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Thanksgiving is fast approaching and there’s still so much to sort out. Who’s making the rolls? Who’s bringing green bean casserole? And what wine do you serve with all that spectacular food?
We asked some Springfield wine experts for their advice and they each selected an option to pair with the meal. The good news is there’s a wine for you whether you love white wine, red wine or even sweet wine.
Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris at Vino Cellars
If you enjoy white wine, Matt Bekebrede, owner of Vino Cellars, recommends Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris from Alsace, France.
“This is a fantastic option for Thanksgiving and all the differing flavors that the traditional fare presents,” Bekebrede said. “It’s well rounded with ample fruit, yet has richness on the palate to stand up to those bold flavors of Thanksgiving without being too much for those more delicate flavors.”
Bekebrede described the wine as having a rich core of complex peach and apricot fruit flavors, balanced with citrus notes and a dry finish.
Alsace is well known for its pinot gris and the Pierre Sparr family winemaking tradition dates back to the late 1600s. In 1785, the size of the vineyard was increased under Francois Pierre Sparr. Generations later, Charles Sparr put the winery on the map, and he developed and expanded it. The vineyards were completely destroyed during World War II, but the family persevered and is now in its ninth generation.
You can grab a bottle of Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris for $27.
El Paso de Robles Cabernet Sauvignon at Brown Derby Wine Center & Marketplace
Clinton Chandler, wine specialist at Brown Derby Wine Center & Marketplace, thinks a cab is a nice pick for the special day. He specifically recommends El Paso de Robles Cabernet Sauvignon.
“In the world of cabernet sauvignon, Paso Robles is known for its approachability and crowd-pleasing characteristics,” Chandler said. “This cab has enough richness and acidity to stand up to everything from turkey to cranberry sauce, with bright red fruit and dark fruit characteristics, and soft, well-integrated tannins.”
Paso Robles in California is named for its oak trees, and the winery name translates to “the pass of the oaks,” which was the original name of this area. Eventually, the name was shortened to Paso Robles. In the 1970s, Cabernet Sauvignon was planted; today Paso Robles is California’s fastest-growing wine region and the largest geographic appellation, according to the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.
Chandler said one of the best aspects of this Cabernet is the cost. It’s priced at $16.99 but is on sale for $12.96.
Cave du Chateau de Chenas Coeur de Granit Chenas at Mama Jean’s Natural Market
Amy Krieger, beer/wine/cheese coordinator at Mama Jean’s Natural Market, recommends Cave du Chateau de Chenas Coeur de Granit Chenas (pronounced shay-nah). This Gamay is grown in Beaujolais, which produces the vast majority of Gamay in the world.
“This estate-bottled Beaujolais is a perfect medium-bodied red wine to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner,” Krieger said. “It’s silky and supple with velvety tannins. It has just the right acidity to complement and not overpower all of the various dishes on our tables. Bright and juicy raspberries and cranberries, followed by notes of spice and dried flowers that will carry you from the bird to the pumpkin pie as well.”
Krieger says this wine is best served slightly chilled. You can score a bottle for $19.99.
Bread & Butter Pinot Noir at Macadoodles
Alex Jones, wine specialist at Macadoodles on Independence, says Pinot Noir is the classic wine pairing for the Thanksgiving meal and he recommends Bread & Butter Pinot Noir from Napa Valley.
“It is light and easy drinking which will leave more room for stuffing. Bread & Butter is my choice,” Jones said.
Jones describes the wine as having notes of cherry, strawberry and other red fruits, with hints of vanilla and earth.
The winery has a female winemaker, Linda Trotta. A southern California native, she attended UC Davis but traveled abroad to Italy and has made wines around the country. This award-winning winemaker has more than 30 years of experience.
Get Bread & Butter Pinot Noir at Macadoodles for just $13.98.
St. James Cranberry
St. James Winery was founded in 1970 by Jim and Pat Hofherr, who had Italian heritage. But winemaking in the Meramec Highlands dates back to the late 1800s. In fact, by 1922, St. James was surrounded by 200 wineries. At that time, Missouri was the second-largest wine-producing state in the country.
Then prohibition came along and wiped out the vineyards. Today there are several wineries, but St. James is by far the biggest (it’s the largest in Missouri).
If you happen to enjoy cranberry wine, the St. James website has a plethora of recipes using it, from a cranberry Moscow mule to a cake. The price varies by retailer, but it’s roughly $9-$14 per bottle.
Find it: At liquor stores and grocery stores such as Walmart, Hy-Vee and Price Cutter. For a full list, there is a store locator on the St. James Winery website.