Thanksgiving Wines - An Expert's Selection

Why stress about which wines to pair with your Thanksgiving feast.  After all, it’s a time for too much…food, friends, football and beverages!   Not the time for serious whiffing and sniffing.The fact is it is difficult to find wines to match with every part of the meal because there are so many flavors going on between the turkey, spuds, stuffing, sweet potatoes, creamed onions, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.So I have picked 4 nice wines, all from Domino del Plato a wonderful winery in Argentina.  They happen to be made by Susanna Balbo, the owner and winemaker who is not only the most highly regarded woman winemaker in South America, but one of the most highly regarded winemakers (male or female) anywhere.3 of the wines are Crios, a value oriented bottling which offers excellent quality for their price.  The 4th wine is the Susana Balbo Signature Malbec, which is pricier, but a wonderful wine. I also commented on the Crios Cabernet Sauvignon from a previous tasting.All the wine reviewed is available at Felipe Motta wine store in Coronado and may also be available at other resellers in the area.

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Let’s begin with the Crios Torrontes, 2012.  $8.40  Torrontes is the grape and it is only grown in Argentina.  This lovely fruity, dry white is full of the flavors of peaches, apricots, lemon, muscat grapes and a spicyness which comes through in the finish.  It also is complex enough to have a bit of earthiness.  I recommend it for lighter meats (turkey, ham, pork, chicken), seafood and fish.  My prediction: torrontes will be the new pinot grigio.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Next is the Crios 2012 Crios Rose’ of Malbec. $8.75 This is a bit unusual.  Usually, malbec is made into a fuller bodied red wine.  Dry but fruity with hints of strawberry, blueberry and other bright fruits.  Crisp and lovely.  It has the body to cut through the heavier dishes at Thanksgiving but delicate enough for turkey, ham, asian food and fish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Crios Malbec 2012.  $9.70.  Medium body, deep purple color and good fruit.  Blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and earth.  A bit alcoholic.  I prefer the Crios Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.70) I tasted previously.

Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2011.  $21.20  90% Malbec, 10% Cabenet Sauvignon. Big and full bodied with intense  color and fruit.  It took some time to open up.  Initially it was pretty heavy and simple.  After a while, the complexity emerged to show herbs, berries, earth and other full flavors.  Best with strongly flavored foods such as grilled meat, pork and foods with heavier sauces.  Needs some time.  This wine showed better at a previous tasting.


About the author:

M. Stefan has over 20 years experience in the wine trade and has traveled extensively throughout the wine producing regions of the world.  His column is a regular feature of La Playa Community.