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Berlucchi ’61 Rosé NV

Franciacorta, Italy, $40

Pioneers in the field of Italian sparkling wine that is produced in the champagne method, winemaker Guido Berlucchi and consultant Franco Ziliani debuted their first successful collaboration in 1961. Five years later, Franciacorta received a designated place of origin for this style of sparkling wine. 

The pearly white mousse of this pinot nero and chardonnay sparkler slowly deliquesces down to the stunning salmon-orange wine beneath. Fruity aromas dominate, led by strawberries, peach and red apple, accented by notes of phyllo dough. The palate is creamy and succulent, showcasing rosé strawberries and wildflowers, finishing with citrus zest and a hint of minerality. Although this bubbly would be a welcome opener on Thanksgiving Day, it has the richness and brightness to take you through the entire meal.

Pair it with: a variety of hors d’oeuvres, an appetizer of butternut squash soup, or the entire turkey day meal (but not dessert, please).


Division Winemaking Co. Gamay Noir Lutte 2019

Willamette Valley, Oregon, $35

One wine often associated with Thanksgiving is gamay-based Beaujolais Nouveau, probably because, in its native France, it may not be released until the third Thursday of November — an odd coincidence with our American holiday. Portland-based Division Winemaking Co., whose vinous portfolio is inspired by French wines, uses gamay to craft elegant, dry wines. 

Translucent cherry in the glass, the inviting nose on this 100 percent gamay wine is redolent of violets and black currants. The texture is silky and showcases a lip-smacking mélange of plum, sour cherry and pink peppercorns on the palate, all of which persist on the smooth and protracted finish. Fans of pinot noir will delight in this beautifully crafted gamay wine, whose crisp acid and soft tannins make it a versatile pairing partner for a multi-course meal.

Pair it with: turkey and gravy, mushroom and sausage stuffing, or savor throughout the meal.


Anne Pichon Sauvage Viognier 2019

Val du Pays du Vaucluse, France, $19

In the 1990s, Anne Pichon and late husband Marc resurrected an organic winery at the base of Mont Ventoux called Murmurium, the buzzing song of bees. Today, Anne and her sister-in-law produce a small amount of organic wine from this site with a focus on natural winemaking. 

This wine is crafted from 100 percent estate-grown viognier. It has a warm straw hue, with a nose that evinces orange blossoms and guava. There is an intense minerality on the palate, layered with fresh lime curd, tropical fruits and white pepper. The finish is both briny and citrusy, and ends on a subtle note of almond extract. If you forgot this wine’s powerful alcohol content with the first sip, you will be reminded of it with the last. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, this wine is a holiday meal workhorse.

Pair it with: green beans almondine, mashed potatoes, or, for white wine lovers, the entire meal.

Renée B. Allen, CSW, FWS, CSS, is a wine and spirits expert and the director of the award-winning Wine Institute of New England, which offers wine and spirits education and events. Allen is a professor at the University of New Haven, a wine competition director and judge, and can be seen on WFSB’s Better Connecticut.

This article appears in the November 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.