Challenged with pairing wines this Thanksgiving? Though turkey day is regarded as a most traditional American holiday, increasingly it is celebrated in the U.K., and foodies flock to gastronomic restaurants with highly educated sommeliers that are increasingly attaining the Master Sommelier level. Turkey is a traditional main dish for Christmas in the U.K., so wine pairings with turkey are not news there.
Only an hour away from downtown Boston, is a lovely, well-situated parcel of vineyards, situated between the East and West estuaries of Massachusetts’ Westport River. Westport Rivers Vineyards has more than 25 years under its belt producing wines, though the former potato and dairy farm has been worked by the Russell family for four generations.
Silky red fruits, cranberry, wild strawberry, and redcurrant, are the highlights of this wine. Some basil and tarragon show on the mid-palate, along with sweeter cherries and strawberries. The curious aspect is on the nose, where the red fruits show clearly, but there is a curious underlying hint of darkness, a deep loamy depth with a bit of funk. Tannins are very light, acids quite bright. Cranberry and anise linger on the finish. Five years old now, this seems to be improving based upon early reviews, though perhaps not for a lot longer. It is a good food wine. Pair it with roast pork with mushroom gravy, letting the acids cleanse the palate for each new bite. Recommended. DH
Sweet cherries and funk on the nose. On the palate, rhubarb, cherries, and brown sugar lead. Strawberries and sage, with a light background of anise, appear on the mid-palate. Sage, mixed red fruits, vanilla, and brown sugar linger on a mid-length finish. Acids are high, tannins very smooth, together offering a wine for the cellar. All the different flavors are interesting, but they are disjointed, even conflicting. This may be a wine best judged a decade after bottling. It could be very nice, based upon promise, high acidity, smooth tannins, and depth of flavor. Drink with sage-rubbed pork loin.
The headwaters of the Russian River are in Redwood Valley, and here the grandsons of Bobby Fetzer are making a Pinot Noir that would make you think, tasting blind, that it came from downriver into the Russian River Valley. The nose has plenty of soft cherry and strawberry, a bit of vanilla, and a touch of sea salt. On the palate comes loads of red fruit, strawberry, black cherry, and some cranberry, tempered by a touch of sage and a sprinkle of sea salt, with underlying wood-effect vanilla. It's a mouthful, a big California Pinot, so look for food that matches. Drink with duck, but make sure you're going with the dark meat. Recommended.
The farming families along the Coastal Wine Trail are building on the foundation that New England has been producing wine since the first settlers arrived from Europe almost 400 years ago.