Add pink and orange hues to Thanksgiving
The Bottle Kurtis Kolt
All cards on the table: I’d love for those reading this to break out of their comfort zone when it comes to wine with Thanksgiving dinner.
Yeah, that Pinot Noir will likely work well, or a favourite Chardonnay will be nice and comfy, but why not start a fresh tradition and branch out to something new? This week, I’m offering four lively recommendations to accompany your turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and fixings. Whether it’s something in the “natural wine” category, a little rosé (which is great any time of year), or your first venture into the fledgling orange-wine category, everything here should suit your table well.
ANGIOLINO 2016 MAULE MASIERI
(Veneto, Italy; 1.5 litres, $43 to $54, private liquor stores) When you’re tracking this wine down at places like Liberty
Wine Merchants on Commercial
Drive or Kitsilano
Wine Cellar, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This delicious, delicious bottle is only available in a 1.5-litre, or magnum, format. I’m not complaining, as it has the potential to be my next house pour. This northern Italian white is made from the area’s indigenous Garganega variety, which may be more familiar to some as the main grape to be made into Soave wines. Here, the grape is handled simply, as declared on the back label: “Spontaneously fermented grapes, from vines grown in volcanic soils using natural methods. Unfiltered wine, without added sulfites.” What’s not declared on the back label? This wine is freakin’ delightful!
Think apple cider with added components of Chardonnay, peach skin, and lemon balm. Ridiculously juicy and gluggable. You and your guests will be thankful it only clocks in at 12 percent alcohol, so it can be enjoyed throughout the evening.
FORADORI FONTANASANTA NOSIOLA 2015
(Trentino–alto Adige, Italy; $72 to $77, private liquor stores) Elisabetta Foradori has continued her family’s legacy of quality wine and dedication to heritage grape varieties by expressing them as authentically as possible via organic and biodynamic farming and minimal intervention in the winery. Case in point, we have here the area’s indigenous white Nosiola variety, grown in a tiny two-hectare vineyard on calcareous clay soil in the foothills of the Dolomite mountain range. Macerated with the grape skins (that’s the “orange” part) in clay amphorae for eight months, the wine is then aged in acacia-and-oak casks—not to impart flavour, but just to ensure it’s framed perfectly. There is a levity here of lemon peel, orange blossom, and full-bloomed jasmine. A salinity, like that of oyster shell or river rock, is also consistent with each sip, and a good wash of lemonade carries everything well. On the palate, that skin contact gives it just a touch of grip, perfect for latching on to bigger flavours that your Thanksgiving dishes may harbour. I absolutely adore this wine and have most recently found it at Kitsilano Wine Cellar.
LORGERIL L’ORANGERAIE 2016
(Pays d’oc, France; $12 to $16, private liquor stores) This is the pink wine for a crowded table, full of revelry and cheer. A crowd-pleasing pour of mandarin oranges, Meyer lemons, and Key limes, the blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Merlot is crisp and lively, with an abundance of mouthwatering acidity and a pleasant dry finish. It can be served in glass tumblers or coffee mugs and be just as enjoyable. You’ll want to keep an extra bottle or two chilling in the fridge, and at its easy-on-the-budget price, that won’t stretch you too far. Most recently spotted at Everything Wine’s North Vancouver location, Crosstown Liquor Store, and Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street.
CHÂTEAU BROWN ROSÉ 2016
(Bordeaux, France; $39.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) From the Pessacléognan appellation of Bordeaux comes this well-composed pink wine, deserving of both your attention and admiration. Before we even get into the bottle’s contents, let’s take a moment to bask in the exclusivity of it. Barbara Philip, master of wine and Europeanwine buyer for B.C. Liquor Stores, secured a global retail exclusive on this dazzling wine; out of the 183-odd cases that were produced, about half have come to us here in B.C., while most of the other half is staying put at the château. From 20-year-old vines grown in gravel soils comes this blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 percent Merlot, macerated on the skins for four hours, then aged in French oak barrels for four months, with the lees stirred twice a month to add greater richness and complexity. This wine has all the poise and intricacy of a fine red, yet it is lifted and bright enough to tackle your holiday feast with ease. Red berry fruit and fresh thyme are held together with fantastic concentration and acidity, with just a hint of nutmeg and a speck of clove on the finish. Don’t serve this one too cold; allowing it 10 or 15 minutes out of the fridge before pouring will unleash even more character.