Elevate Your Thanksgiving Dishes with Portalupi Wine

by Carolyn Brandt | Published November 13, 2023

As we gather around the Thanksgiving table, the harmonious pairing of food and wine becomes a centerpiece of the celebration. This year, elevate your feast with the perfect pairing of traditional or non-traditional Thanksgiving dishes with our exceptional wines. Whether you’re a fan of the bold Old Vine Zinfandel, the refreshing Rosato di Barbera, or the robust Petite Sirah, we’ve curated a guide to help you create a symphony of flavors.

Primitivo Paired with Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, and Sage Stuffing

Primitivo wine can work exceptionally well with roasted turkey, creating a delightful pairing that enhances the flavors of both the wine and the dish. The fruity characteristics of Primitivo can complement the savory and succulent qualities of roasted turkey and create a harmonious balance on the palate. Roasted turkey is often seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, and Primitivo’s flavor profile tends to be versatile enough to work well with a range of seasonings. Whether your turkey is seasoned with herbs like thyme and rosemary or has a slightly spicier profile, Primitivo can adapt and enhance these flavors.

About Portalupi’s 2021 Primitivo

Primitivo is our Italian expression of Cal-Ital Zinfandel. Our grapes are from one of the top growers in California, Ann Kramer in Sutter Creek, Shake Ridge Ranch. It produces crisp, crunchy, cherry and chocolate flavors. The aging in American Oak results in a soft vanilla elegance.

Old Vine Zinfandel Paired with Holiday Ham

Old Vine Zinfandel is known for its bold and ripe fruit flavors, often featuring notes of blackberry, raspberry, and sometimes even hints of cherry. These fruity characteristics can complement the sweet and savory profile of Thanksgiving ham, enhancing the overall flavor experience. Some Old Vine Zinfandels exhibit jammy qualities, with concentrated fruit flavors that can have a jam or preserves-like richness. This jamminess can harmonize with the sweet glazes or sauces often used in preparing Thanksgiving ham. Additionally, if the wine has spicy notes, they can complement any spices or seasonings on the ham.

About Portalupi’s Old Vine Zinfandels

Currently, we have three different Old Vine Zinfandels in stock, and we recommend all three to pair with your traditional ham Thanksgiving meal. However, they each offer something a little different, so we recommend making your choice based on your preferred flavor profile. 

2022 Old Vine Zinfandel, Schoolhouse Vineyard: From a very famous Dry Creek vineyard, this wine is smooth with lots of layers, moderate soft tannins, and nice red dark fruit. Layers of loganberry, strawberry jam, plums galore, watermelon jolly rancher, and even a bubble gum-fruit roll-up experience. There are also notes of dill, lavender, and slightly minty.  Picking up a generous amount of clove and allspice from the barrels.

2021 Old Vine Zinfandel, Dolinsek Ranch: (Award-winning: ​​Editors Choice, 94 points, Wine Enthusiast) Our purest vintage ever with great balance and concentration, capturing the essence of the ancient vines. Dolinsek Ranch, a magical vineyard planted originally in 1910 by the Frati family, has produced outstanding wines throughout this century. Hugely tempered with just the right amount of toasted new American oak. This true Russian River Zinfandel has flavors of raspberry preserves, blackberry, and a strong line of cracked green pepper, ripe olives, nutmeg, and allspice. Not merely a wine that is to taste, but a wine that is truly an “Experience” unto itself.

2018 Riserva Old Vine Zinfandel, Dolinsek Ranch: (Award-winning: Gold Medal winner and recognized within the top 10 Zinfandels of California from New York’s Fifty Best Zinfandels) This wine is an homage to the Greatness of Old Vine Zinfandel. It has aromas of deep cherry, stone fruits, and coffee. The palate is very complex. Originally just 50 case production.

Rosato di Barbera Paired with Grilled Salmon and Lemon-Dill Sauce

For those who prefer a lighter touch, the Rosato di Barbera provides a refreshing and crisp pairing with Grilled Salmon and Lemon-Dill Sauce. The wine’s light and vibrant character complements the delicate flavors of the salmon, while its acidity enhances the zesty notes of the lemon-dill sauce. This pairing brings a burst of freshness to your Thanksgiving table, creating a delightful contrast to heartier dishes.

This is also a great wine to pair with a charcuterie board for your guests to snack on before or after your main meal! 

About Portalupi’s 2022 Rosato di Barbera, Pauli Ranch

Made from the Barbera grape, our Rosato di Barbera is a perfect balance of acidity and just right dry. This allows for the flavors to linger on with a smooth finish. Very European “Tavel” style. Perfect on its own or paired with a dish. Additionally, the Pauli Ranch vineyard is certified sustainable.

Petite Sirah Paired with Slow-Cooked Braised Short Ribs

If you’re opting for a more robust and intense experience, look no further than pairing Petite Sirah with Slow-Cooked Braised Short Ribs. The wine’s bold and full-bodied profile matches the richness and depth of the short ribs. The firm tannins in Petite Sirah complement the meat’s texture, while its dark fruit and spicy notes enhance the savory flavors of the dish. This combination is a symphony of boldness that will leave a lasting impression on your palate.

About Portalupi’s 2021 Petite Sirah

Our 2021 Petite Sirah has won Double Gold in the North Coast Wine Challenge. Made from 100% certified organic grapes from L. Venturi Vineyards, our Petite Sirah is unique. It’s dark, almost black in color, restrained yet substantial. The aromatics range from dark blueberry/tart dark plum with a hint of mushroom and stone.  The flavors open up after a bit of decanting. The wine is massive, yet restrained at the same time. Round on the palate with ample tannins and overall moderate acidity.

Let Our Wines Elevate Your Dishes This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, let the wines play a starring role alongside your dishes, creating a memorable ensemble of flavors. Whether you choose Old Vine Zinfandel, Rosato di Barbera, or Petite Sirah, the key is to savor the perfect balance each pairing brings to your table. Experiment with these recommendations, and let your taste buds revel in the symphony of Thanksgiving delights. Cheers to a festive and flavorful celebration!