You've bought the turkey, the guest list is done and the side dishes are picked. But what about the wine?
Local wine experts say selecting an enjoyable wine for Thanksgiving is not as hard as it may seem, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.
For starters, look for wines that are fruity and don't give you that dry, puckery feel in your mouth -- tannins as wine enthusiasts like to call it.
Joshua Thornton, a sommelier in Fresno, suggests that for red wine drinkers, a light-bodied Beaujolais wine or a Pinot Noir will work well.
"These are soft, easy drinking wines that have a very fruit forward style," Thornton says.
White wine drinkers may like a Gewürztraminer or Riesling for Thanksgiving.
"They have a little bit of sweetness that holds up well against turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes," Thornton says. "And they have a lower alcohol content so you can sit and enjoy your meal without feeling the effects."
Thornton likes to offer both red and white wine for his guests. And no need to break the bank, Thornton says. Generally speaking, you can find a good tasting wine for under $20.
John Giannini, winemaker at Fresno State's winery, agrees that Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are good choices, and he also suggests two other white wine options: Pinot Grigio or Viognier.
And if you are looking for local wines to showcase your meal, Giannini said several Valley winemakers make quality wines, including Chateau Lasgoity in Madera, Engelmann Cellars in Fresno, Cedar View Winery in Sanger and Westbrook Wine Farm in Madera County. Fresno State also produces its own wine that it sells at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market, 5370 N. Chestnut Ave.
Wine stores selling local wine, include Old Doc's Discount Liquor, 3061 West Bullard Ave.; Save Mart Supermarkets; BevMo, 7639 N. Blackstone Ave.; Sierra Nut House, 7901 North Blackstone Ave.; and Simonian Farms at Clovis and Jensen avenues.
Appellation: California, or ApCal, a wine-tasting room in Madera features more than 25 local wines and will host an event Wednesday night that pairs local wines with turkey, ham and prime rib. The 21-and-over event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but sampling is $5. The tasting room, 32749 Avenue 7 in Madera, is normally open from noon to 6 p.m, except on Thanksgiving.
From ApCal's tasting room, owner Darren Schmall recommends for white wines: Moody Press Pinot Grigio, Rock Hollow Sauvignon Blanc or the ApCal Chardonnay. For reds: Cru's Vineyard Montage Pinot Noir, LoMac Merlot, Solitary Cellars Sangiovese and Idle Hour Touriga.
Not to be overlooked are the dessert wines. Local dessert wine maker, Quady Winery in Madera, produces a wine called Essensia that pairs well with pumpkin pie.
Andy Quady, president of the winery, said Essensia has apricot and citrus flavors that offer a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.
"It is a nice clean taste that goes well with pumpkin pie,"Quady says. "It also has a great golden color that looks good next to a slice of pie."
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6327, email@example.com
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