Culture

Give Thanks with these Jersey Wines

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According to Better Homes & Gardens, Thanksgiving is the number one holiday for wine sales. Following their list of recommended varietals, here are some New Jersey wine selections that should grace your Thanksgiving table this year.

For a fine Sparkling Wine, look no further than Valenzano Winery’s Cranpagne. The effervescence of this sparkling Jersey cranberry wine ushers in the holiday spirit like no other, making it the perfect sweet-tart traditional flavor to toast the autumn chill, fall foliage and hearts full of thanks.

If you love cranberry but aren’t as crazy about the bubbly, check out Sharrott Winery’s Cranberry Wine. Made from 100% New Jersey cranberries (think: Ocean Spray) this delightful elixir is the perfect compliment to your turkey-led feast. Leave the cranberry sauce for the kiddies and sip away at this bright red delight.

Red Wine drinkers will give thanks for two beautiful dry reds from Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, NJ. A fruit farm that has been family owned since the Civil War, Heritage began wine making in the 1990’s and has cultivated a reputation as one of the Garden State’s best wineries. Their 2010 BDX Reserve, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Sav, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot aged in French oak, was the highest ranking Jersey red in the infamous Judgement of Princeton. Richly balanced, the 2011 version of the BDX will inspire many a good conversation at this year’s table. Prefer the spice of a Syrah? Heritage’s Estate Reserve 2010 Syrah is one of the most complex and balanced versions of the grape in the state. Both reds are round with a flavor that dances across the palate and promises to make a partner out of any holiday meal.

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If you’re in the market for a great white wine to grace your table, check out Unionville’s Single Vineyard Chardonnays to please every palate this Thanksgiving. Better Homes and Gardens recommends the floral offerings of a Gewurztraminer or Traminette for the Thanksgiving table. These varietals more common to the Finger Lakes region are slowly making their way south to Jersey territory. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing two amazing Jersey Traminette blends, Cold Soil White from Terhune Orchards and Three Windows White from Beneduce Vineyards. Working Dog Winery (formerly Silver Decoy) in East Windsor, NJ, proffers a pleasantly balanced Traminette with floral notes and a pleasant mouthfeel. DiMatteo Vineyards also offers for a striking balance of fruit and floral in their Traminette wine. Both Working Dog and DiMatteo offer versions of the labrusca-vinifera hybrid that tend towards the fruitier side, but still manage to embrace the dry edge that makes Traminette a great compliment to an already flavorful poultry-centered meal.

Dessert wouldn’t be complete without a port style wine. Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton, New Jersey, produces a number of beautiful sweet dessert wines. Dealer’s Choice, a dessert white, is made from the winery’s signature Marquis grape. Light bodied with a rich mouthfeel, Dealer’s Choice should be served chilled. Empire, a port-style red blend aged in oak is warm and satisfying. It’s sister port-style wine, Homestead owes its sweet, robust flavor to its concord base. Not a fan of port, but still looking for an after-dinner delight? Try Laurita Winery’s Grand Cru, a double fermented Chardonnay that drinks like a single malt scotch.

Have a favorite Thanksgiving wine? Share it with us in the comments below. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Cheers!

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