Turkey and Zinfandel
Two Zinfandels that were the perfect choice for the MacQueen Thanksgiving meal.
I hope your “turkey day” went well. That's my family turkey in the lead photo, together with my favorite type of Thanksgiving wine, Zinfandel.
My all-time favorite wine with turkey breaks the “white with white” rule about as much as you can. I love the quintessential American Zinfandel grape, and I think it makes the finest wines we actually vint in the USA. Further, it doesn't seem to be a grape that does particularly well in other places, which makes fine, complex, red Zinfandels unique to our nation. Perfect for our national day of Thanksgiving?
I've got two I can recommend this week, although there are hundreds of excellent zins out there, priced to fit almost any budget. The first is is the 2005 Francis Coppola (yes, the film director!) Diamond Collection Red Label. While you may not be able to find any more of the 2005 vintage, I've found this particular wine is pretty consistent from one year to the next due to the fact that the winemakers are careful to monitor the sugar content of the grapes during harvest. The fruit is also sourced from several wine-growing regions in California, and then batch-blended to try to keep year-to-year variations to a minimum. While this isn't the way to produce distinctive wines, it is a way achieve something you can trust, and in this case, the Coppola Zinfandel is a full-body, spicy, slightly sweet red that is perfect for your turkey and sage stuffing.
If you are looking for a somewhat more distinguished zin, one of the more reliable producers since 2000 has been Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The Clines grow their own grapes, pick only when the fruit is at its peak, and make their wines by hand. Master blending after repeated tasting of separate barrels results in several offerings each year. This was a 2004 “California” which indicates the grapes came not only from the home property, but were sourced along the north and central coasts. The wine is a dark cherry-raspberry with spice notes, and finished with a hint of vanilla from oak barrel aging.
I bought this bottle at a local store for around $15-17 two years ago, and laid it down until early this month. It was perfectly balanced, smooth as silk, and an excellent compliment to a holiday meal.
Here some links to the Coppola Winery and Cline Cellars web sites: