With autumn fully set in and Thanksgiving a short two weeks away, we’re on the hunt for all things red and juicy: cranberry sauce, cherry pies, and yes, delicious, quaffable wines to serve on our Turkey Day table. Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are both solid, light-bodied reds to place in front of your guests, though we’re searching for something a little more feisty served up with our feast. Look no further than California Zinfandel, the spiciest, juiciest, most succulent varietal of them all. While “Zinfandel” got a bad rep back in the late 20th century thanks to the blush wine White Zin, true red Zinfandel is perfect for the Thanksgiving table– and certainly not a varietal to write off. Its full- bodied flavors of succulent juice and light spice make it the perfect pairing for all of your Thanksgiving favorites.
Milijenko Grgich — Mike for short — claimed world renown after his 1973 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay beat out the biggest of Burgundies in the Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976, claiming the title of Best White Wine in the World. Shortly after, in 1977, he opened his winery, Grgich Hills, together with his sister Mary Lee and Austin Hills. Mike, now 93, is still committed to sustainable winemaking at the estate, banning the use of artificial pesticides, fermenting only with wild yeast and operating the estate completely with solar power. The love and care that goes into the winemaking is just as apparent in the glass, with powerful wines of the utmost quality reflecting their terroir in the purest way possible.
Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel is grown in Calistoga, the warmest of the estate’s five vineyards. The wine is fermented with a hint of Petite Sirah and aged for 15 months in French oak casks for a subtle yet complex character. The wine is incredible with food, with flavors of dark, ripe berries and spicy pepper, creating a round mouthfeel and succulent finish. The juicy flavor profile makes the wine stellar with turkey and cranberry, while the layers of spice mesh incredibly with peppery stuffing. Grab a bottle to share at your holiday table — both you and your guests will be giving thanks.