Sure Thing

Why not think inside the box? It’s a familiar space, after all, and for the Thanksgiving table, the settings are almost habitual – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce. And there are near certainties when it comes to wine.

“I always bring Pinot and Chardonnay for Thanksgiving,” says Claire Sutton, sommelier and owner of Sovino Wine Bar & Market in downtown Monterey.

Modest tannins allow Pinot Noir to nuzzle white meat – yes, even turducken. Cranberry is keen to tussle against most wines, but Pinot’s bright fruits spar nicely. And, Sutton adds, “the earthiness of Monterey County Pinots goes well with stuffing.”

The recently released 2020 Pinot Noir from Windy Oaks cozies to the palate with a notion of cherry pie filling, yet the wine is dry and light in body. The finish steps away quickly – its sensations of cured fruit and a stroll through a dripping fall forest are unwilling to lay into the next bite, whether bird, mashed potatoes or green bean casserole. In between that first nuzzle of cherry and the finish, the wine flits through impressions of rose petals, mushrooms and a reluctant spice that tarries in the background.

Windy Oaks presents other Pinots. Indeed, it’s simple to find Pinot Noir fit for the occasion from just about any Monterey County winery.

WINDY OAKS, Lincoln between Ocean and 6th, Carmel; 19 E. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley.

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