Thanksgiving is approaching, and so it is time to ponder some of my perennial favorite dinner wines for this particular holiday. When it comes to pairing wine, two things count most to me: the bird and the trimmings. Turkey is a naturally lean flesh, making it a perfect companion to fruity or even sweeter wines, such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Beaujolais, or some Pinot Noir. The trimmings tend to be better off when eaten with the reds in this list: my stuffing tends to have Italian sausage in it, and loves being wedded to more rustic Burgundies, while cranberry sauce is a natural pairing with Beaujolais, itself often hinting at cranberry fruit aromas. We also usually have some form of mushroom dish, which can harmonize beautifully with the notes of truffles and earth in Pinot Noir.
And Pinot Noir is the subject of this posting. The 2007 Cono Sur Pinot Noir, Chilean in origin, is a delightful value, perfect as the second red wine poured during Thanksgiving. I first tasted this wine’s 2005 vintage, and was equally impressed. It shows an intense brick red in the glass, with bright berry fruit, particularly raspberries, on the nose combining with truffles and dried leaves, with just a touch of meatiness. The mouthfeel is a tasty mix of suppleness and zesty acidity, balanced to just a hint of oak. A great introductory Pinot, although definitely New World in style; you need to appreciate this wine for what it is, instead of holding a Burgundian grudge. Simple and fine. $8.