We’re all in for natural wine these days. Especially as the holiday season ramps up, we’re on the lookout for pretty bottles filled with low-intervention blends to bring to dinner parties and serve up at our own. If you’re conscious about the ingredients you use on your plate, and curious to develop your natural wine palette, these bottles are sure to brighten your season.
Natural wine is an expression of the land from which it came. It’s art that you can drink, and it’s a lot of fun to talk about when you know the backstory behind the beautiful label, the fascinating flavor profile, and the people who produced it. It’s also a cleaner alternative to the commercial, questionably-flavored bottles we often pass around. Adding a few natural wines to your holiday celebration can only bring great things — good cheer and something to talk about other than politics and family drama.
We asked local foodie and restauranteur, Hayley Felman, co-owner of Venice’s Chex Tex, to talk us through the best natural wines to crack out for Thanksgiving. We spent a day in Hayley’s Cali-French chic haunt talking all things natural wine, and tasting the bottles she recommends for a blissful holiday season. Here’s Hayley…
If you think about it, Thanksgiving is all about the perfect pair: turkey and stuffing, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, football and parades. And when you throw family into the mix, it only makes sense that you also find the perfect wine pairing.
Natural wines are the ideal way to ease into your Turkey Day tradition. We’re sharing how to start (and end) the day with a bottle of bubbly that will please even the pickiest palettes and ease potentially contentious family situations with style…
2017 Bonhomme Le Telquel VDF Rouge – $18
We’re turning game day into Gamay-day, and pairing our mid-afternoon turnkey sandwich with the beautiful grape from the Beaujolais region of France. Le Telquel gives us aromas of vintage rose, spice and a pop of citrus with a strong current of red fruit. It’s ideally served with a gorgeous charcuterie board, pumpkin pie and dare we say, served a little bit chilled? With an under $20 price point, you can feel good about sharing in abundance.
2017 Chateau de Roquefort Petit Sale – $17
At Chez Tex we are self-proclaimed Francophiles, and this white wine from the Rhone region of France is one of our absolute new favorites — best described as full of life. The floral and grapefruit notes of this wine would be a lovely start to the day, as you roll up your sleeves and roll out that pastry dough. And it will take you right on into the pecan pie. Organic, made with indigenous yeast in cement barrels, this mineral beauty is delicate and expressive.
2016 Combel La Serre Cahors Fruit Du Causse – $15
And finally, for the pièce de résistance, a true expression of Malbec that is nicknamed a black wine. Save this one for the carving moment and that toast you’ve been crafting in your head all day. We love that this wine is completely organic and farmed without chemicals. And is it such due largely in part to the farmer’s belief that their grandfather’s death from Parkinson’s was linked to a lifetime of exposure to conventional chemicals. Stony and with mineral from its limestone parcel, this wine provides a finish that is bright and cheerful. Again, we recommend serving it quite cool.