Sunday, November 24, 2013

I am Thankful For…Local Wines

Thanksgiving is a meal filled with foods that have very diverse flavor profiles.  From the salty of ham to the savory of stuffing to the sweet of sweet potato casserole, this large meal can often be difficult to find the exact right wine for serving.  However, never fear!  There are many wines that pair well with all these flavors.  And since I am more of a Small Business Saturday than a Black Friday type of shopper, I have created a list of wines from our local winemakers to serve with all these foods!  Enjoy this wonderful holiday and promote local wines all at the same time!

Naked Winery tasting rooms—Custer and Hill City, SD
Naked’s Riesling and Gewürztraminer are aromatic, off-dry white wines that will pair well with both the turkey and the ham on the Thanksgiving table.  The savory stuffing and flavored mashed potatoes would also present a nice contrast pairing with these white wines.  Though white wines tend to be more prominent during this feast, it is always nice to have a red wine option for red wine lovers, so Naked Pinot Noir or Dominatrix Pinot Noir would be an option.  The lighter-bodied red wines would go with the turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole due to the more robust flavors of these types of foods.

Naked wines are beautiful in the bottle and the glass.

Stone Faces Winery—Hill City, SD
Pasque, made from Frontenac and Niagara grapes, is a semi-sweet wine with a pink color that will look beautiful on a table filled with abundant fall colors.  Beyond a color match, the slight sweetness will be a nice contrast pairing with the ham, stuffing, potatoes, and gravy. Red wine lovers have an option from Stone Faces as well, the 2013 Sturgis Merlot.  This is a lighter-bodied Merlot, produced more in the style of Pinot Noir.  Because of the lighter style, it would match with the flavorful dishes served. 

Though the bottle is the 2011, the glass on the right is the 2013 Merlot, a lighter-bodied red for Thanksgiving.

Prairie Berry Winery—Hill City, SD
Prairie Berry fruit wines are great options for Thanksgiving dinner.  The Pumpkin Bog is a match made in heaven for the fall festival of food.  Slightly sweet, this wine goes with the salty ham, savory dressing, and creamy potatoes with gravy.  Cranberry and Lawrence Elk (black currant) wines will pair well with this meal for the same reasons. Also of note is the ability to mull wines to enjoy during the Thanksgiving holiday.  All three of the above mentioned wines are great mulled with cinnamon, all spice, and orange slices. 

Cranberry, perfect color and flavor for Thanksgiving food. 

Belle Joli Winery—Belle Fourche and Deadwood, SD
Belle Joli’s LaLure wine (La Crescent blend) is a wonderful off-dry wine that would contrast pair with the salty and savory choices of ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and green bean casserole.  It would also go well with the cranberry sauces and chutneys served.  With all of this talk of the main meal, dessert wines to pair with Thanksgiving sweets are also very important.  Belle Joli’s Pear and Peach dessert wines are made to have the same sugar content of traditional ice wines; they will pair well with pumpkin, apple, and berry pies.  A wonderful treat before the tryptophan induced nap.

La Lure, a great pairing for many foods!

I must not forget my Wyoming wine friends!

Table Mountain Vineyards—Huntley, WY
Table Mountain’s Cowgirl Blush, with its super cute cowgirl label, would accompany the traditional savory flavors and smells of Thanksgiving.  Its slightly pink color will also look wonderful in a pretty glass as part of the formal table setting.  If looking for a unique twist to the serving of traditional wine, Table Mountain has its Wyoming Nectar, mead (honey wine) spiced with cinnamon.  What a great option for the traditional meal.

Table Mountain Vineyard's Wyoming wines.
Buffalo Jump Winery—Cody, WY
Buffalo Jump’s slightly crisp Chardonnay would be a wonderful pairing for all the creaminess of the Thanksgiving meal found in the butters and gravies scattered around the table.  Buffalo Jump also has a new Riesling that would pair well.  Rieslings follow the contrast pairing and are a traditional standby for Thanksgiving dinners. I wish I could get my hands on a bottle of Buffalo Jump Riesling to pair with my meal; however, I have to wait yet one more week to try it!

Chardonnay as part of a great line of Buffalo Jump wines.

Though pairing wines with the traditional Thanksgiving fare can be slightly tricky, one doesn’t have to look any further than the local wineries of the Black Hills and Wyoming to find great options for the meal.  Whether you enjoy Black Friday or not, do a little early Small Business Saturday shopping at one of these great wineries.  All have wonderful options for every aspect of the bountiful feast you will be serving or attending on Thursday.  Cheers to a wonderful holiday with family and friends. And please be thankful for local wines!