Wine & Spirits

New Traditions: Wine Pairings for the "Big Dinner"

Every year I field multiple questions on pairing wines for the “big dinner.” Fact is, there are as many wine tastes as there are people. While the old standbys may be tried and true, why not push the envelope a bit and find a new favorite for friends and family? Selection available at Stinson Wine, Beer and Spirits, 2315 18th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-789-0678.

Pratsch Gruner Veltliner 2011

(Niederosterreich, Austria))
Grape: 100 percent gruner veltliner—organic
Price: $14.99
* A wine for the cook, this one is light, lemony, and clean. A little apple and melon fruit make it an easy sipper throughout a long day of cooking. As the saying goes, “I always cook with wine and sometimes put it in the food.”

Domaine Cazes Le Canon 2011

(Catalanes, France)
Grape:Blend of
muscat and viognier (vee-own-YAY)
Price: $11.49
* A new twist for those riesling lovers, this wine has nice honey sweetness with a bright
flowery nose and a hint
of peach. It goes well with turkey, but be
sure to save some for your pie!

Chateau de Manissy Tavel Rosé 2011

(Tavel, Rhone, France)
Grape: A blend of grenache, carignane, syrah, and cinsault
Price: $18.99
* Not white, not red— this one is just right. Complex and full- bodied for rosé, it’s dry with strawberry and raspberry fruit, spicy notes of nutmeg, and burnt orange. If you want to pick one fun wine for the whole meal, this is it.

Domaine Noellat Marsannay- la-Cote 2009

(Burgundy, France)
Grape: 100 percent pinot noir
Price: $35.99
* A great wine for that more intimate, elegant dinner, this one will pair beautifully for the foodie diners who substitute duck or goose for the traditional turkey.

Dante Reserve Merlot 2010

(Oakville, California)
Grape: 97 percent merlot, 3 percent cabernet sauvignon
Price: $9.99
* Medium bodied and a true crowd pleaser, this one has nice berry fruit with soft acids. Affordable for the larger group, it fits right in with that turkey and cranberry sauce.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at