Thanksgiving Leftovers Provide Perfect Opp For Mix + Match Wines

Food & Drink

Clean out the fridge and your wine rack in a post-Thanksgiving food + wine mashup

If National Clean Out Your Fridge Day (yes, that’s a thing) is Nov. 15, what do you call the day after Thanksgiving? How about National Eat Your Leftovers Day?

No matter what you call it, it’s a day of no standing on ceremony now that your household pod has wafted into a tryptophan reverie or has claimed various screens for binge watching “The Queen’s Gambit” or “The Crown.” But it is a good time to clean out the fridge (in case you missed your change on Nov. 15) and get creative with both your food combinations and wine. Here are a few wines that stand up to all your leftover mashups (cranberry-turkey sandwich, I’m talkin’ to you!).

WHITES: the ultimate comfort-food partners

Chardonnay

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Alma Rosa Chardonnay 2017, Sta. Rita Hills. A fresh approach to what you think of California Chard with judicious aging on second-use French oak. As expected, “apple and pear, always there” (how wine students remember chard) but also some tropical notes—pineapple, guava and a bit of lychee. $38

Catena “Historic Rows” Chardonnay 2016, Mendoza. Apple, oak and honey on the nose followed through on the palate with a little bit of buttery and quince; round ,fleshy and malic with yellow-apple flavors. Reminiscent of a white Burgundy. $33

Chamisal Vineyards Chardonnay 2019, Central Coast. Fermented in stainless steel, this is free of the heavy oak flavors that plague so many California Chards. Apple all the way with a lemon twist. $18

Ron Rubin Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018 (Sonoma). Driven by orchard fruit—apples and pears—and featuring some spicy vanilla/baking spice notes. At 13.7%, a little weighty: this is one for the turkey and stuffing sandwich. $20. The Pam’s California Unoaked Chardonnay is a leaner version with crisp apple flavors and true to its name, not a trace of oak $15.

Gruner Vetliner + Riesling

Forstreiter Gruner Vetliner 2018, Kremstal Kremser Kogl (Austria). This is a great “clean out the fridge” wine because it goes with everything. Slight fizz, green apple and slightly honeyed, also a great wine on the second day. $16.50

Hutter Federspiel Gruner Veltliner 2018, Wachau. A bit of a musky, stony/earthy aroma leading to ripe orchard fruits, a slightly herbal tinge. Fresh and bright. $24

Chateau Ste. Michelle “Vinifera Rootstock” Riesling 2019, Columbia Valley. A reliable performer. Classic, dry, easy going. Even people who don’t think they like Riesling will like this one: tropical and stone fruit.

Trimbach Riesling 2018, Alsace. The undisputable king of Thanksgiving, peerless partner to everything. A bit of petrol, classic citrus, clean, straight and pristine. $21+/-

Blends

Abbott’s Paradise “Sightline “AP” 2018, Central Valley (California). Clean and light, anise-inflected blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Verdejo. Yellow fruited, with pear and quince playing along. Nice alternative to Chardonnay. $35

Jean-Luc Colombo La Belle de Mai 2018 Saint Peray AOC. A blend of 60% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne, this shows yellow apple, quince, butter, almond skin. Medium bodied with a round, mouth-filling palate, this is a great, satisfying comfort-food wine. $45

Pine Ridge Chenin/Viognier Blend 2019, California. Driven by Chenin Blanc (78%), this juicy peach and lime- inflected wine doesn’t have so much Viognier that it competes with food flavors. Good with roasted Brussel sprouts. $16

Mix + Match

Condado de Haza Airen 2015, Ribera del Duero. Full bodied with ripe, baked yellow apple and plum, hazelnut tones and warm, savory spice. Saline and exotic; a lightly oxidized style that is intriguing. $30

Tenuta Secolo IX 2019 Pecorino, Abruzzo. Slightly botanic, fresh and clean, goes down easy, lime and green apple. Tingly. $14+/-

La Marca “Luminore” NV Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Clean and simple Prosecco with direct flavors of apple, white flowers, a hint of peach. $30

REDS: Diverse styles, textures and flavors for every morsel

Beaujolais

Domaine Richard Rottiers 2017 Moulin a Vent, Beaujolais. Pretty purple-flower aromatics, followed on the palate with black plum, tart fruit skin, black cherries. Another cru-style Beaujolais that will pair well with darker turkey meat. $30

Stéphane Aviron Chenas Vieilles Vignes 2016, Beaujolais. Made from pre-phylloxera vines (!), this Beaujolais is made without carbonic maceration, making it a deeper cru-style wine with juicy black raspberries, stewed strawberries, spicy notes and an energetic mineral streak. Good with the classic turkey/cranberry sandwich. $20

Pinot Noir

Alma Rosa 2017 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills. A bright style that doesn’t try to be all earthy-Burgundian, but is a nod to its own territory. Earthy and cedar aromas give way to tart cherries and plum on the palate with some meaty and cola notes, and baking spice. $45

Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018. Soft and pretty, like leftovers, better on the second day when it settled down into soft, pretty wine with tart red fruit and a chocolate-covered cherry finish. Ripe sweet fruit, at 14%, a tad high in alcohol. $55

J Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017, Russian River Valley. Spicy and deep-fruited with raspberry and cherry, seductive smoke, leather and earthy-mushroom notes. Definitely a drumstick and dark-meat wine (or a roast if you did that for Thanksgiving). $42

Landmark Vineyards “Hop Kiln Estate Pinot Noir 2017, Russian River Valley. Fresh red and black fruits, some cola notes, a little saline $40

Mixed + Match

Alois Lageder Schiava (Vernatsch) 2018, Sudtirol, Alto Adige. Just about everything is excellent from this winey in the Dolomite mountains. This light red from the “Classical” line has a racy mineral streak with sour cherry, bright, sharp and lively with wild raspberry. $16

Condado de Haza Tempranillo 2015, Ribera del Duero. Not a usual pick for Thanksgiving, but this savory wine with rhubarb and stewed strawberries is a another great match for the classic turkey/cranberry sandwich. $24

Little James Basket Press “Jeaune Solera” NV Saint Cosme (Rhone Valley). Straight-forward juicy red table wine, made in solera style with 100% Grenache. Dark red fruits, spicy anise and licorice and some garrigue notes. Low-key wine for your tryptophan hangover. $13

Tenuta Sant’Antonio Nanfre 2018, Valpolicella DOC. Cherry and tart red fruits. Herbal nose with mint, anise and black pepper. Green tannins. Slightly redolent of Loire Cabernet France. Good with a chill. $14+/-

Two Shepherds Carignan 2018, Mendocino. A little pop like a fruity cru Beaujolais, thanks to its whole-cluster fermentation. Pretty black tea/bergamot notes, fresh cranberries and pomegranate. On the lighter side with only 12.1% abv. $26

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