Thanksgiving wine recommendations

Well folks, another year has gone by and time once again to make some Thanksgiving wine recommendations.

Thanksgiving pairings can be somewhat challenging given the variety of different dishes on the table. However, this makes for a good reason to get an assortment of wines (this can help with the relatives also).

Thanksgiving wines can run the gamut from sparkling to white, rosé, and red. Here, I’ll focus on rosé and red wines. In terms of rosés, I always recommend staying on the dry side. The Barnard Griffin 2009 Rose of Sangiovese ($12) is just the ticket for the holiday. The wine is visually appealing in the bottle with a light cherry red color. In the glass, it is loaded with fresh fruit flavors and has mouthwatering acidity.

In terms of reds, I generally recommend going with lighter bodied wines with a lot of fresh fruit and that hasn’t seen a whole lot of oak. I would also recommend staying away from wines that are strongly tannic.

Pinot Noir is always a Thanksgiving favorite. While this grape has somewhat bedeviled Washington winemakers, two I recommend for the holiday are the Syncline Wine Cellars 2008 Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir ($28) – which I believe to be the standard bearer for Washington Pinot – and Kyra Wines 2008 Pinot Noir ($18).

Two other wines from these wineries also deserve a place at this year’s Thanksgiving table. The first is a perennial favorite, the Syncline Cellars Subduction Red ($18). The 2009 offering is a Mourvedre-heavy Southern Rhone blend. The second is Kyra Wines 2009 Dolcetto ($18). A native grape to the Piedmont area, this is again a fresh fruit driven wine. I recommend serving the latter on the cooler side around 62 degrees.

If you’ve already got your wines all picked out for the occasion, leave a comment and let me know what you’ll be having.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2009 $12

Rating: * (Excellent) Light cherry red in color. An aromatic nose with bubble gum, ripe red cherries, strawberries, and watermelon. The palate is dry and crisp with mouthwatering acidity.

Kyra Wines Dolcetto Purple Sage Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2009 $18

Rating: + (Good) Nose shows light vanilla, red currant, and fresh red fruit. Taste is bright, full of fresh fruit, sour cherries, and a rounded mouthfeel. Finish improves at a slightly cooler temperature. 100% Dolcetto. Pressed into neutral barrels for fermentation. Bottled after 9 months. 14.2% alcohol. 118 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Syncline Subduction Red Columbia Valley 2009 $18

Rating: + (Good) A lightly aromatic nose with white pepper, red fruit, and spice. On the palate, full and round with a plush feel. 39% Mourvedre, 19% Counoise, 17% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 6% Cinsault, and 3% Carignan. 14.2% alcohol. 1,488 cases produced.

Previously Reviewed

Syncline Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Columbia Gorge 2008 $28

Kyra Wines Pinot Noir Washington State 2008 $18

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. Thanks for the Small Lot Thanksgiving list! Happy holidays.


  2. Soos Creek Artist Series 4 Red Wine and Broadley Pinot Noir. And maybe a sparkling Shiraz just for the fun of it.

  3. Debra very good calls. Love the Soos Creek wines.

  4. Evening Land Vineyards Gamay Noir from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.

  5. I am looking forward to turning my friends on to Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl riesling. I like the fruitiness of the wine with just the right acids to match a Tday kind-of meal.

  6. Will be enjoying:
    - Hard Row To Hoe 09 Shameless Hussy Dry Rose (Sangiovese) (Chelan, WA)
    - Wapato Point 08 Harmony white blnd (Chelan, WA)
    - Nehalem Bay Pinot Gris (Salem, OR)
    - Cass 07 Syrah (Paso Robles, CA)
    - Cass 06 Petit Syrah (Paso Robles, CA)
    - Cass Rockin' One Rhone blend (Paso Robles, CA) (my fav of all time)

  7. The Kung Fu Girl Riesling! How come I didn't think of that. Perfect!

    Sounds like everyone is having some great wines. Kosma, fun lineup.

  8. I think the Barnard Griffin Rose will be fabulous with Thanksgiving dinner. That is what will be on my table!

  9. OMG -- Almost forgot to mention: our special thxgiving feature is Cran du Lait from Shallon Winery in Astoria, OR. Visited the unassuming fruit winery last summer and it is a must see! Everything from a dry blackberry wine to a sensuous chocolate orange treat that will spark a fire on any cold night! Lemon and peach wines are a few others, so plan a stop next time near Astoria!