Wine Guy: Thanksgiving wines

As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, no doubt many of us face the same task, selecting a wine (or wines) to serve with Thanksgiving dinner.


While admittedly not a terrible chore, it can bring some trepidation. Does Aunt Edna still prefer Chardonnay? How can one accommodate Uncle Bob’s penchant for a sweet red? There will never be a one-size-fits-all bottle of wine, but there are certainly strategies to employ in order to enhance crowd pleasing potential. Plus, remember that having more than one wine on the table is a great way to increase the odds of a successful wine pick!

joie quotidien - Thanksgiving winesJoie Farm 2016 Quotidien Brut, British Columbia ($25, limited availability through the winery and select private liquor stores)

Let me be clear, sparkling wine is always a fantastic Thanksgiving wine option. Cracking open a bottle of bubbly can’t help but provide a celebratory air, plus it goes great with the myriad of flavours bustling atop the Thanksgiving table. A bottle like Joie Farm’s easygoing Chardonnay and Riesling blend — which is produced using the Charmat method — can tackle both white and dark meat while cutting through rich gravy and sweet mashed yams thanks to its engaging acidity and bounty of orchard fruit. It’s juicy, it’s tasty, and it’s an easy all-around Thanksgiving pick.

Bottom line: A-, The right balance of elegance and fun!

oysterbay rose - Thanksgiving winesOyster Bay 2016 Rosé, New Zealand ($19.99, #888999)

Only need one bottle of wine for Thanksgiving dinner? Having a hard time deciding between white and red? Split the difference and pour a pink wine, which actually makes a great pairing strategy. Not only does it look as pretty as an Autumn sunset in the glass, this Pinot Noir-based rosé brings the best of both wine worlds by featuring bright acidity complemented by lots of berry fruit and herbs leading to a richer, fulsome finish. It marries well with stuffing, not to mention leftover turkey sandwiches!

Bottom line: B, Diverse pairing option.

yalumba strapper - Thanksgiving winesYalumba 2014 The Strapper G.S.M., Australia ($23.99, #354050)

If going red with Thanksgiving dinner, the smart move is to keep the tannins smooth and supple. In other words, stray from Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, and its ilk. Now that does not mean you can’t go robust. Take The Strapper, for example. The name says it all, this Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvèdre blend is bold and gregarious with its dark fruit and spice yet comes across polished and smooth. It will please the rich red wine fans at the table while still pairing nicely with the turkey and all the fixings.

Bottom line: B+, Crowd-pleasing red.


The Swirl: Vancouver’s North Shore Craft Beer Week

The inaugural North Shore Craft Beer Week kicks off Friday and runs for a week’s worth of beer-centric celebrations. A variety of special casks, beer tasting menus, and bike brewery crawls will take place across six (soon to be seven) North Shore breweries. Complete details, along with a downloadable North Shore Craft Beer Week collectible passport, can be found at:

Contact James: @hadaglass