When choosing our Thanksgiving wine, there are so many factors in play. This year, I felt that the best Thanksgiving wine was not only delicious, it also had character and an air of uniqueness. Every wine has a story. When I open a bottle, I want to feel connected to the winemaker, grapes, and region. So many laboring hands, decisions, and ideas made it possible for me to enjoy this bottle at this very moment. Every vineyard is proud of their craft and wants to tell you about their years of setbacks and triumphs, all to get the right flavor into the right bottle into the right hands.
Thanksgiving is also a time where people gather to celebrate another kind of story, one that reflects on an iconic voyage of settlers arriving to America on the Mayflower. For such an amazing story, you need an equally rivaling wine – and I found just the one. Red Schooner is my pick for the best Thanksgiving wine, not only because of its flavor but because the grapes have a voyage of their own, crossing continents from their origin in pursuit of becoming something great.
The Red Schooner story begins in Argentina, where the Malbec grapes are grown. After harvest, the grapes make the voyage from Argentina up the Pacific Ocean to Napa Valley where the Wagner Family turns those grapes into wine. The Wagner Family is able to use their classic dense and dark Caymus-style techniques to produce an incredible bottle of Red Schooner. Each voyage is tied to a year, with voyage 5 being a 2014 vintage. The wine bottle are is an illustration of a schooner ship leaving Argentina on its way to Napa Valley with the Andes Mountains in the background.
The Voyage 5 Red Schooner is a rich Malbec with dark juicy fruit flavors. Malbecs are the great choice for a Thanksgiving because most people like their low on tannins and deeper fruity flavors. Malbecs also pair well with hardy meals and compliment most ingredients found in Thanksgiving dishes. I have been seeing Red Schooner in quite a few places, from Total Wine and More, to Safeway and Whole Foods, and is usually priced around $50. From the voyage story to the red fruity flavors, this truly is the best Thanksgiving wine.
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, full of good food, great wine, and even better company!