Maker’s Table considers Thanksgiving…and chooses the 2014 Riesling in her “Spirited Whites” category:
Thanksgiving tastes evolve slowly. It can take generations for Auntie’s Jell-o mold to vanish from the table and Junior’s kale salad to colonize the void. Wine tastes, on the other hand, evolve more rapidly. One day the chatter’s all about red blends and Sherry, then—poof!—everyone’s moved on to the Jura and rosé. Each Thanksgiving season I review and update my canonical article on Thanksgiving wine pairing. To honor shifting fashion, I’ll edit the specifics by, say, adding Etna Rosso and dialing back sweet Riesling. But certain essentials hold true year after year. No single wine works well with every flavor on the Thanksgiving table, but I’ve discovered certain styles that are consistently successful. These run the gamut from sparkling wines to spirited whites and reds, to earthier wines that are still light on tannin and alcohol. This year, after tuning the article’s general advice, I pulled together a list of specific Thanksgiving wines that fit my recommended categories. These wines are all from recent tastings, so you might have a chance of snagging these vintages from your favorite merchant. And in honor of the holiday’s provenance, I’ve only included wines grown and made in America.
Spirited Whites: Great with lighter meats and vegetarian options, but can also cut through butter and cream.
Yes, there is a little Riesling grown in Napa Valley—or I should say, “still grown;” this one derives from 42-year-old vines. Its robe is pale yellow and it offers typical aromas of wax, plastic, and wet street mingling with lemon oil, thyme, and rubbed sage. The body has good substance, with a mix of tree fruit, citrus and tropical fruit (guava and passion fruit), and the finish is long and succulent.