When it comes to Thanksgiving turkey, side dishes, and desserts are at the forefront of most people's minds.
Unless you're an amateur wine aficionado, it's probably not until you go to set the table that you realize there's no fermented grape juice to go with your meal. Consider this your reminder.
As much as a perfectly paired vino can spruce up a great meal, finding a decent wine at a reasonable price-point can often be a mission in and of itself.
To ease your holiday wine-buying stress, Whole Foods Market came up with a list of ten holiday wines for less than $25 a pop -- and they recommend pairings.
Doug Bell, global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market developed the list of wines with cheese and recipe pairings to take buyers through the holiday season.
"There's something for every wine personality -- from the worldly sophisticate who leans toward an elegant French white like the Simonnet-Febvre St. Bris Sauvignon Blanc to the thrill-seeking adventurer who craves something unexpected like the Spanish Tablao Navarra. And at these values, you can buy one for your favorite host and pick up a bottle for yourself," said Bell.
Roger d'Anoia Cava (Spain)
Lively effervescence with bright notes of green apple and pear, this sparkler is ripe and round with a touch of sweetness in the well-balanced finish.
Cheese Pairing: Uniekaas Parrano
Recipe Pairing: Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy-Spicy Green Onion Dipping Sauce
Skouras Anassa (Greece)
Made with 70 percent moschofilero and 30 percent viognier, this medium-bodied white has aromas of ripe apricot and orange peel and a clean, crisp finish.
Cheese Pairing: Red Leaf Canadian Aged Cheddar
Recipe Pairing: Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Feta and Ricotta
Simonnet-Febvre St. Bris Sauvignon Blanc (France)
The micro-climate in the Saint-Bris appellation allows for the sauvignon blanc grapes to express their full aromatic character as well as the minerality of the terroir. The exuberant nose is characterized by freshly cut herbs and delicate fruits with a hint of red bell pepper, and the elegant finish has a lovely minerality.
Cheese Pairing: Vermont Creamery Bijou
Recipe Pairing: Classic Butternut Squash Soup
Novellum Chardonnay (France)
This zesty white has honeysuckle and white peach aromas, and anise, fennel and a hint of oak show in the lengthy finish.
Cheese Pairing: Hervé Mons Camembert
Recipe Pairing: Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions
Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir (New Zealand)
This wine is rich and dark with black cherries, violets and a pleasant earthiness on the nose. It has a velvety, harmonious finish with smoky oak, subtle spice and raspberry flavors.
Cheese Pairing: P'tit Basque
Recipe Pairing: Five-Spice Roast Duck
Cercius Côtes du Rhône (France)
This blend of 85 percent grenache and 15 percent syrah is beautifully textured, lush and decadent with an aroma of smoky eucalyptus and berry and deep notes of kirsch, plum and stewed fruits and plum and a hint of leather in the long finish.
Cheese Pairing: Sottocenere Italian Truffle
Recipe Pairing: Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Mashed Vegetables
Tablao Navarra (Spain)
This juicy red, made up of mainly tempranillo grapes, has an aromatic nose of raspberry with complex hints of licorice and cherry, which round out its sublime, lingering finish.
Cheese Pairing: Seaside Cheddar
Recipe Pairing: Roasted Beef Brisket with Carrots and Tomatoes
H & G Priorat (Spain)
Silky and robust, this spicy, well-balanced red is rich with aromas of red ripe stone fruits and finishes with a touch of oak and earthy minerals.
Cheese Pairing: Fromager d'Affinois
Recipe Pairing: Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing
Santa Julia Innovacíon Bonarda-Cabernet (Argentina)
Deeply complex and full-bodied, this red created by the Zuccardi family has forward notes of plum and cigar box with jammy flavors of dark ripe berries. The luxurious finish has smoky, savory notes.
Cheese Pairing: Borough Market Cheddar
Recipe Pairing: Apple, Sausage and Sage Sourdough Stuffing
Les Hauts de Bel Air Bordeaux (France)
The powerful but elegant nose is redolent of red and black fruits, especially cherry and blackberry, with black pepper. This rich and supple red has smooth tannins and is superbly balanced on the palate with a lengthy finish.
Cheese Pairing: Fourme d'Ambert
Recipe Pairing: Portobellos Stuffed with Greens and Blue
Mat Kearney Verse & Chorus Napa Valley Red (California)
This claret is made through a partnership between musician Mat Kearney, Peju and the John Anthony family who, combined, have more than 60 years of Napa Valley wine making experience. This luscious red is 87 percent Napa Valley merlot and 13 percent Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and has soft aromatics of black currant, plum, and notes of cedar. The bold but well-balanced flavors of vanilla, black cherry and chocolate give way to juicy dark cherry and wild blackberry. And, the long finish has nuances of roasted coffee and toasted hazelnut.
Cheese Pairing: Emmi Le Gruyère
Recipe Pairing: Slow Cooker Lentil Stew with Polenta
Grace Lane Yakima Valley Riesling (Washington)
This medium-dry riesling has delicate notes of fresh green apple and crisp white peach. Its delicate yet complex flavors lead to a long, full finish.
Cheese Pairing: Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue
Recipe Pairing: Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney
Note: wine descriptions and tasting notes are courtesy of Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Market has various locations throughout South Florida. Visit wholefoodsmarket.com/wine for stores and additional information about the selected wines and recipe pairings.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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