The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Picking Wines for Picky Folk

Posted on | November 17, 2011 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

Thanksgiving, a time for simple reflection to appreciate what and who we have around us, is one of my favorite holidays.  I also love the wine and food!  One of five children, I come from a rather large family, so Thanksgiving was often a huge (and loud) production, one that yielded a mix of stylistically different wines.  My family, the Bertots, are Cuban, residing mainly in South Florida.  Some of my grandparents are from Spain; this explains my sheer excitement for Iberico ham. My family customarily enjoyed mostly Spanish wines at the dinner table.  This custom, however, is changing.

Recently, I lovingly married a non-Cuban wife whose family is originally from Illinois; my father-in-law loves California Cabs, and my mother-in-law loves round, crisp whites. Since I have been working at IWM, I have brought around some work-inspired gems to the dinner table, and this Thanksgiving will be no different.  The tricky part is how to please a crowd of often picky wine drinkers and bring them together to enjoy something different.

I don’t know of a more versatile and attractive line-up of wines than those of Giuseppe Quintarelli.  Volumes can be and have been spoken about the gorgeous wines of this most important producer of the Veneto. These wines possess an astute character, complex flavors, and unique attributes that make Quintarelli an excellent choice for Thanksgiving meals, and really any special occasion.

For those who prefer whites, the Giuseppe Quintarelli Bianco Secco 2010 is a brilliant choice because it appeals to a variety of palates.  Its crisp acidity, round fruit, and attenuated finish make it ideal with turkey breast and a variety of rich vegetable dishes (not to mention a great value at $44.69).  For the dark meat lovers like myself, I recommend the Giuseppe Quintarelli Primofiore 2007.  This wine shows brilliant freshness, supple and soft tannins, and acidity that will go beautifully with the crispy skin of a bird; and with a $49.50 price tag, it is another awesome value.

A bottle of Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Superiore 2002 with generous tannins and ripe black cherries on the palate would also be a very welcomed addition.  I don’t think there is a better and more memorable way to end a meal than to pour Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 1997 alongside some cheeses.  If you want to get nuts with it, open up a bottle of Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2000 twelve hours before eating; you will certainly be glad you did. It’s a life-changing, mind-bending wine experience.

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re practicing generations-old traditions with loved ones, or creating new traditions all together, I hope you’re thankful for all that you have. I know I am.

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