Saturday, November 29, 2008

Glouster Daily Times Promotes ast Coast Wineries for the Holidays

Published: November 26, 2008 05:05 am
Look 'outside the box' for a Thanksgiving vintage
Taste of Our Cape
Cathy Huyghe
Glouster Daily Times

Wine at Thanksgiving usually means just-released Beaujolais Nouveau, or an earthy Pinot Noir, or a fuller-bodied white like Chardonnay, or an aromatic, food-friendly white like Gewúrztraminer or Riesling.

But this year, we're seeing the price of Beaujolais Nouveau skyrocketing and the demand tanking — so much so that several local wine shops I consulted won't even be carrying this most popular vin de primeur.

This year too, with a budget holiday season on the horizon and culturally-influenced dishes criss-crossing the dinner table more than ever before — Moroccan-spiced plantain chips, anyone, or jalapeño cranberry sauce? — Thanksgiving in America has never looked less Norman Rockwell-ish.

What a relief!

The expectations, such as they are, for what usually happens at Thanksgiving are in such flux this year that there has never been a better time — never a better holiday - to think outside the box when it comes to what to pour with dinner.

Take price point. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest (often the biggest) holidays of the year for retailers, but we're all feeling the pinch in our wallets. The good news is that there's no need to spend some exorbitant amount of money for a bottle or two of wine, especially with so many fair-priced wines available that are also suitable pairings for any dish that comes your way.

Which brings us to the question of where the wine comes from.

The practice has traditionally been for Thanksgiving wines to be American since Thanksgiving is such a thoroughly American holiday. Nothing wrong there. But what if you took it even a step further and sought a local American wine — that is, one from Massachusetts or Rhode Island? The bonus is that you're likely to find values in local wines since they don't incur the transportation costs of, say, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton for example, produces several non-grape fruit wines that are, in fact, more historically similar to what would have been drunk at the very first Thanksgiving.

Award-winning sparkling wines from Westport Rivers winery make an excellent beginning or accompaniment to any course of the meal.

And Sakonnet Vineyard Vidal Blanc, from Little Compton, R.I., features many of the characteristics you're after with a Thanksgiving wine: higher acidity (whose structure allows it to stand up against the various and contrasting flavors of the food at the table), lower alcohol, crispness and acidity.

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