Go South American for Thanksgiving

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Go South American for Thanksgiving

While you might be tempted to go all-US when it comes to wine for your Thanksgiving meal, when it comes to wine picks there is plenty to choose from from your American brothers further down south! Here are a few picks of wines from Chile and Argentina for a Thanksgiving feast!

Breaking out the bubbles

Get the party started with a pop. Chile and Argentina offer excellent value bubbles that lend to a great celebration, and at a really reasonable price for good quality. Argentina has a long history of traditional method (champenoise) sparkling wine from Mendoza, that have a creamier texture and richer structure. Check out Cruzat and Reginato for starters. If you want lighter, fruitier bubbles made in the charmat style, good wineries to try are Nieto Senitener and Norton.

Chile’s sparkling wine is all about crisp coastal wines with big bubble houses producing more cheap and cheerful charmat method sparkling wine, as well as a few special occasion sparklers with a longer, champenoise process. For cheaper, prosecco-style sparkling look for Undurraga (Nature is my favourite), Vina Casablanca, and Valdivieso. For more complex sparkling for connoisseurs try Morande (Brut Nature is divine), Bodegas RE and Aquitania. For something totally different – try the pink Pais sparkling from Miguel Torres.

These are all perfect for pre-dinner cocktails, canapé hour and also for those ladies in need of a glass or two during the kitchen prep. The more structured bubbles will also sit nicely with a death-defying deep fried Turkey, and sparkling pink is a fab combination with cranberry sauce!

Whites with some power & might

Traditional Thanksgiving dinners require wines with a bit more body, but that doesn’t mean white is out of the game. Skip the Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc though, and try some of the waxier and rounder varieties like Viognier, Semillon and Riesling.

Dry and citrusy coastal Rieslings like Casa Marin and Cono Sur highlight the aromatics of zesty turkey stuffing; while fatter, orchard fruit Viognier with more peachy aromatics like Lagarde, Diamantes and Lorca from Argentina and Von Siebenthal from Chile pair with a warmer, fruit-based stuffing. Semillon is a good all-rounder with turkey and all its trimmings too, and there are some nice old vine Semillons from both Chile and Argentina. From Argentine Patagonia try Matias Riccitelli, from Mendoza try Mendel. From Chile, try Semillon blends from Juan Alejandro Jofre and Rogue Vine.

Go light on the reds

Moving on to the reds you want to stick to the lighter spectrum as Turkey can be easily toppled by a big red, as can sleepy relatives. Pinot Noir is the classic one-size-fits-all red, and that is certainly the case with this holiday meal.

There are two style profiles to look out for: the red berry aromatics and fresh acidity that pairs well with fruitier or spice-based stuffing and gravy combos, while you might want an earthier and funkier Pinot to sit alongside mushroom, richer gravy or dark meat. Lighter Pinots to try are Cartagena by Casa Marin, Boya from Garces Silva, and Crouchon from the deep south. For more old world style Pinots try Chacra from Argentine Patagonia, Sol de Sol from southern Chile and the meaty Pequenas Producciones from Casas del Bosque.

Another light and fruity red that sits idyllically on your thanksgiving table is modern beaujolais-style Pais. Young Pais from the same harvest year like Pais Salvaje from J Bouchon and Reserva de Pueblo by Torres will suit the bill perfectly. You can also try fresh carbonic-maceration Bonarda like Cara Sur from Argentina for the same profile.

Sweets for my sweet

Last but not least, you’ll need a good wine to pair with everyone’s favourite – pumpkin pie. As the general rule of thumb with desserts, you always want a wine that goes a little sweeter, although with a good acidity so as to not saturate your palate. Try concentrated and high acidity sweet wines, like Petit Manseng from Terrazas de los Andes, and RE Noble from Bodegas RE.

Whichever wine you pick for the holiday season, remember to keep it lighter on the dinner table so the food, wine and conversation keeps flowing, and knock ‘em out with a sweet wine on the finish. Happy Thanksgiving!

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes is a British journalist who has been living in the Southern Hemisphere for the last six years, has tried over 500 Malbecs, eaten over 600 Chilean oysters and still has a functioning liver and kidneys (as far as she knows).
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