Few places on the planet can claim a richer or more vibrant culture than Catalonia, a region of four provinces that constitutes one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. Everything about the place seems dramatic – the architecture, the literature, the music, the food, and, of course, the wine. Some of the world’s boldest, most full-flavored wines are made in Catalonia, but today I am going to recommend two that have been crafted in a more lyrical style, because I think that they would nicely complement Thanksgiving banquets for two reasons. First, wine lovers are always looking for something different, and while Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc pair nicely with turkey, so would these two wines. Second, some people at your table might be newcomers to wine, and both these bottlings are as accessible as they are satisfying, and would thus please both seasoned wine drinkers and neophytes alike.
The Torres family has been cultivating their own vineyards in Catalonia for 300 years, and recently they have made a commitment to helping alleviate the causes of global climate change by adapting eco-efficient strategies from cultivating their vineyards to transporting their wines to market. This development is not surprising, given the fact that the family’s motto has long been “The better we look after the land, the better the wine we produce.” Few people will argue with this claim if they sample either or both of the Torres wines I am about to describe.
Made from Moscatel de Alejandria and Gewurztraminer, Torres Vina Esmeralda 2010 ($15) is a charming white wine, with enticing floral aromas that lead to delectable, spice-tinged tropical fruit, lemon, and passion fruit flavors that would perfectly complement turkey, fish, or chicken. Esmeralda takes its name from the emerald color of the Mediterranean sea, and there is plenty of Mediterranean sunshine in this uncommonly appealing wine.
Rose’ can be a splendid dinner wine, and Torres Sangre de Toro Rose’ 2010 ($10) is substantial enough to complement almost any dish at your Thanksgiving repast. Its floral, blackberry, and tropical fruit aromas lead to exuberant raspberry, cherry, and spice flavors that close in a long, nicely balanced finish. While it is a good match for turkey, this Rose’ would also pair well with most appetizers, and it would be notably satisfying when sipped on its own before dinner.
I hope that everyone has a splendid Thanksgiving in the company of family and friends. I also hope that some of my readers follow my suggestion and pour either or both of these Torres wines with their Thanksgiving meal, since I promise that doing so would make an already wonderful occasion even more delightful.