smart for planning ahead.
And a cute label too! You can find the 2018 Brand Dry Riesling on the shelf at France 44 for $19.99. Ask for Karina.
Crowd-pleaser: 2016 Day Zinfandel
My classic, crowd pleasing Thanksgiving pick is the 2016 Day Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California. Zinfandel is known for rich, jammy, mixed berry fruits and, man, does this deliver on all accounts. It’s full bodied and tastes of indulgence. I’ll take two.
Don can help you find this on the shelf at 1010 Wine and Spirits for $29.99.
Treat Yo'self: 2014 Fullerton Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir
My Thanksgiving "treat yo’self" pick is the 2014 Fullerton Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir. This wine is everything that you love about Pinot Noir times a thousand.
Small production, artisan wine made by a family in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Medium bodied with beautiful, tart red fruit, savory herbs and an earthy component. I’m dreaming of it with sage stuffing. Yep.
Again, go see Karina at France 44. You’ll find this on the shelf for $59.99. It’s worth it and so are you.
Happy Thanksgiving, wine friends!