It’s finally that time of year when the weather gets cooler, and the family descends to the house for Thanksgiving. With all the different flavors on the table, what wine to serve can be a challenge. Let’s make it easier to decide!


Sweet or savory—Spanish tempranillo is a good choice

Sweet, savory and hard to pair foods all on the table at the same time can make this a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Look toward wines that can complement a wide variety of foods and palates. Spanish tempranillo is at the top of my list. It goes well with everything from sushi to steak. The novice wine drinker will appreciate its light-hearted qualities. The connoisseur will appreciate its layers and depth of character. Plus, it will not break the bank.


Spanish tempranillo will range from soft and elegant from Rioja, to big rich and powerful in Toro. Examples can be found in all different price points. 2012 Viña Otano Rioja Reserva shows fresh cherry and plum aromas which are a bit scratchy but alert. This feels firm, with bright acidity creating a raw sense on the palate. Plum, berry and a pinch of saltiness make for an authentic flavor profile, while this finishes long and steady. You can pick up this little gem for about $30.






For a little more power in the glass, head to Toro. The 2014 Bodegas Pintia Toro has a creamy-dark sort of a nose and rather smoky, showing its ripe bramble fruit and masses of dry spice: clove and rooty licorice. Entry is very plush after which it gains in very fine, earthy-mineral, dense structure. It has very nice freshness, with excellent grip towards the back.






Beaujolais Cru adds finesse to your table

My other option is heading to Beaujolais. Gone are the days of Georges Duboeuf dominating the market. The fruity nouveau style really doesn’t lend well to dinner. It is more of a cocktail wine. Something to drink while cooking dinner. Serious bottles from the Beaujolais Cru areas offer more structure and finesse for the dinner table. L’Épicurieux Morgon Vin de Zelebrite shows bright red and black fruit with star anise spice and a beautiful, long finish. Pick this up for about $27.



Adam Arlen, Sommelier


Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”