Nothing elevates a meal quite like a perfect wine pairing. Impress and delight your guests this Thanksgiving by expertly offering one of these fine selections alongside your turkey and dressing, hand picked by Chandler Busby, owner of Neighborhood Hops & Vine.
Chandler’s interest in wine was first piqued when he started working at Highlands Bar and Grill in 2000. Then four years ago, he opened Neighborhood Hops & Vine in Crestline Park and has been exploring the world of wine and sharing his knowledge with his customers ever since. With a wide range of wine and beer at both the Crestline location and their newer Homewood store, Chandler and his staff can help point you to the perfect flavors that will undoubtedly become your new favorites.
Chandler recommends a dry and bubbly selection to serve as an apéritif, or predinner drink, to prime your palate for your Thanksgiving feast, and these three selections offer something for every taste.
Champagne Jacquesson, Cuvée 738, Extra Brut, $58.99
This Extra Brut Champagne is made from a blend of the three Champagne grapes, with chardonnay emerging as the dominant flavor. At its higher price point, it is the perfect choice to start your celebration on the right foot. “This Champagne is one that I would drink just for toasting,” Chandler says.
Gramona la Cuvee, $19.99
A glass of Gramona, a Spanish sparkling wine, offers a more subdued option with soft bubbles and a flavor that is pleasant to sip. The flavor profile is savory, with fine aromas of fruit and almonds. “It’s a nice, soft, round, easy sparkling wine that can be enjoyed as an apéritif or paired with a drier fare — it would be a good turkey wine,” Chandler says.
Louis de Grenelle Samur Rosé, Cuvée Corail, $19.99
This bubbly French rosé is fresh and radiant, a beautiful deep pink wine with notes of sour candies and fruit. It’s a perfect apéritif or could even be enjoyed alongside fruit or chocolate desserts after the meal.
White wines offer lighter pairing options to accompany a heavy, delicious Thanksgiving meal. “Anything that’s savory you can push back on and balance with some sweetness,” Chandler says. Dry whites also pair wonderfully with a bite of turkey and help to balance the meal.
Domaine des Justices Bordeaux Blanc, $19.99
Crisp and lively, this refreshing white wine from Bordeaux, France, can slice through the richer Thanksgiving dinner fare and refresh and cleanse the palette for the next course. A balanced blend of sémillon and sauvignon blanc varietals, there is a nice roundness to the wine that integrates both flavors well and leaves a long, resonant finish on the tongue.
Lioco Indica Rosé, $16.99
“This would be a great wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you have a vegetarian in the group. It’s great for pairing with asparagus or sweet potatoes or similar vegetables. It goes with just about anything,” Chandler says. With aromas of rose petals, watermelon rind and pomelo, this wine from Mendocino County, CA, is delicious and food-friendly, regardless of what it’s paired with.
For earthier, richer flavors to pair with your meal, there is a wide range of red wines at Neighborhood Hops & Vine. And you can always enjoy a glass of red wine with your dessert or over conversation after the meal.
La Folette Pinot Noir, $20.99
A complex bouquet of strawberry, vanilla and wild mushroom, this well-balanced pinot hails from the northern coast of California. “The La Folette is a nice, light red that would go well with the bird for Thanksgiving,” Chandler says.
Cahors, Château Vincens L’Instant Malbec, France, $14.99
This dark, powerful French wine is teeming with delightful hints of dark chocolate and black currant. A heavier bodied wine with earthy notes, this choice pairs perfectly with beef, if your approach to the Thanksgiving meal is a bit nontraditional this year.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, $15.99
For a red wine to enjoy after the meal, the Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is a good option. This Italian wine is soft and well-balanced, with red fruit and delicate hints of spice. “It’s a nice, red blend that can be enjoyed even if you’re not pairing and you just want a heavier bodied glass of red wine,” Chandler says.
Neighborhood Hops & Vine has two locations, in Crestline Park at 1109 Dunston Ave., and in Homewood at 1712 28th Ave. S. They are open Sunday and Monday from 12:30 to 7 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit neighborhoodhopsandvine.com or call (205) 870-8881.