Top Wines for Thanksgiving
Looking for what to toast a day of gratitude with? Consult this tasty vino cheat sheet.
With Thanksgiving just weeks away—and considering this year marks a re-emergence of meeting in-person with friends and family—our collective “cheers!” may feel all the more special. So just what to dress the table with, in terms of conversation-worthy vino? Fortunately, Club Members have access to the best in the biz. From curated cases by Yours Truly to rare finds from Flowers Vineyard & Winery (and a few of our other favorite wine travel destinations), this curated list of dynamic red and whites will infuse any dinner party with festive toasts.
Known for rare, 100-percent organic Italian wines, Yours Truly is the exclusive importer of hard-to-find Italian wines. Thanksgiving favorites include two extremely low production gems.
RED | 2015 Poggio Grande-Sesterzo D.O.C (Annual Production: 83 Cases)
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese Grosso
Profile: Ripe cherry, dry plum, tobacco, and white chocolate with smooth elegant tannin.
WHITE | 2017 Valente: Emozione NO.1 I.G.T (Annual Production: 250 Cases)
Profile: Slightly aromatic scent with hints of white berry fruit followed by herbaceous notes. Fresh, dry, balanced acidity with a medium structure.
Most any discerning oenophile counts Quintessa as a top dinner party select. Located in the heart of Rutherford, founders Agustin and Valeria Huneeus discovered one of the world’s great wine estates. Decision fatigue with this well-known brand is a good thing, yet the below indulgences may be just what your Thanksgiving table deserves.
2016 Quintessa: 2016 year was touted in Napa as a near-perfect growing season, with cooler August temps allowing for longer time on the vine. The result? This Quintessa standout, which is full, rich, and ideal for that anticipated Thanksgiving toast.
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Petit Verdot
Profile: Exotic citrus, clove, and tobacco.
Most chardonnay aficionados will count Cakebread as a must (the 1973 Napa Valley Cakebread Chardonnay was the first wine the company released), and for good reason: This family-owned Napa winery has been producing stellar whites for years, in addition to a sold-out 2020 rosé and a dizzying portfolio of reds, too. While there are many succulent Cakebread wines, we are grateful for this recently released Chardonnay.
2020 Cakebread Chardonnay, Napa Valley: Grown in cool Carneros conditions and aged in French oak, this bold and complex wine will complement your Thanksgiving cheese plate in true style.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Profile: Opens with aromas of ripe golden apple, white peach, and light oak. On the palate, apple and pear characteristics are balanced by fresh acidity, and the finish is clean, with appealing hints of apple and lemon intermingling with notes of minerality.
PHIFER PAVITT WINE
The woman behind Phifer Pavitt, Suzanne Phifer Pavitt, is just as impressive as these tasty wines. Located in Calistoga, Suzanne and her husband, Shane Pavitt, had to rebuild and re-imagine after the devastating Glass Fire, yet miraculously, the barreled and bottled wines were all saved. We can all count our blessings for this, as this Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most balanced organic wines around.
2018 Date Night Sauvignon Blanc: Date Night is the result of Shane and Suzanne Pavitt’s dedicated commitment to a weekly date night. Grapes were pressed whole cluster and fermented on two special yeast strains to capture the Sancerre qualities inherent in this Sauv Blanc.
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Profile: Aromas of stone fruits, tangerine zest, crushed limestone, creme fraiche, and honey. The palate features summer sunshine, mandarin orange, white peaches, and guava.
FLOWERS VINEYARD & WINERY
If you’re a Pinot Noir lover, look no further. Consider this select a must for the perfect turkey pairing. Known as a maverick grower along the rugged and often unrelenting coastline of the Sonoma Coast, Flowers continually produces standout Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
2018 Sea View Ridge Pinot Meunier: This favorite of sommeliers and picky wine fans is sure to impress, as a 100-percent Pinot Meunier is a rare treat (typically used in Champagne). This was sourced exclusively from Block 19, where the slope is so steep that the vines are terraced and soils are shallow, rocky, and heavily influenced by volcanic intrusions and high iron content.
Varietal: Pinot Meunier
Profile: Macerated cherries, red berries, and baking spices, combined with bright natural acidity.
A producer of stellar Sonoma wines, Three Sticks is known for its estate properties Durell and Gap's Crown Vineyards, though this yummy Pinot Noir is sourced from the newer William James Vineyard sites.
2019 William James Vineyard Pinot Noir: The Three Sticks farming team meticulously planted in order to coax the best fruit out of this Russian River Valley vineyard. The soil at this property is unique to Northern California—a fine, tan silt called Goldridge, known in the industry as "moondust."
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Profile: Rich black cherry and red currants, with a dense core and velvety mid-length finish.
Owned by Exclusive Resorts Member Hugo del Pozzo, this winery based in Spain is well-known for its tempting Tempranillo from Spain’s famous Ribera del Duero wine region. PINEA made its mark with two Tempranillos—PINEA and 17 by PINEA—yet this newer rosé nearly flew off the shelves during the pandemic. If you can find it, you will certainly take rosé-all-day fans to a whole new level, as it’s dry, nuanced, and oh-so-tasty.
KORDE by PINEA: Korde literally translates to “the connection of hearts through words.” Consider this a connection via wine, and pair it with a spicy Thanksgiving dish.
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Profile: Aromas of raspberries, currants, and black plums, plus delicate citrus notes and subtle floral aromas.