Last week highlighted three Pinots to pair with your Turkey Day dinner. The advice given then about picking fruit-centered wines for Thanksgiving applies to whites as well, and a hint of sweetness doesn't hurt. This is the one time of the year I can convince people to try that wine with the crazy name—Gewurztraminer. It fits the bill for this holiday meal, throwing in an enticing touch of spice to the mix. Here are three recommended Gewurztraminers listed by price:
2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer, Columbia Valley, $6.99
An incredible value from Washington's biggest and best-known winery, this wine offers lovely aromas of quince, sweet citrus, roasted chestnut and subtle spice. Lush fruit flavors of candied apple, pineapple and red currant play nicely against the crisp, ripe citrus. Touches of orange and lemon zest and just a hint of spice come through on the lightly honeyed finish.
2006 Valckenberg Gewurztraminer, Pfalz, $10.99
Alsatian Gewurztraminer really shines, but it can be a bit pricey (try the Lucian Albrecht at $16.99). This example from across the border in Germany is a good substitute at a nice price. It's a bit reserved on the nose, but floral hits of rose petal and orange blossom come through. This wine has a lovely balance in the mouth with just sweet apricot and creamy lemon fruit flavors. The finish is soft and spicy.
2006 Angeline Gewurztraminer, Mendocino, $12.99
If you prefer your wine on the dryer side, this one is for you. The nose resonates with notes of spice, citrus and green apple with a nice touch of dried date. Round and creamy fruit flavors dominate the palate—peach, Fuji apple, ripe melon—all backed by spice and orange zest. The finish is mostly dry and spicy with a light hint of sweet fruit. Very nice.
Nouveau Beaujolais est arrive
It may not be as big a deal as it once was, but the Nouveau Beaujolais hits town on Thursday, November 15. Yes, it is little more than grape juice with a kick, and no, it is not the best wine the region has to offer, but for all that, it is still fun. And it's nice to offer wine from this year's harvest for a holiday meal that celebrates that harvest. At least two will be available in Boise: One from Joseph Drouhin (usually a bit more on the serious side), one from Georges Dubouef (fruity and fun with a pretty label). Both should make for a great quaff to get your Thanksgiving celebration started.