|Missing from photo: the Willakenzie Pinot!|
Though I don't hew to the concept rigorously, I do like the idea of serving American wines on this national celebration. That led me down the path of zinfandel some years ago, but now I'm more likely to save that for steak or perhaps pork. This year, I've sample three American pinots recently that I think would go nicely with the Thanksgiving meal, and will likely bring some combination of them with me on Thursday! They provide a range of price options depending on your budget, too.
2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir ($14): The Monterey County based winery produces some great values, and their pinot is no exception. Nice, well-balanced fruit, without being the "fruit bomb" that many California pinots can be. Hahn Winery is SIP certified (Sustainable in Practice) for all its Central Coast Vineyards.
2009 Wente Vineyards Reliz Creek Pinot Noir ($22): Reliz Creek is in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterrey If I were blind tasting this I might have guessed it hailed from Burgundy. Good structure, subtle fruit. I haven't had this with food yet but anticipate it is going to go nicely Thursday. Sustainably farmed-- details on the Wente sustainable practices can be found here (and you can easily jump to other parts of their site from there!).
2009 Willakenzie Pierre Leon Pinot Noir ($42): There aren't too many Pinots from Oregon's Willamette Valley that I haven't like, but I'm especially fond of the Pinots (and other varietals, too) from Willakenzie. If you want to spend a bit more than my other recommendations this would be a nice treat. This is a sophisticated wine, cherry fruit and earthy undertones that can pick up the rich foods on your table. The wine is made from estate grown grapes from the Yamhill-Carlton appellation. More on the wine here.