A versatile wine for the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving dinner is the most problematic meal for a sommelier because no two tables are the same and no two bites are the same.

The best you can hope for is a choice that will “please most of the people most of the time,” as well-known sommelier Joshua Wesson said.
We agree. Wesson, who is a leading authority on the pairing of wine and food, recommends a sparkling Shiraz for the hearty meal.

We on the other hand are more inclined to go with the grape that put California wine into many, many homes across this great nation: Zinfandel.

When looking to find the perfect pair for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s important to choose a Zin that has a lot of fruit. That means choosing a young wine is your best bet.

Usually the more expensive wines spend time in expensive oak barrels. During this aging process, the flavor characters of the oak seep into the wine, which lessons the fruit characteristic.

For this Thanksgiving we highly recommend Maryhill Winery’s Zinfandel. We had a chance to sample this wine at the Kitsap Wine Festival in August.

This Washington wine comes from the Columbia River, an area where a wide array of varietals are grown, including wines that require a lot of heat to do well — Zinfandel, Syrah and Sangiovese.

The Maryhill Zin is deep ruby red in color with big aromas of raspberries and black cherries.  It’s a jammy fruit-forward, medium-bodied wine.

The flavors of cherries, spice, pepper and a hint of mocha will pair well with Ann Vogel’s Brined and Roasted Turkey recipe.

It’s medium body and nice balance of acidity makes it the perfect pair for the traditional Thanksgiving sides of cranberries, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes with turkey gravy.

It can be found at the grocery store for around $22.

Happy Thanksgiving!

— Brynn and Mary