Here are five wines worthy of gracing your table at Thanksgiving or anytime. The emphasis here is on food-friendly wines that pair well with a variety of flavors. So think pinot noir, rosé, riesling, zinfandel and, of course, bubbles. Rankings: three stars: exceptional; two stars: excellent; one star: very good.
Roco Gravel Road Pinot Noir 2017
Willamette Valley, Ore., $26
Savory, black currant and cherry flavors, with hints of forest floor. Yet while I can sense some mushroomy, earthy flavors, and the Gravel Road vineyard designation draws our focus to this wine’s earthy quality, the flavors still pull toward the sun with ripe fruit. This is a lovely, complex wine, and a bargain for Oregon pinot noir. Alcohol by volume: 14.5%.
Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2018
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $15
This rosé’s strawberry color and zesty, vibrant fruit flavors make it a perennial favorite of mine. And rosé’s refreshing acidity and food-friendliness make it a natural candidate for your Thanksgiving table. ABV: 13%.
Red Tail Ridge RTR Estate Vineyard Dry Riesling 2016
Finger Lakes, N.Y., $19
New York’s Finger Lakes is another region where riesling stars, and Nancy Irelan at Red Tail Ridge, on the western side of Seneca Lake, is one of the region’s star winemakers. Her RTR Estate Vineyard bottling is top-notch, racy with citrus zest and ripe orchard fruit flavors. ABV: 11.8%.
Ottimino Zinfinity Zinfandel 2017
Sonoma County, $15
Classic zinfandel flavors of cranberry and spice dominate this savory wine. With a nice balance of fruit and structure, it will complement your holiday feasts without overpowering them. ABV: 14.2%.
Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut 2017
Bordeaux, France, $19
Here’s a trippy bubbly, from a region certainly not known for sparkling wine. And that’s part of the fun. This is a blend of seven parts semillon and three parts cabernet franc, two grapes that rarely see bubbles. And it is delightful, bursting with red-fruit flavors of currants and raspberries, with a toasty brioche note on the finish. ABV: 12%.
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