GEORGE BALLING: Your Thanksgiving wine… Figured out!

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The dinner party is coming up on its 10th anniversary! Amazing to think about all of the great folks we have become friends with and helped introduce to the broad array of wine that is available here in North Idaho. Over that stretch, we have continuously built our wine club always with two focuses in mind, always introduce our members to new things that expand their wine journey. It just doesn’t seem like we are doing our job if we put the same old bottles in the club. It is why we taste so much, to always find delicious wines for sure, but also expand all of our palates.

The other focus is to always have it figured out for our friends and customers. Each of our club wines come with tasting notes and a food pairing recipe so our members know what will work best with each bottle. Our “Big Red Box” and “Big Mixed Box” offerings each club month figures it out too as we offer a case of wine at one simple price to meet the everyday drinking needs of our members. As wine club members try new wines, they don’t love every selection, that is the essence of trying new things, but we have heard frequently “that we have never bought a bad bottle of wine from your store.” We try hard, and are glad we are meeting expectations.

We have many folks who are regular readers of the wine column that are not yet in our wine club, so here is a chance to see what it is all about and how it works. Here are the three wines you need to have with your Thanksgiving feast, we are offering them at a special price for anyone who comes in with this column or mentions it. And here is the best part; you can size your purchase to the size of the crowd you are expecting.

The 2016 Huston Vineyards Private Reserve Chardonnay will fill a number of roles in your Thanksgiving lineup. It will be delicious with your salad of Dungeness crab the night before the big event. This is our traditional “night before” meal, as it is easily prepared while we are working on pies and side dishes for the next day. It will be great as an aperitif before the big dinner, and with its bright acid, it will complement the richness of the dinner well too. The wine features great mineral and stone fruit aromas of apple and pear. The palate is sleek and refined, with the aforementioned firm acid, all leading to an elegant finish. The regular price is $27/bottle.

Pinot Noir and turkey, or any gamey bird for that matter, are the perfect pairing. The 2015 Sean Minor Central Coast is a lovely wine and a compelling value for $16. It is classic California Pinot Noir with delicious cherry fruit on the palate and just the right touch of earthiness, and more ripe cherries on the nose. Pinot Noir is a lighter-bodied varietal when made well, with nice acid again to balance out the richness of any big meal; this is why it is the go-to wine at Thanksgiving.

2015 was another great year in Washington and the Cabernet Sauvignon from Newsprint, the second label for powerhouse winery Guardian is a stunner. The palate is a study in balance with round soft tannins framing dense rich fruit flavors of Italian plum and black cherry. The nose shows spice box black olive and other savory notes with back notes of ripe berry jam. This wine will be perfect for your guests who want a wine with dinner with a bit more heft and muscle.

Here is the best part. All three bottles for the same price our wine club members would pay $63.90 and that price applies regardless of how many of each you need to meet the size of your crowd. All in one package all figured out for this big and busy holiday, check this off your list. If this assortment is beyond your budget we have alternatives for the more expensive selections, we will offer this one time for $41.40, regular price $46 for those three bottles. Just stop by the shop and we will fill you in on the wines in that pack and how they will fit perfectly with your big day.

If there is a topic you would like to read about or if you have questions on wine, you can email George@thedinnerpartyshop.com, or make suggestions by contacting the Healthy Community section at the Coeur d’Alene Press.

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George Balling is co-owner (with his wife Mary Lancaster) of the dinner party, a wine and table top décor shop located by Costco in Coeur d’Alene. George worked as a judge in many wine competitions, and his articles are published around the country. You can learn more about the dinner party at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com. Be sure and check out our weekly blog at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com/home/blog-2. You can get all of these articles as well as other great wine tips by friending us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.

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