I think it’s fair to say that nearly everyone is looking forward to the return of “dinner party season”—my favourite term fo fall and winter entertaining—in the close company of loved ones. While I’m sure there will still be more than a few Zoom Thanksgiving dinners happening, I’m looking forward to the simple joy of passing plates and clinking glasses around a table.
Out west we are currently experiencing unseasonably beautiful weather so the dream of dining outdoors for Thanksgiving among all of the gorgeous fall colours feels like a real possibility.
Here are my top Canadian wine picks for your turkey dinner this year. This mix of classics plus a couple fun oddities are worth sipping so make sure to seek them out at your favourite local liquor store.
Charles Baker Riesling, Niagara Peninsula, ON $19.75
Riesling and turkey are a classic pairing, with the high acidity of this wine providing a much needed dose of moisture to your palate. Bright lemon, beeswax and notes of limestone compliment the savoury roasted herbs and pair great with stuffing, Brussels sprouts and roast sweet potatoes.
Averill Creek Piquette Blanc, Cowichan Valley, BC, $19.95
Piquette is a style of wine made from rehydrating leftover grape skins and fermenting them, creating a bright, refreshing and low alcohol wine. Averill Creek uses grape pomace from Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris and the result is a wine that mirrors the flavours of a dry French apple cider. This is the perfect way to start your meal, and will please the palate of both beer and wine drinkers alike.
Kitsch Chardonnay, Okanagan, BC $24
If you prefer a more generous white wine, while still offering a quenching finish, Kitsch Chardonnay is perfect. Warm buttery notes of lemon shortbread are balanced against citrus zest and granny smith apple. It’s as delicious alone as it is with a mound of herbed mashed potatoes drenched in melted butter.
Paradise Grapevine Vin de Soif, Niagara, ON $23.95
A self-described party wine, this blend of Gamay Noir and Zweigelt is crunchy and funky in all the right ways. It’s great with turkey but makes an incredible pairing for plant-based dishes like tofurkey (is that even a thing anymore?) roast mushrooms, lentils and any other vegan feast you can dream of. Just make sure you serve it with a serious chill.
Cedar Creek Estate Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC $26.99
Pinot Noir is another classic pairing with roast poultry. Hallmark notes of raspberry, foraged mushrooms and wet cedar work so well with the warm, earthy flavours of a roast turkey and the bounty of fall vegetables that accompany. This wine from Cedar Creek has a beautiful tannin structure that envelops the palate while providing a long, elegant finish.