Wine Reviews Tasting Notes and Education for the Non-Snob, by Vino Joe, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)

More Wines for Thanksgiving

Last week you read about several wines that are ideal for the Thanksgiving feast. Today the last-minute shoppers have a few more to consider.

Dinari del Duca Grillo 2007

Buttery texture and flavor is the immediate characteristic hitting the palate, carrying delicious lemony citrus and pear flavor. A nice mineral component arrives somewhere in the middle and stays through the finish. Works with everything on the table.

Georges Duboeuf Pouilly Fuisse Domaine Beranger 2007

Clean, crisp, zesty. White fruits – citrus and pear. Good acidity. Does not overpower the food, but rather stays off to the side and accentuates flavors. A mild, warm, toasty vanilla spice flavor echoes in the finish. On its own this wine has a nice limey citrus and ripe pear flavor, with mild vanilla spice and honeyed flavors as well. A nice enough wine to drink alone, but with the medium-high acidity, it really comes into its own with food, especially with roast turkey and many of the other dishes on the Thanksgiving table. This is a quality Pouilly-Fuisse at a fair price.
Find Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse Domaine Beranger at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

Bouchaine Pinot Noir 2006

Smells like Cherry Coke — lots of sweet black cherry, vanilla, and cola aromas. On the palate it tastes like a bite of black cherry mixed with black raspberry and small dose of vanilla spice. Tannins are mild, acidity is mild to medium, becoming more apparent in the finish. A good choice for roasted lean meats such as turkey, and it pairs just as nicely with mushroom dishes and chestnut gravy.
Find Bouchaine Pinot Noir at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

Concilio Pinot Noir Riserva Trentino 2003

This wine has typical old-world Pinot Noir aromas of cherry, earth, leather, blackberry, and a slight hint of vanilla spice. In the mouth it has a glassy smooth texture and warm, round mouthfeel, with flavors of red raspberry, cherry, and a touches of sweet tobacco, spice, and mineral. Acidity is appropriately medium, tannins are mild to medium and firm. If this was tasted blind, I might have guessed it was a Premier Cru Burgundy. It is a fine complement to most Thanksgiving dishes.
Find Concilio Pinot Noir Riserva at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais – Nouveau and Cru

You can read all about Beaujolais Nouveau 2008 here. Please don’t consider other vintages of Beaujolais Nouveau for Thanksgiving, unless it is for salad dressing. A bottle of Nouveau at the Thanksgiving table is a festive, inexpensive addition, it is enjoyed by many neophytes, and it pairs well with just about everything — including the cranberry sauce.

If Nouveau is a little too low-brow for you, then you should consider a “real” Beaujolais — in other words, a Cru Beaujolais. Most decent wine shops will have at least a few on their shelf, from well-known producers such as Duboeuf and Jadot.

“Cru Beaujolais” are wines made from Gamay grapes grown in the ten best areas of the Beaujolais region. You will see one of these names on the label: Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie, Saint-Amour. These names represent those smaller microregions inside Beaujolais, and represent the best the region has to offer. Some people prefer one Cru over another, but generally speaking, Beaujolais from any of those areas will go very well with just about every dish that can be placed on a Thanksgiving table. They all have cherry and red berry aromas and flavors, good acidity levels, soft to medium tannins, and are extremely food-friendly. Best of all, most cost in the $15 – $30 range, which to me is reasonable for a holiday celebration.

Three I tasted this past week with my “faux Thanksgiving” and can recommend are:

Georges Duboeuf Julienas “Chateau des Capitans” 2007

Georges Duboeuf Fleurie “Domaines des Quatre Vents” 2007

Georges Duboeuf Brouilly “Flower Label” 2007

Yes, I tasted a lot of Duboeuf, mainly because that’s the brand I find at the shops in my area, and also the brand that you’re most likely to see in your town. Don’t limit yourself to Duboeuf, however, as there are several other Beaujolais producers worth trying. Bottom line is, if you see “Beaujolais” on a wine label, there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to work well with the Thanksgiving feast. Other “reliables” for Thanksgiving matching include Pinot Gris (particularly from Alsace or Oregon), Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.

Happy Thanksgiving !


  1. Thank you for sharing notes about Beaujolais wines ! I am a wine producer in Fleurie and got a few bottles in the US this year. Let me know if you are interested :)

    All the best of wine tastings for you ! Vicky


  1. […] In the past I spent many hours in the weeks before Bird Day cooking turkey and various trimmings, and matching them with all types of wines in the hopes of finding magical pairings. After several years of this annual exercise, I’ve come to a startling conclusion: […]

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