Here’s what Wine Guy, Jason Sherman, has to say:
“The red white and sparkling wines of the Loire Valley are great to enjoy with Thanksgiving meals. High in acid, low in oak influence and great with food, these have always been some of my favorites on Turkey day. The red wines of Chinon, made from Cabernet Franc, are one such example.
Chinon is a small, hillside commune located in the central part of the Loire Valley, and by law all red wines are to be made from Cabernet Franc. Total production for the entire region is less than some single wineries in California. Unlike cabernet franc from warmer climates like California and Argentina, whose wines display rich, fruit flavors and pronounced oak, these are a fine contrast. Grown in a much cooler climate that does not allow the ripening potential of the previous, cabernet franc from chinon is light to medium-bodied, with flavors of plum, cherry and olive tapenade. Fermented and aged in mostly concrete and stainless steel, they also have no obnoxious oak flavors, just the clean, pure flavors of fruit and herbs. Some labels to be on the look out for are Charles Joguet and Bernard Baudry, two families who have been at it for decades in Chinon.
Sparkling wines from the Loire Valley are great choices for Thanksgiving as well. Sparkling Vouvray from the Vouvray region of the valley is on the lighter, drier style, and perfect for enjoying while your family argues over how long the turkey needs to bake. These wines are made from the chenin blanc grape varietal. Domaine Huet is the producer to look out for. Other sparkling wines made outside of Vouvray, are made from chenin blanc as well, but some blend in pinot noir, chardonnay, and even cabernet franc. Langlois Chateau, owned by the Bollinger family of Champagne, is one of my favorites in this style. Made from chenin blanc, pinot noir and cabernet franc, this is a little more fruit-forward than those of Vouvray, with flavors of red berries and creamy vanilla. Most wines in this style will be labeled Cremant de Loire.”