Well folks, summer may officially be over, with ever shorter days and increasingly nippy nights, but it’s hard to tell with these lingering warm temperatures and only the beginnings of gorgeous fall views. And here in Canada, it’s somehow already Thanksgiving weekend! Not to worry, I’ve got your Thanksgiving wines covered, no matter what you’re eating! And all at less than $20 a bottle to boot!
Apéritif: Rosehall Run Pixie
Nothing says special occasion like a glass of rosé bubbly! And if you need to ease the tension of a potentially difficult family gathering, this is the bottle to crack open. The Pixie is fun from the get-go: grab the beer opener and pop that bottle! In the glass, it’s a beautiful salmon colour, and on the nose, it’s all strawberries, raspberries, stone fruit and a hint of citrus, which translate onto the palate.
This is a charmat bubbly, meaning it’s made using the same method as an Italian prosecco. Pinot noir provides a splash of colour, but vidal grapes are the star here, which tend to be on the sweeter side. And though the wine is made in an off-dry style, it is definitely not cloyingly sweet—the bubbles and acidity do a superb job of offsetting the residual sugar. It’s an excellent wine to start out the evening or to enjoy on these last few days of sunny, patio-worthy afternoons.
Currently $2 off until Sunday, October 13!! Available at the LCBO in the general list for $17.95 (regularly $19.95).
Red option for turkey: Alpha Box & Dice 2017 Tarot
Alpha Box & Dice is a bunch of young Aussies having a bit of fun with wine. Their ultimate goal is to make a wine style for each letter of the alphabet. Everything this crew touches is absolute gold (see this post about their Montepulciano), and the Tarot is no exception. A grenache, you say? From the Maclaren Valley in Australia? Unheard of. And yet—amazing. Even more amazing is the fact that this was grown on a plot of land that had gone by the wayside but was lovingly restored by these fine, young winemakers. Grenache is usually blended with other grapes, most famously in the fabulous Côtes du Rhône GSM combo (grenache, syrah and mourvèdre), but here it really shines on its own. The colour reminds me of light cranberry juice, but don’t let the colour fool you—it’s still 14.5%. The Tarot smells like candy—red lollipop to be exact. Also, raspberry, wild strawberry, a hint of baking spice and some pepper. The tannins are silky soft and that great acidity makes it pair perfectly with literally anything you could think of. I tasted it over a few nights, first with lasagna (so any tomato-based pasta dish, which brings out a whole new character to the wine: black cherry and smokiness), then with stir-fry, then with trout. Any red wine that goes well with fish will pair fabulously with your thanksgiving turkey, or anything else you set out this weekend.
$17.25 in Vintages. But act fast—only 183 of these bad boys left at the LCBO, so check your local store’s stocks or order it online.
White wine option: Guillaume Aurèle 2018 Viognier
Peach! Pear! Elderflower! This is one of those superbly aromatic lesser-known grape varieties that always takes a crowd by surprise. Hailing from the Southwest of France, it also has lots of minerality, thanks to the proximity of the vineyard sites to the Mediterranean. It’s also got this honey flavour that gives it a perceived sweetness, though in fact this wine only has 3 g/l of residual sugar. Such a great pairing with seafood, or roasted chicken and root vegetables.
Only $14.95! This wine was only released in Vintages a month ago, so there’s lots of stock yet. But at this price, I wouldn’t dilly-dally—and maybe buy a few bottles while you’re at it.
Frozen pizza pairing: Masi Modello Merlot Trevenezie
No Thanksgiving plans? We salute you! While everyone else is driving halfway across the province to various family events or spending hours prepping a meal that will get devoured in minutes, you can be the envy of your friends by just throwing a frozen pizza in the oven and putting your feet up with a glass of this oh-so easy-drinking merlot. [Bonus points for the twist-off cap that will save you a trip to the kitchen.]
This medium-bodied, ruby-red merlot is so smooth, everyone will go back for a second glass. On the palate: black cherry, blackberry, red delicious apples, vanilla, smoke, and tobacco. Soft tannins, high acidity, long cherry finish. This is one of my go-to house reds because it goes with everything and is just so easy to drink!
Always available in the LCBO’s general list for $14!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And happy wining!