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Wines to give thanks for


Some things are meant for each other: Laurel and Hardy, Minneapolis and St. Paul, certain foods and certain wines.

What follows is a range of tasty wines for Thanksgiving. They run the gamut from gew?rztraminer to ros? from sauvignon blanc to pinot noir — and everything in between.

Some of the varietals pair beautifully with a particular dish, like a crisp sauvignon blanc with scallops or an exotic gew?rztraminer with pumpkin pie. Others listed — like a full-bodied pinot noir — can be enjoyed solo, either before the feast or after.

<strong> Tablas Creek Vineyard, 2011 Esprit de Tablas Rhone Red Blend,</strong> 14.5 percent alcohol, $55. A wine with a lovely earthiness. Notes of mushroom, herbs, cherry and pepper. Lamb would be a particularly good pick.

<strong>Lasseter Family Winery, 2012 Enjoue Ros?</strong> 13.4 percent, $24. This is an exotic ros? complex and refreshing. It has notes of strawberry, grapefruit and a hint of mango. It's buoyed by bright acidity and has a dry, crisp finish. Gorgeous. (78 percent syrah, 12 percent grenache, and 10 percent mourvedre.) A marinated pork loin would be a tasty food match.

<strong>Gundlach Bundschu, 2012 Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Gew?rztraminer,</strong> 14.5 percent, $22.50. An aromatic wine with layered flavors. Notes of Asian pear, guava and ginger. It's buoyed with bright acidity and it has a crisp finish. Exotic. This wine would be exceptional with pumpkin pie.

<strong>Au Bon Climat, 2009 Santa Maria Valley, Harmony Nuits-Blanche au Bouge, Chardonnay,</strong> 14 percent, $22. A bright chardonnay with crisp acidity and good minerality. Notes of bright apple, pear and a hint of lemon. Refreshing. A tasty pairing would be smoked chicken.

<strong>Groundwork, 2011 Central Coast, Grenache, 14.7 percent,</strong> $20. A ripe red that's turning heads. It has juicy red fruit, a lush texture and notes of herbs and pepper. A steal for the caliber of wine. This bright grenache would work well with a slow-cooked roast.

<strong>Landmark Overlook, 2011 Sonoma County Chardonnay,</strong> 14 percent, $25. A lovely chardonnay with rich, yet bright flavors. Tasty notes of melon, pear, white peach and Meyer lemon. Lingering finish. Baked salmon would play off the bright notes of this wine.

<strong>Davis Bynum, 2012 Virgina's Block Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 14.5 percent, $25. Tropical, with notes of lime, grapefruit and citrus. Bright acidty. Great minerality. An impressive match would be grilled calamari.

<strong>McFadden, 2011 Potter Valley, Mendocino Gew?rztraminer,</strong> 13.7 percent, $17. Floral, with notes of green apple, pear and honey. Light and lively. Zesty. An Asian-inspired appetizer would pair well.

<strong>Steven Kent, 2012 "Merrillie" Livermore Valley Chardonnay,</strong> 14.7 percent, $34. A budget-savvy price for the caliber of this chardonnay. Complex and rich, with notes of pear, lemon curd and toast. Lingering finish. A tasty pairing would be grilled chicken.

<strong>Loring Wine Company, 2012 Rosella's Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.9 percent, $50. A jammy, big boy pinot with gorgeous fruit and great concentration. Layered with notes of black cherry, anise and cracked black pepper. A savory match would be smoked squab.

<strong>Carmenet, 2012 California Chardonnay,</strong> 12.5 percent, $12. A value chardonnay that has notes of pear, melon and toast. It's not a highbrow wine by any means, but it's well integrated with appealing flavors. An outstanding match for pumpkin risotto.

<strong>Vina Mayor, 2012 Rueda Verdejo,</strong> 13 percent, $16. Intense, with crisp acidity and lively flavors of lime, herbs and mineral. It's a refreshing quaff, well worth the price. The best pairing here, hands down, is oysters on the half shell.

<strong>Siduri, 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.5 percent, $32. A very tasty pinot buoyed by bright acidity. Layered with notes of Bing cherry, a hint of cranberry and white pepper. Lovely. A great match would be duck.

<strong>Flux, 2012 California Ros?</strong> 13.4 percent, $16. A gorgeous dry ros?with tasty notes of watermelon, mineral and spice. It has bright acid, and the silky texture is a pleasant surprise. Crisp finish. Striking. (67 percent grenache, 28 percent carignane and 5 percent syrah.) A particularly nice pairing would be grilled tuna.

<strong>Cliff Lede, 2012 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 14.7 percent, $23. A tangy, New Zealand-style sauvignon blanc with zesty notes of grapefruit, lime and a hint of jalape?. Bright acid. Great minerality. A good match would be sauteed shrimp.

<strong>Lasseter Family Winery, 2010 Amoureux Red Blend,</strong> 14.8 percent, $54. This is a knockout, pure and simple. It's a complex malbec-driven blend with depth. It has concentrated fruit, herbs and spice. It's a talker. (73 percent malbec, 18 percent cabernet sauvignon, 7 percent merlot and 2 percent cabernet franc.) It would be best to pair this big red with venison.

<strong>Austin Hope, 2011 Hope Family Vineyard, Paso Robles Grenache,</strong> 15 percent, $42. A grenache with bright racy fruit — cranberry, raspberry and plum. Balanced, with a black pepper finish. A great match for lamb shanks.

<strong>Merry Edwards, 2011 Georganne, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.4 percent, $57. Rock star. A pinot with depth and a great concentration of fruit. Striking notes of blackberry, dried cherry, herbs and spice. Lush, fleshy texture. Complex. This wine is a great stand-alone pinot and would be a good one to savor later, well after the feast.

<em>Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.</em>