With Thanksgiving around the corner, we sat down with Anthony Lamonaca to get the inside scoop on which wines we should be buying this holiday season.
Lamonaca is a wine importer and partner in Golden Vines Imports. In his previous life as a commodities trader, he made wine as a hobby for 20+ years before deciding to follow his dream more than 10 years ago. He gives great credit to all the other import pioneers that he admired and hopes to make his own mark on the world of wine. Wine pretension is his enemy!
Thanksgiving wines: Ask 1,000 wine ‘experts’ and get as many suggestions. We strove to find wines that are handcrafted, not mass-produced, just like your Thanksgiving meal. (And if not, at least your wine will be!)
Here are Anthony’s Top Picks:
For me and my family I choose wines that are versatile and easy drinking. For that I gravitate towards Italy and France. It’s been my experience that Europeans drink wine at their meal like the average American drinks his water, so it needs to be fresh, not heavy.
Bubbles? Yes please! A good high quality DOCG Superiore Prosecco can fit the bill and not break the bank – Sanfeletto is an outstanding choice. (The drier Brut version would be best with food.) Peach and green apple flavors, minerality and clean finish makes you want to go back for more. Shop it here.
Then there’s also delicious dry sparkling reds finally making their way into the US: Storchi from Emilia Romagna. This wine is purple hued, a bit funky, bone dry and refreshing at the same time. All the buzz words come with it too: biodynamic and natural. Shop it here.
Lets not forget rose’ no, it is not just for summer. Ask for a dry version and if your wine store is any good they will be able to offer a few good choices. France is always my go to and L’amaurigue located in Provence is my personal choice. Pretty salmon color and tropical fruit notes lead to a tasty dry finish. Shop it here.
Heyl Riesling Rheinhessen
Heyl Riesling Rheinhessen Germany has many amazing qualities that would make it a great addition to your feast. This is a biodynamic winery and all the wines are handcrafted. It is dry so it will make everyone happy including those that think Riesling is always sweet. Think pear and nectarine flavors and a flinty minerality leading to a refreshing finish. Shop it here.
Barbera d’Asti ‘Sopra Berruti’
For reds L’armangia Barbera d’Asti ‘Sopra Berruti’ Piemonte Italy. Barbera has always been one of my favorite grapes and lately it has fallen out of favor. That said you can’t beat barbera for ripe acidity and when done well like L’armangia’s, with complex flavors that make you think of Fall and harvests. Violets for aromas mixed with dark fruit then juicy black cherry on the palate it is ready to quench your mighty thirst after a long meal. A winner. Shop it here.
Domaine d’Echelette Bourgogne Rouge ‘La Belouse’
Let’s not forget Pinot Noir! Domaine d’Echelette Bourgogne Rouge ‘La Belouse’ checks all the boxes. Hand crafted from a small family farm making wine for multiple generations. Dried herbs and red berry fruit like raspberry to start then a rich darker berry fruit on the finish. Shop it here.