Perfect Holiday Pairings: What the Pros Pour
When it comes to surviving the holidays, what you drink is equally as important as what you eat. Wondering what to pour at this year’s feast? Whether you prefer hops or grapes, the recommendations here are sure to be the talk of this year’s Turkey Day table.
“I recently visited Dono dal Cielo (donodalcielo.com) in Newcastle and was absolutely blown away by their wines, particularly the 2020 Viognier, with its notes of tropical fruit and perfect balance between sweet and tart lemons. It excites the palate and is well-structured without being drowned in oak. I’ll personally be enjoying it on Turkey Day!”—Marc Jensen, Sommelier, Hawks, 5530 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-791-6200, hawksrestaurant.com
“Red wine lovers will rejoice over the 2020 Lytton Springs from Ridge Wines (ridgewine.com)—a blend that features 75% zinfandel, 11% petite sirah, and 10% carignan to add depth and structure. The wine shows notes of ripe red and dark fruits (cherries, plums) with back-end notes of baking spices, tobacco, and pepper. It’s subtle on the tannins but still pronounced enough to complement Thanksgiving ham and turkey.”—Marc Jensen, Sommelier, Hawks, 5530 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-791-6200, hawksrestaurant.com
“The 2019 Sparkling Viognier from Adkins Family Vineyards (adkinsfamilyvineyards.com) is a perfect start to any holiday celebration. Dry with notes of pear, citrus, and apple, it strikes a perfect balance between bubbles and sweetness, and pairs well with charcuterie or the Turkey Day feast.” —Brent Whited, Owner, Manderes, 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 600, Folsom, 916-986-9655, manderes.com
“The 2020 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir from Napa’s Belle Glos (belleglos.com) is a beautiful dark ruby and reminds me of the holidays. It’s bold but an easy sipper for guests who don’t typically drink red wine. You’ll taste notes of cranberry and cherry along with clove, nutmeg, and holiday spices.”—Brent Whited, Owner, Manderes, 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 600, Folsom, 916-986-9655, manderes.com
“Before the Thanksgiving feast, my family likes to start with beer. Our go-to is the seasonal Fir Ale from, Solid Ground Brewing (solidgroundbrewing.com). Easy drinking, with an ABV of 7%, it helps me forget about any troubles and focus on all the things I’m thankful for.”—Dan Dreher, Co-owner, Wally's Pizza Bar, 4079 Cameron Park Drive, Cameron Park, 530-677-5205, wallyspizzabar.com
“Thirsty Pretzels, an award-winning Munich dunkel from Auburn’s Crooked Lane Brewing Company (crookedlanebrewing.com), is lagered to perfection with notes of toffee, dark chocolate, and caramel with a smooth, clean finish. It’s sure to sway beer drinkers who think they don’t like ‘dark beers’ and pairs well with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, honey-baked ham, or turkey.”—Tyler Lovejoy, Co-owner, The Station Public House, 750 Lincoln, Way, Auburn, 530-820-3353, thestationpublichouse.com
“Served between 45-50 degrees in a chalice glass, the Trappist Ale from Orval Brewery (orval.be/en) is a conversation beer…the kind of beer you slowly sip as you catch up with out-of-town cousins and family. The effervescent fruity nose and notes of biscuit, coriander, and spice with a little acidity from the yeast pair nicely with a cigar.”—Tyler Lovejoy, Co-owner, The Station Public House, 750 Lincoln, Way, Auburn, 530-820-3353, thestationpublichouse.com
“Looking to uncork a fantastic wine for your Thanksgiving feast? Personally, I’m reaching directly for the 2018 Petite Sirah from Wise Villa Winery (wisevillawinery.com). Rich flavors of berries, mocha, clove, and smoky cedar pair perfectly with both white and dark turkey, while pepper-forward notes match well with herb-infused stuffing. Add in the deep color and bold finish, and you have a winning wine your guests will love.”—Justine Perez, Publican, 105 Noshery, 105 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-784-6674, 105noshery.com
“Bigwig Brown from Jackrabbit Brewing Co. (jackrabbitbrewingcompany.com) is an American brown ale with a roasted character that perfectly complements roasted turkey. But with an ABV of 5.2%, it’s low enough in alcohol and smooth enough in taste that it can be enjoyed while you’re waiting for dinner, too.”—Justine Perez, Publican, 105 Noshery, 105 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-784-6674, 105noshery.com
“Boeger Winery (boegerwinery.com) is a local favorite in my household. Their 2020 Barbera is especially smooth with fruity notes and a clean finish. This bottle will impress all the wine connoisseurs at your Turkey Day dinner, along with those new to drinking wine. Enjoy it with the main course or a nice chocolate dessert—and thank me later.”—Dan Dreher, Co-owner, Wally's Pizza Bar, 4079 Cameron Park Drive, Cameron Park, 530-677-5205, wallyspizzabar.com
by Megan WiskusBoeger and Dona del Cielo photos by Taylor Gillespie ©stylemediagroup. Other photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.