Ben Jordan's Thanksgiving Wine Picks
November 11, 2021
There's so much to be thankful for this year as we finally come back together to celebrate Thanksgiving, and we have the perfect wines to pair with dinner. The Bounty of Harvest Selections are our head winemaker Ben Jordan's top picks for your table this year.
Every year I remark that the holiday season is a special time for those of us who work with the rhythm of agriculture. I repeat the statement, because it is truly a cycle of the seasons; through the lens of the plants that we grow, the fruit that they bear, and our strategy for preserving that fruit so that we can enjoy it through the depth of winter and for years to come.
These holidays make sense to those of us who grow and make wine.
All the labors of the growing season peaked with the intense work of picking grapes and transforming them into wine. Now in November, we are exhausted, more than a little out of touch, and we are ready to eat some food! Whatever we lost during harvest, our bodies are set on regaining, and with the heat of the summer all but gone, we are primed for the feast. We crave time with our families, and we crave celebration.
Since we make wine, we are able share our work from past harvests and use it to toast the creation of this vintage. For Thanksgiving, we tend to want to drink American, in particular bottles from the hills of our region, something that gets more enjoyable with each passing year. Virginia's offerings are some of the more holiday flexible wines around. With moderate alcohols, an emphasis on poise over power, and a diverse selection of styles, we are well suited to complimenting the complexity of a sprawling meal.
For true versatility, rosé has become a go-to for many holiday tables in recent years. While we will certainly have our “normal” rosé open, we are excited that we still have a bit of the first ever bottling of a Quaker Run rosé. It brings a bit more power and texture, fulfilling a cool weather need for richness, but still refreshing the palate for these meals that are more marathon than sprint. For those seeking red options our 2020 Foothills accomplishes something similar, being up to the task of navigating diverse flavors and textures, while sparing you the tiring effect of high tannin and alcohol. And for those more powerful dishes that require more density from the wine, the 2019 Shenandoah Springs Cabernet Franc brings the concentration of fruit grown on a great site in a warm, dry year.
Lest we forget white wine, essential to familial harmony over the next two months, our 2020 Madison County Chardonnay offers a balance of acid and fruit that is at home with pretty much any recipe you can put together.
In the end, the most important holiday wine pairing of the holidays is your guest and a glass of something they like, especially as we gather with family and friends we have missed in the past 18 months. As always, we are honored to be included on your table, during the holidays and beyond, and we wish you a joyous and delicious end to 2021.
- Ben Jordan, Winemaker