Thanksgiving wine

How we discovered the Santa Ynez Valley

Mary with the goods!

Mary with the goods!

The Thanksgiving holiday reminded us of how we originally discovered the Santa Ynez Valley. I think we can trace our first visit to 2008. It’s a great time to visit because the weather is beautiful, and if you go early in the week, it’s not crowded. We were returning from a trip up the coast to Monterey. On our way back, Mike discovered a scenic “shortcut” called Foxen Canyon Road. We love to explore and take roads to see where they lead us – including a 2200-mile adventure through Europe with Mike driving a Renault Twingo which we called a sewing machine on wheels!

On Foxen Canyon Road, we discovered there were beautiful tasting rooms with some great wine. We stopped at the Foxen wine shack (before they had two tasting rooms) and filled up most of a case with Pinot Noir, and at the next stop, some Zaca Mesa (Syrah). One of our current favorites is Riverbench Winery, which features beautifully-crafted Pinot Noir and Sparkling wines, and the Riverbench Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine will be featured in our Winter Shipment! We then discovered the charming town of Los Olivos. Los Olivos is the perfect stopping point on your way up the coast, and we see many of our friends as they are traveling. Please let us know if you are passing through or better yet, spend a day and we’ll meet up for some wine-tasting!

We didn’t have much time but stopped at a tasting room that offered a tasting of multiple great wines and purchased a few, including Kenneth Crawford (now Crawford Family Winery) and Center of Effort which we mentioned in a recent blog. We made a note to explore this beautiful area more thoroughly next time. When we returned, we’d often stay at the Wine Valley Inn in Solvang after a trip to Paso Robles, another favorite area. We plan to offer a Paso-focused wine shipment shortly – any recommendations are welcome! Of course, we’ll need to do a research trip there first. Wine Club Members are needed to participate as part of our tasting panel! Since that time, we’ve made numerous trips, and joined many wine clubs, starting with Melville Winery, which reminded us of an Italian villa. In fact, we joined so many wine clubs that it became overwhelming. That is where we got the idea to start a wine club that offers a variety of wines, so that members don’t have to join a lot of different clubs to get the best wines. Enter Revisit Wine Club. Hope that you will join us on this journey! Visit our website at Revisit Wine Company to learn more!

Thanksgiving Wine Suggestions

Fall Wine Club Shipment

Fall Wine Club Shipment

As we approach the holiday season, many of you may be thinking about what you’ll serve for your special holiday meals, so I wanted to provide you with some suggestions to help you on the wine-pairing side. One of the fun things about wine is that everyone’s palate is different. But that also makes it more challenging as a host! So I recommend having a couple different options available. Let’s focus on Thanksgiving, and I’ll follow up with some December holiday recommendations.

You typically can’t go wrong starting with a sparkling wine or Champagne. Handing a guest a glass of bubbly gets the celebration off to a great start! For your meal, for the white wine, I recommend a fuller-bodied wine – a Chardonnay. Why? Because that is the white wine that will stand up to some of the richer flavors of a Thanksgiving meal. Or you can even continue into the meal with your sparkling wine. The bubbles and acidity balance out the rich flavors of the meal without overpowering them.

On the red side, the best choice is on the lighter side because turkey is a light meat. One of the common pairing recommendations is a Nouveau (young) Beaujolais – a bright, fruity option. However, I prefer something which balances the fruit with a bit more interest and substance. I think the perfect choice is a Pinot Noir with some nice earthiness which should blend well with savory sides like stuffing, and turkey gravy. Some people don’t realize that there is a broad spectrum of Pinot Noirs, from light to full-bodied. If you’re not a Pinot Noir fan, you could also do a Grenache, which is a lighter Rhone varietal, but it’s harder to find a good one. For those who prefer a full-bodied red, I recommend a Rhone blend, like a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). Again, a bit more difficult to find a good one. A straight Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon would overpower the turkey, but the blend with Grenache softens it. The gold standard in Rhone blends is a Chateauneuf du Pape from the French Rhone region, but there are also some excellent options from the Santa Barbara or Paso Robles area. Whatever wine you choose, it will bring that special touch to your meal which melds all of the wonderful flavors and personalities of the holiday!

The Revisit Wine Club Fall Package contains 3 wines perfect for your Thanksgiving feast. Scroll down to see our blog below, or to learn more about our wine club!