Just in time for Thanksgiving, David Easthope delivers his second installment in our continuing education series Vino Divino. What a resource! Thanks David for bringing us along.
Our last installment covered the Dry Creek Region of Sonoma Valley. This time, we thought we would focus on Thanksgiving pairings. California has an abundance of wines to offer for the Thanksgiving table, so naturally we wil be covering….Oregon. Yes, Oregon! The land of zany folks, microbrews, hippies and great, great Pinot Noir. We strongly suggest you consider a Pinot Noir (red wine) or Riesling (white wine) from the Willamette Valley in Oregon for your Thanksgiving turkey. While certainly, Napa and Sonoma have their wonderful and well recognized Pinot Noirs (and of course Pinots are of recent fame from the movie ‘Sideways’, filmed closer to Santa Barbara), Anne and I are big fans of the Willamette Valley. These are not your subtle, French Pinot Noirs which can be, honestly, a maze of difficulty and with higher prices to match. Rather, Willamette Pinots have bite and usually reflect a more eclectic style in order to stand out. While some might taste a little cola-y (as Anne likes to describe) they are always, always memorable and provide enough zing for your buck. Today, while Willamette Valley is rising, it is still a relatively good value, with excellent Pinot Noir in the $30 range! Also, many wineries are active in biodynamic practices, which is taking organic to a whole different level. As for Rieslings, we know them a little bit less than Pinot Noir but we have ordered a few Dry Rieslings ’08 from Penner-Ash for Thanksgiving in addition to some Pinot’s. Rieslings from reputable Willamette winemakers will be great pairing for Thanksgiving Turkey as well.
A quick note- the bottle labels will often describe in more detail where they come from using the AVA designations. Many are from McMinnville, Newberg, Eola-Amity Hills, Dundee Hills, etc. Ask at the wine store for Willamette Valley and they should point you to the right place.
We strongly suggest the following Willamette Pinot makers, wineries tried and tested:
Penner-Ash (our definite #1 based on taste and price)
Lemelson (good value)
….and worth a serious splurge- Archery Summit, some of the best Pinots we have tasted, ever
In Vino Veritas,