Wine for Thanksgiving


Tahoe House on the West Shore offers everything but the turkey for Thanksgiving with advance orders, and its wine selection to go with Thanksgiving foods is as well thought out and varied as the Thanksgiving menu.

I’d opt right away for a bottle of the Seaglass 2011 Monterey County Riesling. This is a great wine as an aperitif, light and refreshing. Flavor of peach and pear, with aroma of honey and fragrant flowers are what greet you in the glass, with a sweet fruitiness. The vibrant blue bottle in which it is packaged also sets a festive mood for the feast to come. 13 percent alcohol. $16.99 for the bottle.

The 2011 California Pinot Noir from Mark West is a tasty and affordable wine for those who like red wine with turkey. This is a delicate and juicy red wine with medium body. Flavor and aroma of raspberry, sweet cherry and nutmeg spice makes this Pinot Noir a great pairing with turkey. It is complex, fruity and silky. 13.8 percent alcohol. $9.99 by the bottle.

If some of your guests will want a white wine with your turkey, that’s a good choice, too. Reach for the 2012 Hanna Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River Valley. Turkey, specifically the basted and infused preparations so popular at Thanksgiving, will pair well with the minerality of a Sauvignon Blanc. The color is a straw yellow, and aroma is grapefruit, tangelo, quince, mint, basil and pear. The winemaker notes a taste of kiwi and lime zest, and, on the mid palate, more flavor of lemon, peach, honey and a touch of grassiness. The finish is bright and clean. 13.2 percent alcohol. $17.99 for the bottle.

To end the meal with the classic pies and other goodies, I recommend two choices: a rose or a dessert wine. The Stags’ Leap 2011 Napa Amparo Rose, Napa Valley, is a vibrant pink that leads you to expect its aroma of raspberry and then melon. Flavor is of wild strawberry and a touch of pomegranate, with some creaminess and a hint of caramel. It is refreshing with a nice finish. 14.1 percent alcohol. $23.99 by the bottle.

A classic dessert wine, one of my favorites is the Cline Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2006. It has a wonderful mouth-coating flavor of dark berries, strawberry, coffee and chocolate, with a vanilla smoothness, soft tannins and a long lingering finish. 14.5 percent alcohol. $10.99 for a 375 ml bottle.

Oh, by the way, Tahoe House does offer the turkey, too, with free range Diestel turkeys have to be ordered well in advance and cooked at home. Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet is located at 625 W. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City. For more information, call (530) 583-1377 or visit

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Barbara Keck
Barbara started writing for newspapers when she was 14 and continues to write, most recently the “Wineries of the Sierra Foothills” book published by Range of Light Media, parent company of The Tahoe Weekly. Barbara wrote the wine column for the Weekly for many years, and contributes occasional tidbits on tourism and entertainment topics. A long marketing consulting career that included extensive international travel led her to conclude that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Almost 20 years of enjoying the seasons on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe has confirmed her belief.