Written By: Angela Demmel
We’re days away from Thanksgiving and hustling to get all the last minute details together! The team here at Putnam & Vine has been fired up to suggest and offer our favorite wines, so we bring to you our annual Thanksgiving blog of each of our top 4 wine picks!
Here we have each of our personal selections to pair with our Turkey dinners. I was able to get in-depth interviews and priceless personal thoughts from owner David Johnson and our noble Store Manager, Ron Mostero. Warning: Content may not be suitable for wine haters or beer lovers!
First up is David. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, he is a man of many tastes and wine recommendations. My favorite phrase to hear when I walk into the store and a wine delivery comes in with a new addition: “Dude, stupid good!”. Dave has a knack for bringing in lesser-known wines of outstanding quality with faith in the three of us to get our customers excited about it. As per usual, he gravitates towards some good bubbles, that being the NV H. Goutorbe Prestige Cuvee. In his own (favorite) words, “Bring the ‘pagne!”. We always do, Dave. We take pride in our Grower Champagne collection and the Goutorbe delivers on every level. And you can bet that this West Coast Natives’ Thanksgiving dinner table is never complete without an awesome Russian River Valley Chardonnay. This year he’s chosen the 2015 Hartford Court Winery Chardonnay. A perfect balance of ripe fruit, sweet oak notes and the lovely touch of butter we look for in a good Cali chard. Stands up to all those creamy, buttery dishes we love to make for Thanksgiving. His next choice has become a fan favorite amongst our devoted shoppers, the Syrah/Grenche blend of Bastide Miraflors from the Southwestern region of Cote de Roussillon, France. Bright and vibrant fruit integrated with that distinct herbal spice from the finest southern French red blends. C’est magnifique! Last but not least, he swears by the 2013 Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir from the famed Willamette Valley in Oregon. From what I’ve gathered, each sip reminds him of running through the local vineyards as a child, not realizing he’d one day hold the keys to his own craft wine-shop empire. Heady aromas of red berry fruit, forest foliage and memories of a happy childhood. A stunning wine for the finale of his awesome lineup. Thanks for your selection Dave!
Ron. Typically, a man of many words (and constructive projects), we rely solely on his expressive facial criticisms when it comes to assessing the wine in his glass. It only takes one wide-eyed eyebrow-raising glance with a slight leftward head tilt in order for us to instantly purchase a minimum of 2 cases. It’s no surprise that this classy, well-educated gentleman would kick off his Thanksgiving day with a crisp, lively glass of 2015 William Fevre, Champs Royaux Chablis. His favorite style of Chardonnay: unoaked, smokey, tart and mineral driven. Ron also tends to enjoy long walks on the beach and glasses of Cru Beaujolais, particularly Le Meurger Moulin-a-Vent. If I recall correctly, he verbally expressed his excitement for this wine when we tried it all those months ago, “Damn. That’s good.” I couldn’t agree more, Ron. It’s an excellent example of the elegant yet complex wines of the Cru Beaujolais villages. Baked black fruit, subtle baking spices with a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Ron’s wine preferences reflect his personality: strong and complex flavors that are elegantly delivered and leave a long-lasting impression. Which is why the 2014 Apolloni Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was on his Thanksgiving list. The medley of dark cherries and earth tones make this a great wine to have alongside some of our favorite root-vegetable dishes. Not to mention the fact that Pinot Noir is always a friendly wine to have on the table because of its beautiful acidity and complex flavors that don’t overpower the flavors in your food. Like David, Ron’s dinner isn’t complete without a red Rhone blend of Grenache and Syrah. He has chosen Frederic and Daniel Brunier’s Megaphone blend from the Southern Rhone village of Ventoux. Dark, earthy and satisfying on a chilly Thanksgiving night!
What’s missing from Ron & Dave’s Thanksgiving wine bundles? Oh that’s right, Riesling and all things Spanish. If you didn’t know, I am the unofficial spokesperson/promoter of Spanish, South American and all types of Riesling wines. Which is why we make such a cohesive team of wine geek-ery. I can guarantee you one thing; you’ll never open my fridge and not find a bottle of delicious Riesling or some random white Spanish wine you’ve probably never heard of. For Thanksgiving this year I find it necessary to have the 2014 Poet’s Leap Riesling from the Columbia Valley of Washington. Crafted with the bare hands of a prestigious German winemaker, Armin Diel, this New World Riesling will take you back to the Old World and prove to you why this grape is so incredible. Riesling ranges from dry to sticky-sweet styles, which is why it such a fun wine to pair with all types of cuisine. This particular bottling is ever-so-slightly sweet, with a kickin’ level of acidity to wash down the various bold side dishes of Thanksgiving. Try for yourself, it will shock and awe you! As for my red selections, we begin with the soft and seductive 2009 Nucerro Reserva from Rioja, Spain. A fun Tempranillo blend to try if you are a Pinot Noir lover, it shares similar earthy/cedar-like aromas with beautiful baked red fruit and spice notes from all the time spent in oak and in bottle before its release. Now we travel down to Mendoza, Argentina, the land of beautiful people and wines. Particularly those made from Malbec, my favorite being the 2015 Earth First Sustainable Malbec. It’s full bodied yet not overly rich, fruit forward yet not overpowering and able to show you the purest expression of this grape variety. It’s “naked” in the sense that it’s not masked by a layer of heavy oak flavor and delivers a wine of pure fruit and spice character you don’t often see in the Malbec market. It’s also an accomplishment when you can find a wine this good under $15! As for my final choice, I have to always go with one of my favorite finds of the year, the 2013 Mamete Prevostini Santarita Nebbiolo from Valtellina. Barolo and Barbaresco aren’t the only homes to this outrageously powerful grape! Valtellina lies just east of Piemonte and produces some beautiful wines from the Nebbiolo grape. This bottling is a youthful, refreshing and soft style of this typically overly-powerful varietal. Red fruit, red flowers, spice & earth. Firm tannins and mouth-watering acidity delivered gently and seductively. It will match up to whatever food you throw at it! It wasn’t easy, but these are the four wines I will have at my table this Thanksgiving!
From all of us here at Putnam & Vine, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We look forward to assisting you with all your wine needs this holiday season! Cheers!