WINES OF THE MONTH- October and November

I wanted to hold off on posting an October wine of the month so I could focus on a couple of different wines to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner. The smells and flavors of the season can be greatly complemented by pairing the right wine. What you’re looking for here is something not too overpowering and light to medium-bodied on the palate, but also showing big, ripe red fruits and elements of complexity underneath such as spice or subtle minerality, with understated tannins. Grapes like Pinot Noir, Grenache, Gamay and Zinfandel are better choices than, say, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Tempranillo. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it makes sense to stick to wines from the homeland, and I’ve decided to feature one from California and one from Oregon. I’ll be bringing the latter to my Thanksgiving dinner, as it is a widely available and remarkably polished Pinot Noir that was recently recognized by the Wine Spectator as a Top 100 wine of the year. The former, however, a Zinfandel from the middle of California, is well worth seeking out for its unique ripeness and spicy quality. Both should make a perfect match to the turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing on your plate.

2010-Four-Vines-Biker-Zinfandel

Four Vines Zinfandel Biker Paso Robles 2010, 91 Points, $25, 7000 Cases Made- Inviting aromas of baked cherry pie. Juicy, refined flavors of red cherry and raspberry with a smoky baking spice note that keeps pumping through the long, luscious finish. Impressive for its directness; this is ready to drink and just bursting at the seams.

2010-a-to-z-pinot-noir-22039-620z

A To Z Wineworks Pinot Noir Oregon 2011, 89 Points, $18, 136,000 Cases Made- Floral cherry and rose petal on the nose. Light on the palate with well-balanced strawberry, watermelon and bing cherry notes that finish with white pepper, tobacco and mushroom notes that carry through the finish. There’s a hint of cocoa that lingers, making this unique for its weightlessness, but snappy fruit needs time to gain its full potential.

 

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