Local Michigan White Wine For Thanksgiving

November 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Times are tough, and if there’s one thing we can take comfort in this Thanksgiving is not needing to sweat things like wine pairings. There are so many different flavors on the table, and so many different guests to please (I find that men by far prefer red wine, and women by far prefer white wine), that it’s probably not worth spending too much time thinking about, especially if you’re hosting a big group. Sure, most big Cabs are probably too much for this meal centered around turkey. But serving something local is a great nod to the regional traditions of Thanksgiving. So I am going to veer away from traditional wine-pairing knowledge, and make suggestions that are easy and affordable.

Tabor Hill Classic Demi-Sec (Buchanan, Michigan).  Yes, it’s on the sweetish side. But, in a nod to the classic American demi-sec (Gerald Ford insisted demi-secs be served at the White House), it’s an American crowd pleaser. I would serve it as a wine to pour when people walk in the door. At 12% alcohol, it won’t blow people’s socks off so that they need a nap by dinner, and it’s sweet enough to appeal to Grandma or occasional wine drinkers. With its apple and pear flavors, and slight acidity, it’s also a good option to serve with dessert.  Best of all:  It’s $8.99/bottle at Binny’s.

I know I’m sounding like a echo chamber, but you can’t go wrong with pouring sparkling wines from L. Mawby (Leelanau Peninsula). Larry Mawby’s méthode champenoise Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs are great wines to start the day. (Sold at Binny’s throughout Chicagoland, Pastoral, Green Grocer, and Good Grapes in Glencoe & Winnetka.)  For something different, try the Cremant Classic (available at Noble Grape in West Town).  The cremant is made from 100% Vignoles, is whole-cluster pressed, on the dry side, and evokes yeast, nuts, apple and honey flavors.  (For a saucy look at L. Mawby’s cremant, watch Peter and Allie’s short video.) A light on the palate, clean-finishing sparkler ideal for pouring while guests are milling about early in the day is Good Harbor’s Moonstruck (Leelanau Peninsula) (70% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Gris, whole-cluster pressed). (Available at Fine Wine Brokers and Good Grapes in Glencoe.)

Another easy-drinking wine from Good Harbor is Trillium, a white blend (50% Riesling, 25% Vignoles and 25% Seyval Blanc), which has long, full fruity finish (and lots of cherry flavors) balanced by a slightly spritzy acidity. (Available at Lush.) Another reasonable priced wine for $10.00.

Finally, consider serving Fenn Valley’s “42” Ice Wine with dessert (especially apple desserts). (Available at Lush and Dobby’s Worldwide Liquors.)

If you’ve found some good locapours for the upcoming holidays, please share and we’ll compare notes!

Locations throughout Chicagoland

Lush Wine & Spirits (Three Chicago locations)

Dobby’s World Wide Wine & Liquors
15 S. Brockway
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 359-0400

Fine Wine Brokers
4621 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-2007
(773) 989-8166

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine (Locations in the Loop, Lakeview and the French Market)

Noble Grape
802 North Bishop Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 846-1204

Good Grapes
809 Oak Street
Winnetka, IL 60093-2500
(847) 446-8000