I like red wine with Thanksgiving. Specifically I like Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I have scientifically proven it is the best pairing. I still believe that.
Picpoul is a grape and Picpoul de Pinet is a smaller place within Langeudoc- Roussillon. I have had this grape twice before – both New World. Both times were forgettable. Like I don’t remember how it tasted but I wasn’t blown away. Because the area is near the Mediterranean Sea I expected a simple, fresh, high acid wine to go with seafood. I underestimated.
The aromas on this wine were so compelling. Beginning with mineral notes and wet stone it changed with each sniff into a bouquet of honeysuckle, jasmine, lilies and white peach. On the palate the acid was like a starburst around a honeyed note that lingered on the tongue. There was some resemblance to a lighter Gewürztraminer Writer Chris Losh described Gewürztraminer to a tasting group as “”the kind of tarty wine that puts on its make-up, then slaps on an extra layer before going out just in case” This Picpoul reminded me of a Gewürztraminer whose Momma taught her better. All of the floral perfume applied to make you lean in, not hold your breath. Interestingly many suggest Gewürztraminer for Thanksgiving.
Corbieres is also a place within the Languedoc-Roussillon, a large place known largely for red blends. The Domaine de Fontsainte was a blend of 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, and 10% Syrah. The Carignan went through carbonic maceration – follow the link if you don’t know this term. This is how Beaujolias Nouveau is made – you know the wine that comes out just in time for Thanksgiving each year. Hmmm…
One of the things that is highlighted about this region of France is “garrigue.” The term shows up in tasting notes and refers to the wild herbs and scrubland bushes that grow in the area. To be honest none of these flavors were in my notes for these wines. But in the spirit of “what grows together goes together” the recommended recipes were full of woody evergreen herbaceous flavors that paired well.
All of the recipes can be found here. I prepared the roasted green beans with lavender, thyme, rosemary and sage an the lavender roast potatoes. Not enough time for turkey, I roasted a chicken and shoved bits of the herbs above under the skin. Handsome Hubby wants his green beans cooked exclusively this way forever and always.
Either wine would work well for Thanksgiving or could be enjoyed without food as the holiday unfolds. I am still opening a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving. But I want a case of that Picpoul de Pinet.
Samples were provided by the winery and enjoyed by the winemaker. All opinions are my own.
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