Yes, City Vino is writing about Italian wine again this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving may be a United States holiday, but we just cannot ignore the fact that Italian wines make great pairings with our plethora of dishes on our respective dining room tables.
Italian wines tend to be extremely food-friendly, and therefore well-suited to earn a place along side the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and more. There are terrific sparkling wines from Italy like Prosecco, Spumante, Franciacorta, and Trentodoc that are crisp, and pair beautifully with a familial toast, light appetizers, and even the whole meal.
For white wines from Italy, there are terrific structured and full-flavored wines that will complement your meal. There is Pinot Grigio from northern Italy with its white floral aromas and crisp green apple and pear flavors, wrapped in bright acidity. Pecorino is another great option with its notes of soft fruit, flowers, dried herbs, and minerality, wrapped up with freshening acidity in a richer mouthfeel than the Pinot Gris. Other great options are Soave (creamy fruit, bright acidity, mineral notes) and Fiano (flavors of candied citrus zest, yellow peach, and flinty notes).
Finally, we get to Italy’s red wine options for your Thanksgiving table. Before you ask, yes, red wines can pair with white meat, but the wine needs to be a lighter red, with lower or at most modest tannins. Wines made from the Schiava grape are light-bodied, and with aromas and flavors of red cherries and raspberries are well-suited for the meal. The very traditional grape, Sangiovese, used to produce Chianti and Montepulciano wines, has flavors of wild cherry and light spice notes with zesty acidity and refined tannins. A wine produced in Italy from international grapes, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, would also work for those who prefer a bit of a bolder red. Last, but far from least, Nebbiolo always finds a place at our table. While its wines are tannic, the richness of the food (butter, gravy, turkey skin, cream sauces) will tame the tannins into a harmonious taste in your mouth.
Keeping with our Italian wine theme, City Vino will be featuring several of the types of wines listed above on our weekly tastings, plus, for the First Friday Fredericksburg.
For First Friday, we will be sharing the 2021 Lovo Colli Euganei Fior d'Arancio Spumante, from the Veneto, in Italy. The wine is made from 100 percent Moscato Giallo. This is a delicious wine to serve as an aperitif, or with dessert, as the wine has some sweetness. Pumpkin pie, our friends, pumpkin pie. This wine has a creamy effervescence (who needs whipped cream?), with notes of sweet orange bloom, tangerine, and Meyer lemons. Trust us.
For our weekend tasting, we will be pouring 3 Italian beauties for you, as follows:
- First up, our Italian white, the 2021 Cascina Del Colle Aime Pecorino,from the Abruzzo DOC Superiore. This dry wine, made from 100 percent Pecorino, is loaded with amazing fruit flavors like ripe white peach, white cherries, and pear. There are hints of lemon, nectarine, melon, and passion fruit.
- Next up is the first of our red wines, and is the 2021 Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Schiava, from the Alto Adige DOC. This is the lighter of our featured red wines, with flavors of red cherries and red berries, accompanied by soft tannins. Feel free to add a light chill to this wine.
- Following that light red, we have the 2021 Lovo Blossom Rosso, also from the Veneto IGT. This wine is a 50/50 split of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (international grapes), so a more traditional wine for those that prefer Bordeaux, Meritage, or red blends. Surprisingly, the tannins are fairly soft in this wine, due to the terroir where the grapes are grown and the winemaking techniques used. A light chill could also be applied to it. This wine has flavors of red and black fruit, along with violets and sage, and will pair well with your herbed turkey and stuffing.
- Our last wine is the 2019 Rocche Costamagna Nebbiolo,from the Langhe DOC. As we stated above, wines made from Nebbiolo pair perfectly with buttery and fatty dishes and even salty dishes. The wine has deep raspberry aromas, along with the scent of roses, which is a very typical note for this grape. The tannins in this wine are surprisingly finessed, making this a good companion for white meat dishes, medium-aged cheeses, and dishes with spice.
We wish you and your families an incredibly Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!