Why you should consider Champagne with your Thanksgiving meal
Turkey and a nice Chardonnay? No thanks.
Most wine lovers wait until December to toss their Champagne picks into the ring, but I’ve always liked to stay ahead of the curve. This year, instead of serving you a New Year’s toast, I propose Champagne for a more serious occasion: as the centerpiece to your Thanksgiving meal. The only American holiday centered around food, Thanksgiving deserves a wine worthy of the effort put into the meal. Fine Champagne, in styles from Blanc de Blanc to Rose are perfect for pairing with tryptophans and that side of cranberry sauce.
This year, I’ve chosen to feature the wines of Nicolas Feuillatte. One of the lesser known of France’s great Champagne houses, Feuillatte’s style is fruit-driven and mouth-filling. It is a style delicious on its own, but one that is extremely well suited for washing down a special meal.
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Blanc de Blanc
A great eye-opener with citrus, especially lime, aromas and flavors, this wine brings together both acidic brightness and finesse. On the tongue there’s a touch of nuttiness and on the end, a tease of vanilla.
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Blue Label
A pretty wine, as sweet as dessert, the Blue Label is like lemon custard and green apple tart tatin all rolled into one. Its sweetness teases the tip of the tongue, making it the perfect match for a light dessert or cheese.
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose
Grapefruit pink in color this pretty wine offers classic strawberry and vanilla aromas. Sweet on the tongue’s tip, its brightness gives way to weight on the center of the tongue. Bright and light as far as Roses go, this is a great choice if you like your Champagne fresh, but with a little more umph than is offered from Blanc de Blanc.
Nicolas Feuillatte 1996 Cuvee Palmes d’Or
An exotic wine, with many diverse layers, this is one for the serious Champagne drinker. Curry spices come out on the nose, as do vanilla and ginger. Its bubbles are so delicate they are almost like lace and the finish lingers longer than I can count.
Nicolas Feuillatte 1999 Cuvee Palmes d’Or Brut Rose
This wine’s brilliant ruby hue almost matches the deep shade of the cranberry sauce. Aromas are complex, from black cherry to a hint of cedar and fennel. There’s a heat on the finish, almost like a kick of chile. If there were one perfect wine to pair with a turkey feast, I cannot imagine a more marvelous match.
Nicolas Feuillatte 1995 Cuvee Speciale
Rich in aromas, its scents range from hazelnuts and saffron to a touch of yeast. Nutty in its richness, it still dances across the tongue with citrus acidity.
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