Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pairing for Thanksgiving Day: The Virginia Way

So Thursday is the big TURKEY day.  You can't beat the never ending supply of comfort food during the holidays. I'm thankful for that!  This year I wanted to plan the perfect meal completely paired with Virginia wine.  I hope you enjoy!

Dinner Cocktails:

Chrysalis, “Sarah’s Patio Red”, Loudoun County, VA, 2010 –made from Norton (an indigenous varietal best championed by Jenny Cloud of Chyrsalis) and a touch off-dry, this would make a nice base for the sangria as it offers pronounced fruit and no tannin to mar the sweet, pleasing effect desired from sangria.

First Course:

I paired this with Horton's Cranberry Wine.  Yum!

Horton Cellars, Viognier, 2010:  The exotic honey and tropical fruit aromas jump from the glass and pair perfectly with the sweetness of the butternut squash. 

Main Course:

Fabbioli Cellars, Tannat, Loudoun County, VA, 2009
Doug Fabbioli is a talented wine maker who has set the bar for a single varietal production of a grape that more and more are planting in Virginia.  Tannat hails from a small village in southwest France knows as Madiran.  Fabbioli’s 2009 displays a smoky quality with leather, and deep aromatic herbs. The weight of the wine is medium plus and does not showcase a very structured tannin profile, which will match the intensity of the turkey.  The wine is long on flavor—flavors that should complement the bacon and sage butter accompaniements.
Glen Manor, Cabernet Franc, Warren County, VA, 2009
Jeff White has one of the best site in Virginia and ripens his reds well.  His Cabernet Franc sets itself apart from many others with its depth and complexity of flavors and a silky texture.  The ripe red and black fruit profile will reference the sweetness of the maple while adding to the dish in the same way a cranberry relish might.


Chester Gap, “Boisseau Vineyard”, Viognier, Warren County, VA, 2009
Bernd Jung works with Richard Boisseau to source richer viognier from the vineyard set on the land of Richard’s old family home in Front Royal.  This wine offers a honeyed and sweet spice profile to complement the flavors found in the casserole.  The wine has a balanced acidity necessary to refresh between bites of these rich dishes.

Potato Gratin

Fox Meadow, “Barrel Fermented”, Chardonnay, VA, 2009
Barrel fermented chardonnay begs for the cream and cheese found in the gratin by offering similar flavors and complementary textures.  Fox Meadow sits at a higher elevation in Linden.  The Mortland’s converted a century old orchard to the vineyard that now makes some lovely wines.
Pearmund Cellars, “Meriwether”, Chardonnay, Fauquier County, VA, 2009
Chris Pearmund is one of the longest running winemakers in VA and his estate vineyard, Meriwether, planted in 1976 produces some lovely chardonnay that sees oak in its elevage.  The resulting buttered quality and creamy texture will surely please with the potato gratin.

This dish goes nice with the Chrysalis Viognier.


Linden Vineyards, “Late Harvest”, Petit Manseng, Fauquier County, VA, 2007
Saving the best for last is cliché, but Jim Law and Linden Vineyards have blazed a trail for so many other producers in Virginia.  Setting this fact aside, the wines he makes unto themselves are of the highest quality made in Virginia.  With his Petit Manseng, a beautiful sweet wine produced from a grape that hails from Jurancon in France, he offers a sweet custard, macerated apricot, and honeyed profile that will complement the pumpkin butter cake.

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