Thanksgiving 2023 is upon us, and as we prepare to share our menu with family and friends, we begin to think about the best Thanksgiving wine to serve with our feast. This year, I am leaning towards a lighter-bodied red wine that complements turkey but does not overpower the meal.
Here are four wines I recently sampled that fit the criteria of a lighter-bodied red wine to serve on Thanksgiving 2023.
From the first time I experienced Frappato, an Italian wine variety from Sicily, I felt it was the perfect wine for Thanksgiving. I still feel the same about Frappato; therefore, it is at the top of my list for Thanksgiving wines.
When I think of Planeta, I think of Sicilia. The family has owned the estate since the 1600s and started making wine in the 1980s. Today, the name spans across six estates in five regions in Sicily.
Planeta Frappato 2021 comes from the Vittoria DOC. The red sands of Vittoria and the breezes from its location by the sea give the wine its character. With savory aromas, the wine exudes flavors of red fruit, especially cranberry and tart cherry.
Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes Du Rhône Rouge “Les Abeilles”
Jean-Luc Colombo has been a fixture in the Rhône Valley since 1984. One of Jean-Luc’s many loves is Syrah, so his wine focuses on Syrah and Syrah blends, and in the case of my Thanksgiving 2023 pick, it is a GSM.
The wine name “Les Abeilles means the bees in English. They represent the bees living in the Columbo vineyards and another project dear to Jean-Luc’s heart: Colony Collapse Disorder that threatens the honeybees through the Bee Helpful Program. A donation from each bottle sold of this wine goes to the UC Davis Department of Entomology in support of research to restore healthy honey bee colonies.
Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes Du Rhône Rouge “Les Abeilles” 2021 is a wine produced from 25-year-old vines aged ten months in stainless steel tanks. I found a smooth, lighter-bodied wine that can be chilled or served at room temperature. The wine displays red fruit and tart berries, reminding me of those wines served in a French bistro.
Fontanafredda Ebbio Nebbiolo Langhe
The Fontanafredda Estate winery roots date back to 1858, and today, it is one of the leaders in putting Barola on the map while spearheading sustainability in the Langhe region of Piedmont. Today, Fontanafredda is the largest certified organic winery in Piedmont.
The wine consists of 100% Nebbiolo blended 50-50 whole bunch grapes and crushed destemmed must. After fermentation, the wine ages in wood casks for four months, followed by bottle aging for one to two months.
I discovered a light wine with a slight effervescence. Red fruit, especially cranberry and bright cherry, dominates the flavors with hints of spice on the finish.
Reserve Des Vignerans Cabernet Franc
Thanksgiving 2023 would not be Thanksgiving without suggesting one of my favorite varieties, Cabernet Franc. I recently attended Loire Valley Big Bloom Los Angeles with Vins Du Val De Loire; I discovered some excellent Cabernet Francs. I, therefore, am including one selection from the tasting in my list of wines for Thanksgiving 2023.
Reserve Des Vignerons Val De Loire Saumur-Champigny was created by the cooperative Cave de Saumur, founded in 1956 around the village of Saumar. As a member, the growers must abide by sustainable viticulture principles.
The wine represents a classic Loire Cabernet Franc. This Cabernet Franc offers savory and earthy aromas and bright cranberry flavors.
While Thanksgiving wine selections will enhance your meal and make the day special, they are also excellent for other occasions.
The Written Palette wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Common to the wine industry, this writer received hosted wine samples. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.