Goose Ridge Vineyards Pinot Gris 2015
(Columbia Valley; $18)
Pinot Gris (which is French for Pinot Grigio, in case you were confused) has such potential for a light crisp touch when done well. This wine is a great example of a balanced Pinot Gris – not sweet but thankfully not sour. A big citrusy nose is rounded by pear and white roses leading to a crisp palate of honeydew and kiwi.
Bergevin Lane Vineyards Love-Struck Viognier 2014
(Walla Walla Valley; $22)
Viognier is said to be chardonnay’s sultry sister – round, supple, voluptuous. It’s those qualities that balance out the leanness of roasted turkey. Love-Struck waves its magic wand of honeysuckle and peach aromas enticing the sipper to taste deeply of the creamy pear palate and tangerine finish. No doubt guests would appreciate the pairing with dinner, but they’ll be lucky if this makes it out of the kitchen. So good you won’t want to share with the general riffraff – though pleasure is increased if you share your secret stash with your sister or bestie keeping you company in the hot kitchen.
Donovan Wines Viognier 2014
(Rogue Valley; $18)
Winemaker Linda Donovan wields her impressive skills over many of the Rogue Valley’s harvests at her custom crush facility in Medford. Her own line, L. Donovan Wines, showcases her best efforts. Viognier is known for its floral aromas and this one leans towards fragrant orange blossoms followed by pear and citrus on the palate and a hint of warm vanilla. I can’t wait to crack open the bottle I saved for just such an occasion as T-Day.
Goose Ridge Vineyards g3 Rosé 2014
(Columbia Valley; $15)
Rosé wines usually have a red-grape base, but the g3 gets an extra luscious kick of sweetness from its secret weapon – a Riesling base. The nose is perfumed with floral notes, strawberry and kiwi following through with melon and tangerine on the finish. Serve this wine with the appetizers – especially a nice cheese and cracker plate.
Doubleback Healy Rosé 2015
(Columbia Valley; $28)
Deep salmon in color, aromas of apricot and strawberry, this is one unforgettable rosé (for those of you who care about the nerdy answer as to why, perhaps it is due to a slow cold-fermentation in stainless steel and aged on the lees for five months). The result will convince your tongue that there are loads of residual sugar but winemaker Josh McDaniels tested it multiple times and that perception is all in your head. This wine is actually dry. It will go great with a fruity nutty stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes…basically, serve it for Thanksgiving dinner.
Skylite Cellars Merlot 2012
(Walla Walla Valley; $31)
For those of you who just can’t wrap your head around drinking white after Labor Day, not to worry. This lovely merlot from Skylite Cellars pushes all the right buttons. Dark cherry, blackberry, and cassis form the first wave of aromas followed by a wisp of smoke and mocha. A beautiful blossom of acidity carries red fruit through the palate with a soft leathery back end. Perfect with grilled or smoked turkey, mushroom dishes, and a leftover sandwich of smoked turkey and prosciutto (or bacon!).