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Four Great Local Wines for Thanksgiving

11/16/2011

Wine probably didn’t make the menu for the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621. The Pilgrims might have shared some ale, but water likely dominated the beverage menu.

How times have changed. Today’s Americans love raising a glass in celebration of the day. Here’s what four local wineries suggest for your holiday meal:

Cold Springs Winery

7853 West Ringert Lane, Hammett

For years, merlot dominated Thanksgiving wine sales, and although many varieties are brought to the table today, this wine is a still a crowd pleaser.

Cold Springs consistently produces award-winning merlot, and co-owner Bill Ringert suggests its 2007 Astr/ology, which took a gold medal at this year’s Idaho Wine Competition in Boise.

“This is a very nice red merlot, very easy to drink,” Ringert said. “I’d say that now that our vines are getting a bit older — some are nearly 10 years old — that the grapes are maturing … that’s leading to the wine being very, very good.”

Buy Astr/ology for $13.99 a bottle Rudy’s — A Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, or at the winery (call 366-7993 for appointment).

Snyder Winery

4060 N. 1200 E., Buhl

Want a wine that’s likely to please everyone and go with your whole Thanksgiving meal? Owner Claudia Snyder suggests her 2007 White Riesling. Prepared in a “more German style,” Snyder’s Riesling isn’t as sweet or golden in color as her more popular counterparts.

“There are pear and green apple flavors in the White Riesling, a slight tartness to it,” Snyder said. “But it isn’t as syrupy sweet, making it a good fit for turkey, and not just dessert, although it is still a great dessert wine, too.”

The wine is $19.99 a bottle at the winery or Boise Co-Op.

Holesinsky Organic Vineyard and Winery

4477 A Valley Steppe Dr., Buhl

Winemaker James Holesinsky’s Purple Oktopus 2009 syrah was one of two varieties earning gold medals at this year’s Denver International Wine Competition. The syrah is perfect for Thanksgiving festivities, Holesinsky said, because it’s such an easy-to-drink red.

“It’s good to serve because even beginner wine drinkers will enjoy it. It’s not a dry wine and will actually leave your mouth watering,” he said.

Purple Oktopus’ dark berry and raspberry jam flavors balance well with crackers-and-cheese appetizers, throughout any main course and even dessert.

With an eco-friendy screw-top and easily served at room temperature, this wine is a dandy to have on hand for unexpected visitors. It’s $14.99 at Rudy’s in Twin Falls.

Carmela Vineyards

1289 West Madison Ave., Glenns Ferry

For a versatile and affordable wine at the end of the meal, look for Carmela’s Old Vine Sweet.

“Pop it in the fridge; served chilled, it matches best with chocolate dishes,” bookkeeper Yvonne Decker said. “Or, something fun is to warm the wine in a Crock-Pot and then add in mulling spice mixes, some brown sugar and it makes nice hot toddy.”

The grapes in this wine are a “winemaker’s trade secret,” Decker said, but expect a full-bodied red with hints of cranberry and black cherry.

Carmela wines are distributed to nearly every grocery store in the state. At $10.99 a bottle, it’s no wonder Old Vine Sweet is one of the winery’s bestsellers. Pick up a bottle or two for Christmas, too.

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