Raise a glass to Thanksgiving

  • Valdobbaidene Cartize vineyard of Prosecco Superiore in Italy. (Hayley Hamilton-Cogill/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Thanksgiving is next week, bringing family and friends together, breaking bread and enjoying recipes that have been handed down for generations. But, what to pair?

Luckily, there are delicious options available throughout the island that delivers incredible taste, pairing well with classic Thanksgiving favorites.


Start your gathering with bubbles, as every event should be a celebration. I had a chance to visit Italy earlier this year, traveling to Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, one of two Prosecco Superiore DOCG regions outside of Verona. Prosecco, made from the Glera variety, is a fun, frothy, easy to drink sparkler, made to be enjoyed young with fruit-forward flavors of lemon, apple and peach. The rolling hillsides and rocky, mineral intense steep slopes of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, however, adds additional structure and depth to the wine, while keeping the overall palate light, making it an ideal Thanksgiving option. Look for options like Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobbaidene Rustico ($27), Bisol Desiderio Jeio Prosecco Brut ($21), Adami Bosco di Gica Prosecco Brut ($20), and Ruggeri Valdobbaidene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry ($26).

Living in Hawaii, summertime rose is easily enjoyed all year, as the refreshing wines are perfect for any poolside afternoon or sunset on the lanai. And, as rose is made from red wine grape varieties, many will have the texture of red wine without the weight, making them perfect for pairing with the rich flavors of the holiday. Rose from Provence, France will always deliver great taste, blending sunshine filled Grenache and Mourvedre with Cinsault and Syrah, for a floral, red fruit filled wine, with a layer of Herbs de Provence, ideal for pairing with your holiday turkey. Favorites include Fleur de Mer ($25), Miraval ($25), Ott by Domaine Ott ($35) and, from the nearby region of Languedoc, Gerard Bertrand Cotes de Roses ($25).

Pinot noir is the natural go-to red wine for Thanksgiving, as the wine typically has a lighter body, and ofter lower alcohol, than many Bordeaux varieties. And though pinot is perfect, especially those from Willamette Valley, Sonoma, or Santa Barbara, consider the non-traditional to pair with the most traditional meal of the year. From Northwest Italy, brimming with freshness, medium-bodied Barbera layers ripe red fruit and spice, with the character to enhance a meal, without overpowering it. Look for Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne ($25) or Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba Battaglione ($24).

From easy-drinking Beaujolais-Villages to single vineyard options, the Gamay variety, grown extensively throughout the southern part of Burgundy in Beaujolais, could call itself Thanksgiving’s best friend. A medium-bodied red variety, filled with raspberry, plum, and just enough spice to meld well with poultry, pork, and game, this is the perfect wine to please red wine drinker at your table. Tasty options include red berry and blueberry filled Louis-Jadot Beajolais-Villages ($15), Henry Fessy Chateau des Labourons Fleurie ($22) with blackberry, plum, pepper, wildflower and violet notes; Chateau Des Jacques Morgon Cote Du Py ($54) adds intensity and tannin, thanks to oak aging, making it a heartier, slightly more robust option.

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