We asked Assistant Food and Beverage Director Vilma Mazaite, the advanced sommelier behind Aspen’s new Wine in Heels program, what she recommended pouring on Thanksgiving. Not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food (which may explain her tiny waistline), Vilma is all about the wine!
Here are her top three picks:
Willm, Riesling, Alsace, France 2010
Riesling is a traditional grape found along the Rhine River. It was first grown in Germany in the 15th century and in Alsace a few decades later. Riesling covers now roughly 25% of the vineyards in Alsace.
Riesling is brilliant with fish, poultry, cold meat and famous Alsatian dishes such as sauerkraut or smoked ham. Hello, it sounds to me like a perfect match to turkey and stuffing. Can’t wait to drink it over Thanksgiving dinner. Well, to be honest, I find any excuse to drink Riesling.
Dominique Piron, Morgon, Beaujolais, France 2009
Gamay is the French red grape variety for the wines of Beaujolais. Beaujolais Cru is the northernmost appellation of Beaujolais, located close to the Maconnais border. Made up of ten separate areas in the foothills of the Beaujolais Mountains, this appellation produces some of the region’s best-quality wines.
This particular Gamay is so similar to great Burgundy that it can simply replace it. Personally, I think Pinot Noir and Gamay are just perfect food companions. Great acidity, earthy notes, balanced fruit… it complements any dinner.
Domaine Santa Duc, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France 2007
Yves Gras of Domaine Santa Duc is a legendary producer of Gigondas. He lives in a section of Gigondas known as the garrigue. The garrigue is the arid, rocky section of vineyards that run north and south between the Ouvéze and the Rhône Rivers. This wine is well-structured and balanced with lots of cranberry notes, white pepper and dried fruits.
So, what can go better with cranberries? I guess more cranberries and warm spices. That’s exactly what this wine delivers. It has so much going on without being heavy or “jammy.” It still possesses elegance while delivering spices and tons of aromatics.
Each Wine in Heels begins with a cocktail or Prosecco and appetizer, followed by 4 different food and wine pairings exploring a theme. Each 2 hour event consists of 45 minutes focused on wine, 30 minutes on food and the remaining 45 minutes for questions and socializing. Following the event, an eBook with all the wine information and recipes from the class is emailed to each guest.
Each event is $98.00 per person, all inclusive.