Wines for Thanksgiving

The first fall-family-feast weekend is here.

While your winemaker, grape picker, and cellar hand friends might be absent for Thanksgiving dinner as the grape harvest carries on, we can all raise a glass to the hard work from prior vintages.

And maybe take a hot beverage to those in the vineyard.

For the white-wine fans, or to start the afternoon or evening with something a bit lighter before moving on to reds, give these a try.

Howling Bluff 2018 Pinot Gris: an exceptionally bright wine with tropical aromas, lychee and passion fruit, and perfect for anyone at the table who doesn’t like anything oaky. If the sun is out, throw on a light sweater and hit the patio. And it might, might, pair with ambrosia salad.

Quails’ Gate 2018 Dry Riesling: crisp, dry, almost zesty with citrus notes, this is far from the sweet Riesling the neighbours may have brought over. Red wine drinkers will be impressed, and if one of your courses involves kale and lemon zest, try pairing it with this.

VinAmité 2015 Chardonnay: there are a few vintages out there in wine shops, but try to find a slightly older one. Nicely balanced with careful oak treatment, and a lingering finish, the no-oak dinner guests should try it. Enjoy with seafood appetizers.

Wild Goose 2017 Autumn Gold: the name is appropriate for the occasion. This blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Blanc has a very slight touch of sweetness and will pair with just about anything on the table.

On the red side, a few choices, listed from lightest to boldest.

Blue Mountain 2017 Gamay Noir: gamay is a very light, fruit-forward red; this bottle has had some neutral oak treatment, which gives it some body and subtle notes of spice and vanilla. Plenty of blueberry and raspberry flavours. Save it for the cranberry fruit crumble for dessert.

Mission Hill 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir: an elegant pinot that should please everyone with its cherry-spice notes, and hints of earthiness with soft tannins and a nice acidity on the finish. Pour it at the beginning of the main course. It’ll be gone before you know it.

Upper Bench 2015 Altitude: mostly merlot, with 25% cabernet sauvignon, this is a red to spark conversation (or change its direction) as the night goes on. Full bodied, ripe with plums, cassis, dark chocolate, and vanilla bean; it will round out a big meal.

Black Hills 2017 Addendum: This is the bottle you keep on the counter just in case, but you hope you don’t need to open it until all the guests are gone. A blend of merlot with 10% each of the cabs franc and sauv, save it for the addendum of the evening when you and your close friends start tidying up and summarizing the day.


Oct. 17-19: the first Kelowna Seafood Celebration takes place with multiple events — Shuck and Saber, Crab and Chardonnay, Whisky and Oysters, and a Saturday Seafood Soirée.

Oct. 19, Salmon Arm: Take a road trip to the Shuswap Wine Fest with Spirit, with more than 100 food and drink samples.

Through Oct. 13, Penticton: Enjoy a Table d’Hote menu at Time Winery and Kitchen, four courses with additional wine pairings as an option.


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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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