Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving Italian Wine Picks

Jen of Vino Travels
2017 Donnachiara Greco di Tufo DOCG
There isn't just one easy choice for whenwhen it comes to the Thanksgiving meal with the large variety of accompaniments to the turkey.  I usually choose a dry, crisp white to start followed by wines from the Veneto, usually an Amarone, but if not a Valpolicella of some degree.  I recently just tried the 2017 Donnachiara Greco di Tufo and if I had a 2nd bottle I'd be having that with my Thanksgiving feast.  This wine hails from the Campania region in southern Italy within the Avellino province.  This wine was dry and delicate filled with citrus.  It was backed with good acidity along with nice salinity and minerality rounding out with a lengthy finish. SRP $20 ABV 13%
2017 Donnachiara Greco di Tufo DOCG
David of Cooking Chat
2016 Capanna Rosso di Montalcino
When thinking of an Italian wine pick for Thanksgiving, my first thought was a number of Italian whites could work nicely, but I already had quite a few whites waiting in the wings.  This Rosso di Montalcino might seem like a bit over the top for Thanksgiving given the high alcohol content and tannins.  But this Sangiovese-based wine has a lot of elegance, drinking well above its price point.  I tasted it yesterday at Pairings with some salame, and they were great paired together.  I plan to bring some of that salame to nibble on along with this wine and all the other food. ($27, 14.5 ABV)
2016 Capanna Rosso di Montalcino
Lauren of The Swirling Dervish
2016 Brunori San Nicolo Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore
Thanksgiving traditions vary from one family to another, but the one thing we all have in common is that our tables are laden with a variety of dishes – some sweet, others savory. Turkey, stuffing, roasted vegetables, and (maybe) a dish of canned, jellied cranberry sauce. It’s hard to think of just one wine to accompany them all, so I’m offering up a wine that will sing with your vegetable dishes. The grape is Verdicchio and it comes from Le Marche in central Italy, along the Adriatic coast. It’s a citrusy white wine with some herbal undertones (think fennel) that makes a smashing partner with carrots, potatoes, yams, and celery root. One of my favorite dishes with Verdicchio is roast fennel and potatoes dressed in a lemon-parsley vinaigrette. And it will pair nicely with an herb-roasted turkey too! SRP $18
2016 Brunori San Nicolo Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore
Katarina from Grapevine Adventures
2015 Aquila del Torre Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso
For my wine recommendation for this Thanksgiving holiday, I actually need to take a jump back to May earlier this spring. In mid-May, I was invited to a lovely lunch at the restaurant GurdulĂș close to Piazza Santa Spirito right in the center of Florence. However, we were not there to taste Sangiovese wines but rather the organic and biodynamic wines of Aquila del Torre winery in Friuli Venezia Giulia. I met Michele Cianis who together with his father Claudio is running this very interesting winery in Povoletto in the province of Udine.
The wine that caught my attention was their Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2015. I am always fascinated by these grape varieties that are lesser known or that in the past have been considered less suitable or fine wine production. This interesting grape that produce somewhat rustic and a bit woodsy wines yet with a certain elegance has had a come-back during the last years. This 2015 vintage has lovely rich notes of red and dark fruit, such as cherry, combined with spices, cocoa beans, a green undertone of moss. Distinct tannins that are not invasive. A mix of austere, woodsy, full-bodied, and elegant in its character.
I would say it can be paired perfectly with many of the dishes on a traditional as well as untraditional Thanksgiving table.

Jill @ L'Occassion
2017 Primitivo di Manduria 'Passo del Cardinale' Paolo Leo 
At Thanksgiving we are all about family, so this year I’m featuring a wine that my cousins brought back for me in their suitcase from a recent trip to Italy. My cousin is a chef, and while she was in Puglia for work, she visited Paolo Leo. Pop this open and drink away was the advice from the producer, so here we go. The harmony of fruit and spice, delivered on a persistent finish makes this a bold, brash red wine option. We are having a ‘help yourself’ Thanksgiving so guests can sample wine from a wide spectrum. Primitivo di Manduria ‘Passo del Cardinale’ will fit right in. Warm holiday wishes from our house to yours! SRP $10
2017 Primitivo di Manduria 'Passo del Cardinale' Paolo Leo
Susannah of Avvinare
2016 Botonero Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio I.G.T. 
My Thanksgiving wine hails from the Valtellina, a part of Lombardy famous for its Nebbiolo which they call Chiavennasca and its heroic mountain viticulture. Valtellina which I have visited, is beautiful and the wines can be sublime and rival their more famous counterparts in Piedmont. There are 44 producers who are part of the Consorzio and Mamete Prevostini whose wine I am recommending is the President. Valtellina has a number of sub-zones: Sassella, Grumello, Inferno, Valgella and Maroggia,, each known for their particular differences. The Mamete Prevostini winery, was started by Mamete’s grandfather about 70 years ago. Their goal is to produce wines with elegance, finesse and power. They have a famous family restaurant called Crotasc and all of their wines are very food friendly. Mamete took over in 1988 and is a firm believer in terroir. My choice for the Thanksgiving meal is one of their entry wines, Botonero Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio I.G.T. The grapes can be sourced from the entire production area of the Sondrio Province. The wine is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes grown on soils that are a mix of sand, silt, limestone with a high content of granite rock and little clay. The wine ferments and undergoes maceration in stainless steel tanks and then ages in the bottle before release. It sees no wood and will pair well with a number of the Thanksgiving dishes, particularly dark meat Turkey and Ham, two of my favorites. At 13% alcohol, it won’t overwhelm your palate and at a SRP $14 it won’t hurt your wallet too much either.
Botonero Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio I.G.T.


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