Thanksgiving Wines for my Family’s Table (Heard of these Grapes?)

This year I’m really excited about a couple of wines that I will be bringing to Thanksgiving, departures from my tried and true faves (on and off the holiday table), which are Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gamay (not, ahem, you-know-what which is being “released” today), and Gruner Veltliner. But these, rather, are a couple wines I’ve enjoyed recently and that I want to share with family and friends.

The first is the one I’ll refer to as good ol’ Homeslice. It’s Vignoles (veen-yole) produced here in Stillwater, Minnesota by a winery called Saint Croix Vineyards.


Saint Croix Vineyards Vignoles 2013

The nose evokes lilac and cherry blossoms, and the palate is rich and round with a delicate thread of acidity that keeps it feeling balanced, as it does bear a little sweetness.

The second one is from Sicily, a producer called Valle dell’Acate and the wine is called il Frappato, from the Frappato grape.

Valle dell'Acate Il Frappato 2013

Valle dell’Acate Il Frappato 2013

It’s absolutely delightful, with a pervasive wild blueberry character on a silky, textural body that has soft tannins and lifted acidity. It has inspired me to enter the unspoken family stuffing contest with a wild rice/dried blueberry/sage/ginger recipe I created.

Blueberry Wild Rice Stuffing

Cook a 12 oz package of long grain Minnesota wild rice and let cool (I used my rice cooker- worked perfectly). I sautéed two finely chopped celery stalks, a quarter of a large onion and about a teaspoon of garlic in olive oil and hit it with white wine when liquids got low. Took that off the heat and mixed in about 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger and about ¼ cup chopped fresh sage. Then added in about a cup of freeze dried blueberries, didn’t want to use frozen as I was pretty sure the whole dish would turn magenta. And added in a grated green apple.

Note added on Friday, Nov 28th : It was dynamite! (I think I won- wink wink).

Happy Holidays!


One thought on “Thanksgiving Wines for my Family’s Table (Heard of these Grapes?)

  1. Thank you, April! I’m not sure you won the stuffing challenge ( unspoken or not) , but certainly your knowledge and gift of wines is extraordinary! We loved every luscious bottle!

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