Elin McCoy's Wine of the Week
2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Rosé
Region: Paso Robles
Grape: 46 percent Mourvedre, 39 percent Grenache, 15 percent Counoise
Alcohol: 14.5 percent
Serve: Slightly chilled, with Thanksgiving dinner (or the leftovers).
For most of us, the traditional menu on Thanksgiving rarely changes. But choosing wines to serve with it seems to provoke anxiety every year, even among experienced party givers. A friend begged me to come up with only one wine that could take on everything from her roasted turkey with sausage stuffing to tart cranberry sauce to gooey marshmallow-topped baked sweet potatoes and more.
My pick is the 2009 vintage of Tablas Creek’s bold, vibrant, fruity-spicy dry rosé from their organic vineyard in Paso Robles. One of the best dry rosés in the U.S., it also fulfills my unwavering rule of drinking American on this national holiday.
Over many Thanksgivings, I’ve found the most important element when picking a wine is its versatility. Like this rosé, those that best bridge the clash of sweet and tart, rich and light, tangy and bland flavors in the wide variety of dishes on the table are low in tannin, show little or no oak, combine bright fruit and a hint of spice and have enough acidity and freshness to perk up palates and soothe disagreements over a long meal.
Paso Robles pioneer Tablas Creek is a joint venture of the American Haas family, who started import company Vineyard Brands, and the French Perrin family, whose famous Château de Beaucastel in the Rhône Valley is the source of the vines. The blend of Rhône varietals – Mourvèdre for structure, Grenache for fruit and acidity, and Counoise for spice – comes from the oldest part of the vineyard, giving the wine a full body and the concentration to match the richest stuffing.
And, happily, this wine comes with a screw cap for easy opening by anyone, which means glasses will always be filled.
Zester Daily contributor Elin McCoy is a wine and spirits columnist and author of “The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste.”